Impunity / Brazil

WHEREAS The Civil Police arrested four suspects in the murder of radio reporter Valério Luiz Oliveira, which happened on June 5, 2012 in Goiás state, among them the presumed mastermind; the accused instigator was the vice president of the soccer club that had been the target of criticisms made by the sports commentator; WHEREAS One of the witnesses of the murder of journalist and blogger Décio Sá, which occurred on April 23, 2012 in São Luís in the state of Maranhão, died in February 2013, one month after undergoing an attack; the Prosecutor’s Office accused twelve individuals of participating in the crime; WHEREAS One year after the murder of journalist Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues, known as Paulo Rocaro, which occurred on February 12, 2012 in Ponta Porã in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, no arrests have been made; WHEREAS Investigations are continuing into the murder of blogger Mário Randolfo Marques Lopes, which happened on February 9, 2012 in Barra do Piraí, Rio de Janeiro state; police chief José Maria Solomão de Omena has no doubt that the crime was motivated by articles written by Lopes; WHEREAS The primary suspect of having ordered the murder of radio reporter Valderlei Canuto Leandro on September 1, 2011 in Tabatinga, Amazonas, is the former mayor of the city, and because he was not reelected in the 2012 elections, he lost his privileged position; therefore, investigation of the case has been taken up by the judge of the district of Tabatinga; WHEREAS The three individuals accused of murdering radio and television host Luciano Leitão Pedrosa on April 9, 2011 in Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco state, had their requests for relaxation of preventive detention denied; WHEREAS On August 23, 2012 former mayor Arivan Lucena was absolved of the accusation of ordering the killing of radio reporter Nicanor Linhares Batista on June 30, 2003 in Limoeiro do Norte, Ceará state, and the Prosecutor’s Office appealed the decision; another accused person, José Vanderley dos Santos Nogueira, had the venue of his case transferred to the state capital and there is no date set for his trial; WHEREAS On December 5, 2012 the Superior Court of Justice accepted a charge by the Federal Prosecutor’s office against José Maria de Oliveira Lucena, an appeals judge of the Regional Federal Court of the 5th Region, accused of ordering the murder of radio reporter Nicanor Linhares Batista; the matter continues as Criminal Case No. 517 (APN 517); the Federal Prosecutor’s Office had requested the start of an investigation in 2004 and brought the charge before the Superior Federal Court in 2008; WHEREAS Former mayor Eurico Mariano and Alfredo Rui Dias Arevalos, convicted of the murder of radio reporter Samuel Román, killed in Coronel Sapucaia, Mato Grosso do Sul state on April 20, 2004, are on the loose; WHEREAS The trial of João Francisco dos Santos e Lailson Lopes, accused of the murder of radio reporter Francisco Gomes de Medeiros, known as F. Gomes, which occurred on October 18, 2010 in Caicó, Rio Grande do Norte state, should be held in the first half of 2013; another four persons were indicated as having participated in the crime, but the judge has not yet decided whether they will stand trial; of the four, only one is imprisoned because of a separate crime; WHEREAS The appeals and bills of review of the former mayor of Eunápolis, Bahia, Paulo Ernesto Ribeiro da Silva, known as Paulo Dapé, against his indictment for the murder of radio reporter Ronaldo Santana de Araújo on October 9, 1997 in Eunápolis, as well as former city government employees Maria José Ferreira Souza, Waldemir Batista de Oliveira and Antônio Oliveira Santos, accused of the crime, who have still not been tried; the only person convicted for the murder, gunman Paulo Sérgio de Lima, fled after having taken advantage of the semi-open prison regimen. WHEREAS João Arcanjo Ribeiro, accused of being the instigator of the crime against businessman Domingos Sávio Brandão de Lima, owner of the newspaper Folha do Estado and radio station Cidade de Cuiabá FM, murdered in 2002, filed a new appeal to delay his trial, in spite of the fact that Justice Laurita Vaz of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), ordered the immediate proceeding of the criminal case in 2011 so that it could be taken before a jury of the people; WHEREAS Claudino dos Santos Coelho, convicted of the murder of journalist Tim Lopes of TV Globo, which happened in 2002 in Rio de Janeiro, escaped from the Vicente Piragibe Penal Institution in the Gericinó Penitentiary Complex in Bangu, western zone of Rio, in February 2013, through a tunnel dug by the prisoners; WHEREAS The Civil Police shelved an investigation into the murder of Wanderley dos Reis on October 16, 2010 in Ibitinga, São Paulo state, but the Prosecutor’s Office continues investigative procedures, although the prosecutor states that there is not sufficient evidence to identify the guilty; the crime may be related to his activity on the newspaper Popular News. WHEREAS The murders remain unpunished of reporters Luiz Otávio Monteiro in Manaus, Amazonas on December 29, 1988; Edgar Lopes de Faria on October 29, 1997 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul; José Carlos Mesquita, on March 10, 1998 in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia; and Mário Coelho de Almeida Filho on August 16, 2001, Magé, Rio de Janeiro; and the cases have not been solved in the deaths of journalist Nivanildo Barbosa Lima, found dead at the Paulo Afonso dam in Bahia, on July 22, 1995; and of Ivan Rocha, who disappeared on April 22, 1991 in Teixeira de Freitas, in Bahia. WHEREAS Investigations into the murder of journalist Luiz Carlos Barbon Filho, which occurred on May 5, 2007 in the city of Porto Ferreira, São Paulo, were taken up again after the arrest and conviction of police officers for the crime, due to a new fact that came up in the trial of the accused; WHEREAS Efforts are continuing to investigate and identify the instigators of the murder of radio reporter Jorge Lourenço dos Santos, killed on July 11, 2004, in Santana do Ipanema, Alagoas; WHEREAS The friendly accord made between the Brazilian government and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights contemplates the reopening of investigations into the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira, which happened on January 14, 1998 in Itabuna, Bahia, to identify and punish those who ordered the crime; this has not yet occurred; Mozart Brasil, the only one convicted of the crime, submitted accusatory information about the crime which was sent by the IAPA to the Secretariat of Human Rights of the Office of the President of the Republic in February 2012; WHEREAS Police officer Romualdo Eustáquio de Luz Faria has not yet been put on trial as a participant in the murder of social columnist Maria Nilce dos Santos Magalhães, which occurred on July 5, 1989 in Vitória, Espírito Santo; his attorneys allege that he suffers from mental insanity; WHEREAS Almost eighteen years after the murder of Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva on August 29, 1995 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, the case continues unpunished and investigations are being overseen by the 9th Prosecutor’s Office of Justice and Criminal Investigation; WHEREAS The Congress and the Federal Senate are considering proposals to federalize crimes against journalists in the practice of their profession: Proposal for a Constitutional Amendment (PEC) no. 15, of 2010, establishes the competence of federal judges to process and try crimes carried out against journalists when in the practice of their professional activities; Senate Bill No. 167 of 2010 alters the Penal Code, assuring priority of trials in cases related to the murder of journalists by virtue of their profession; Bill No. 1078/2011 contemplates the participation of the Federal Police in the investigation of crimes when there has been an omission or inefficiency in areas of competence in crimes against journalistic activities; WHEREAS Cases have increased of journalists attacked and murdered due to revelations made on their radio and TV programs, in blogs, or newspapers; WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that “freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly.” THE MID-YEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To solicit federalization of crimes committed against journalists in the practice of their profession to eliminate impunity; To solicit the Brazilian government to take action to restart investigations into the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira of Itabuna, thus complying with the agreement signed with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), so that the instigators of the crime may finally be punished; and to take into consideration denunciations made in December, 2011 by Mozart Brasil, convicted of the crime; To solicit that the Prosecutor’s Office receive structural and technical aid to deepen investigations into the murder of Wanderley dos Reis, so that the case will not remain unpunished, since the Civil Police closed the investigation without identifying guilty parties; To compliment the National Secretariat of Human Rights for the formation of the Working Group on Human Rights of Professional Journalists and TO SOLICIT the Federal Government to provide necessary guarantees so that this group may effectively contribute to the prevention of acts of aggression and murders and protect communication professionals, as well as monitoring the investigations and punishments of those behind the aggression and threats; To compliment the Federal Government for passing the Law on Access to Information and to solicit full implementation of the law; To solicit the adoption of rigorous criteria in granting the benefit of progression from a closed prison regimen to semi-open regimen to prevent escapes; To demand the immediate and efficient implementation of an integrated information system to capture escaped prisoners within Brazil and that the governments of Brazil and Paraguay intensify agreements to capture and extradite escaped prisoners in the two countries; To solicit broadening of witness protection programs and financial support for their structuring; To solicit state governments to improve the working conditions of investigators, police chiefs, prosecutors and judges, especially in interior areas of the country; To reiterate urgency in the identification and exemplary punishment of the masterminds of crimes, and not just the executors and intermediaries.