IAPA condemns murder of journalist in Brazil, calls for investigation, justice

17 members of the press killed so far this year in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, El Salvador, United States. Picture by Nildo Rodrigues, O Popular de Goiás.

MIAMI, Florida (July 27, 2016)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the murder of Brazilian journalist João Miranda do Carmo and called on the authorities to carry out an in-depth investigation to learn the motive, identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

Miranda do Carmo, 54, was killed on Sunday (July 24) evening at his house in the town of Santo Antônio do Descoberto in Goiás state. Unidentified persons traveling in a car stopped and knocked on the front door of his home. When he opened the door they shot him seven times.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, offered his condolences and urged the corresponding authorities to "investigate in a speedy manner."

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that "the urgent investigation and action to identify those behind the attack and the ones that carried it out are the best means of preventing impunity and lack of justice in such cases of violence."

Miranda do Carmo was the owner and editor of the online newspaper SAD Sem Censura, http://www.sadsemcensura.com/, in which he published news of police actions, violence, political corruption and municipal topics and problems. He had received threats for his coverage. He was also a Brazil Communist Party pre-candidate for the city council.

His stepson told local media that his father had received numerous death threats, "always due to his profession." For its part the Goiás Military Police said that early this year Mirando do Carmo's vehicle had been set on fire in an apparent warning to stop "dealing with certain topics."

In the report on Brazil presented at its Midyear Meeting in April this year the IAPA declared that "freedom of expression has continued to experience troubling times during this latest period, especially with regard to killings and assaults."

Also murdered in Brazil this year were João Valdecir de Borba, host at Radio Difusora AM radio in the town of São Jorge do Oeste, Paraná, on March 10, and Manoel Messias Pereira, owner of the online news portal www.sediverte.com.br in Grajaú city, Maranhão, on April 9.

Another 14 members of the press have been killed in the Americas so far this year. Nine were in Mexico (Salvador Olmos García, Zamira Esther Bautista, Elidio Ramos Zárate, Manuel Torres, Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, Moisés Dagdug Lutzow, Anabel Flores Salazar, Reinel Martínez Cerqueda and Marcos Hernández Bautista), two in Guatemala (Álvaro Alfredo Aceituno López and Mario Roberto Salazar Barahona) and one each in Venezuela (Ricardo Durán), El Salvador (Nicolás Humberto García) and United States (Jay Torres).

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.