Resolution to the Midyear Meeting

Panama, Panama

March 6 - 9, 2015

WHEREAS, The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) approved Report on Admissibility no. 74/14, Petition 1294-5, in reference to Mário de Almeida Coelho Filho, a reporter and photographer, and managing director of the newspaper A Verdade, who was murdered on August 16, 2001 in Magé, in Rio de Janeiro;

WHEREAS, the Delegation on Homicides of Baixada Fluminense is investigating the murder of Pedro Palma;

WHEREAS, the international Office of the Secretariat of Human Rights (SDH) of the President of the Republic reported having sent IAPA documents and reports to the General Prosecutor's Office of the State of Bahia and to the Attorney-General's Office of the Union in reference to the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira, which occurred on January 14, 1998 in Itabuna, Bahia, to provide the basis for an analysis of the re-opening of the case for the purpose of identifying and punishing the instigators of the crime; the re-opening of the case for punishment of the masterminds is contemplated in the amicable agreement made between the Brazilian government and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights; by February 24, 2015 the SDH had not received an answer; Mozart Brasil, the only person convicted of the crime, gave information about the crime to the IAPA, which was sent to the SDH in February, 2012, and in this space of time there have been changes in the personnel and counsel of the SDH;

WHEREAS, the Observatory of Violence against Communicators has not yet begun to function, the creation of which was suggested in March, 2014 by the Working Group (WG) on the Human Rights of Communication Professionals of Brazil, linked to the Secretariat of Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic; it is still necessary to publish the Inter-ministerial Order for the creation of the Observatory, the text of which is undergoing final analysis;

WHEREAS, Bill of Law no. 1078/2011 was shelved, which deals with the participation of the Federal Police in the investigation of crimes in which there has been an omission or inefficiency of competent authorities, and in crimes against activities in journalism; the shelving occurred because the bill's author, Federal Representative Protógenes Pinheiro de Queiroz, was not reelected and has left the Chamber of Representatives; the shelving of proposals of representatives who leave the federal legislature is automatic; Federal Representative Vicente Paulo da Silva, known as Vicentinho, has filed a proposal similar to the other bill, so that the matter may be taken up by the Chamber of Representatives;

WHEREAS, at the end of the legislative session a bill to amend the constitution (PEC) no. 15 of 2010, was also shelved; it would have established the competency of federal judges to handle and decide cases of crimes against journalists while conducting their professional activities; and also Bill of Law no. 167, of 2010, which alters the Penal Code, assuring priority of judgment in cases related to the murder of journalists due to their profession; as of February 24, 2015 no resubmission has been requested;

WHEREAS, the murder of Jeolino Xavier Lopes on February 27, 2014 in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia has still not been solved; Lopes was the owner of Blog N3, a former city councilman and radio broadcaster, a pre-candidate for Federal Representative in the 2014 elections; the motive of the crime has not been confirmed;

WHEREAS, the case has not been solved of the disappearance of radio broadcaster Ivan Rocha on April 22, 1991, also in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia; he had promised on his program "The Voice of Ivan Rocha" on Alvorada AM radio, to deliver a dossier about organized crime to appeals court Judge Mário Albiani, who was to visit the city the next day;

WHEREAS, Caio Silva de Souza and Fábio Raposo Barbosa, accused of having set off the rocket that hit and caused the death of filmmaker Santiago Ilídio de Andrade during a popular demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, on February 6, 2014, had their request for habeas corpus denied by the Federal Supreme Court; they are awaiting trial at a date not yet set;

WHEREAS, Judge João Dantas Carvalho, of the Second Court of Limoeiro do Norte, decided not to indict former mayor Arivan Lucena, accused of the murder of radio broadcaster Nicanor Linares Batista on June 30, 2003 in Limoeiro do Norte, Ceará; the Public Prosecutor's Office appealed the decision;

WHEREAS, the hearing of witnesses continues in relation to criminal proceedings no. 517 in the Superior Court of Justice to investigate the participation of federal appeals judge, José Maria de Oliveira Lucena, of the Fifth Regional Federal Court, in the murder of radio broadcaster Nicanor Linhares Batista;

WHEREAS, the former mayor of Eunápolis, Paulo Ernesto Ribeiro da Silva, known as Paulo Dapé, and former city hall employees Maria José Ferreira Souza, Waldemir Batista de Oliveira and Antônio Oliveira Santos should go before a jury to be tried for the murder of radio broadcaster Ronaldo Santana de Araújo on October 9, 1997 in Eunápolis, Bahia; the judge of the First Criminal Court of the District of Eunápolis, Otaviano Andrade de Souza, asked that the trial be included on the docket of the Jury Court in March, 2015; the only person convicted so far for the crime was gunman Paulo Sérgio de Lima, whose trial took place in 2002;

WHEREAS, the inquiry into the murder of blogger Mario Randolfo Marques Lopes and his girlfriend, Maria Aparecida Guimarães on February 9, 2012 in Barra do Piraí, Rio de Janeiro, is being kept confidential by the Second Criminal Court of Piraí;

WHEREAS, of the eleven persons accused of the murder of journalist Décio Sá, on April 23, 2012 in São Luís, Maranhão, eight are awaiting decision on appeals of their indictments; Jhonathan Silva, gunman, and Marcos Bruno Silva, driver of the motorcycle that helped Silva get away, have been convicted; José de Alencar Miranda Carvalho is under house arrest due to health problems;

WHEREAS, in August, 2014 former plainclothes officer Lúcio Lírio Leal was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment in a closed prison for the murder of journalist Rodrigo Neto de Faria on March 8, 2013 in the city of Ipatinga, in Minas Gerais state; the Court of Justice denied the appeal of the indictment of Alessandro Neves Augusto, the so-called Pitote, also accused of the death of Faria and, therefore, as soon as the records are sent to the Tenth Prosecutor of Justice of Ipatinga, Pitote should go to trial; the Prosecutor's Office is still awaiting the results of investigations by the Department of Homicide and Protection of Persons (DHPP) to identify others involved in the crime;

WHEREAS, the date has still not been set for the trial of Alessandro Neves Augusto, Pitote, for the murder of photo reporter Walgney Assis Carvalho on April 14, 2013, in the city of Colonel Fabriciano, Minas Gerais; he has appealed the indictment;

WHEREAS, police chief Alysson Barbosa took charge of the police of Tabatinga in January, 2015, and is going to take up investigations into the murder of radio broadcaster Valderlei Canuto Leandro on September 1, 2011 in Tabatinga, Amazonas; the prior police chief had sent a request to the Prosecutor's Office to take the deposition of a suspect of the crime who is imprisoned in Leticia, Colombia; the border region facilitates the flight of criminals;

WHEREAS, four persons accused of the murder of radio broadcaster Francisco Gomes de Medeiros, so-called F. Gomes, on October 18, 2010 in Caicó, Rio Grande do Norte, have been indicted, but they appealed the decision and the appeal has not yet been heard; in April, 2014 Lailson Lopes was sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment in a closed prison, and in August, 2013 João Francisco dos Santos was sentenced to 27 years imprisonment in a closed prison for the same crime;

WHEREAS, on January 5, 2015 businessman Maurício Sampaio was elected president of the Atlético Clube Goianense, the soccer team of Goiânia, for the biennium 2015-2016; Sampaio is accused of being the mastermind of the murder of radio sportscaster Valério Luiz de Oliveira on July 5, 2012, in front of the station Rádio Jornal 820 AM, in the Setor Serrinha neighborhood in Goiás, state of Goiânia [sic: Goiânia, state of Goiás]; the election of Sampaio occurred while he was out on bail awaiting trial; the Civil Police inquiry further indicated the participation of Urbano de Carvalho Malta, Marcus Vinícius Pereira Xavier, Ademá Figueredo and Djalma da Silva;

WHEREAS, those responsible for the murders of Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva on August 29, 1995 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro; Edgar Lopes de Faria on October 29, 1997 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, and José Carlos Mesquita, on March 10, 1998 in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia,; as well as for the murder of Luiz Otávio Monteiro on December 29, 1988 in Manaus, Amazonas, remain unpunished;

WHEREAS, the murderer of Wanderley do Reis has not been punished; the crime occurred on October 16, 2010 in Ibitinga, São Paulo, and the case has been closed; moreover, the death of journalist Nivanildo Barbosa Lima has not been solved; his body was found in the Paulo Afonso, Bahia dam on July 22, 1995;

WHEREAS, Principle 4 of the Declaration o 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";


To solicit urgent compliance with the agreement signed with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that contemplates re-opening of investigations into the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira of Itabuna, to identify and punish the instigators of the crime; to request special attention for the case of Mário de Almeida Coelho Filho, accepted by the IACHR;

To ensure that the Observatory of Violence against Communicators actually goes into operation to follow up not only on occurrences, but also the solving of cases, as suggested by the Working Group on Communication on Human Rights of Communications Professionals of Brazil;

To request that the suggestion be put into practice as made by the Working Group on Communication that the Ministry of Justice direct public safety forces to refrain from confiscating the work equipment and media memory cards of communicators during coverage;

To solicit that discussions be re-opened on the federalization of investigations into crimes committed against journalists while in the exercise of their profession;

To request a broadening and strengthening of Witness Protection Program and the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights;

To request to those responsible for investigations into the murders of communicators in the exercise of their profession not limit themselves to identifying and punishing intermediates and gunmen, but rather the masterminds of the crimes; and that material conditions and necessary support be made available so that police chiefs, expert investigators, inspectors, and prosecutors can solve pending cases of communicators murdered and attacked, thus putting an end to impunity.