20 May 2015

IAPA condemns latest murder in Brazil

MIAMI, Florida (May 20, 2015)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder in Brazil of journalist Evany José Metzker, and reiterated its concern with the numerous unpunished crimes in the South American country. Metzker went missing on May 13, and his decapitated body, with the hands tied, was found five days later in the rural area of Padre Paraíso, Minas Gerais state.  The journalist, 67, owned the blog “Coruja do Vale” (Night Owl of the Valley) where he published the results of his investigations into corruption, drug trafficking and child prostitution, among other critical problems in the state’s Jequitinhonha Valley region. IAPA President Gustavo Mohme expressed his sympathy to the Metzker’s family and colleagues, and urged the authorities “to act urgently to determine the reasons for the crime and punish those responsible, so that it does not remain unpunished.” Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, also mentioned the numerous  murders of journalists in Brazil that have not been solved, and warned that the “trivialization of the violence through lack of punishment appears to stimulate even more the constant attacks on members of the press in Brazil.” Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, “It is a matter of concern that the attacks and threats continue to occur while the steps announced by the Brazilian government to prevent the crimes and combat impunity are yet to be taken.”  Among others, he mentioned the legislative bill to place under federal jurisdiction the investigation of murders and the creation of a commission to concentrate on violence against journalists. The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.