Impunity Brazil


Resolution of the 73rd General Assembly

Salt Lake City, Utah

October 27-30


WHEREAS only two of five defendants were convicted in the killing of journalist Décio Sá on April 23,2012, in Maranhão

WHEREAS the defendants in the killing of sports radio commentator Valério Luiz de Oliveira in the state of Goiás on July 5, 2012, are awaiting a ruling on their appeal to the Supreme Court before they are tried before a jury; the defendants in this case are Maurício Sampaio, Urbano de Carvalho Malta, Marcus Vinícius Pereira Xavier, Ademá Figueredo, and Djalma da Silva

WHEREAS the killings 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; José Carlos Mesquita on March 10, 1998, in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia; and Luiz Otávio Monteiro on December 29, 1988, in Manaus, Amazonas, continue to go unpunished

WHEREAS the trial of Vilmar Acosta Marques, aka Neneco, the former mayor of Ypejhú, Paraguay, who is charged with ordering the killings of journalist Pablo Medina and Antonia Almada on October 15, 2014, in Villa Ygatimí, Paraguay, on the border with the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, was postponed from October 16 to October 23, 2017; Flavio Acosta Riveros, Neneco's nephew and one of the alleged gunmen who killed Pablo Medina, is in custody in Brazil while the Paraguayan authorities await his extradition; Wilson Acosta Marques, Neneco's brother who allegedly fired the shots, remains at large; the killing was allegedly in retaliation for Medina's reporting on links between the then-mayor and drug trafficking

WHEREAS media activists, journalists, photographers, community journalists, journalists outside major cities, radio personalities, and bloggers have endured threats, acts of intimidation, censorship attempts, and assaults from authorities, politicians, demonstrators, criminals, military police, and forces of repression

WHEREAS legislative bills in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies to establish federal jurisdiction over crimes against journalists and tougher penalties for killing journalists are still awaiting evaluation or a vote; these bills include Senate Bill 329/2016, authored by Senator Acir Gurgacz, which would classify it as a heinous crime to kill a journalist for reasons related to his or her work; Senator Hélio José was designated the rapporteur for this bill, which is now before the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee; Bill 7107/2014, authored by Domingos Sávio in the Chamber of Deputies, which would classify as heinous any crime committed against the life, safety and physical integrity of a journalist or media professional in the course of his or her work, has been before the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee of the Chamber of Deputies since March 12, 2015, with legislator Ronaldo Fonseca designated as rapporteur; and Bill 191/2015, authored by Vicentinho in the Chamber of Deputies, would amend Law 10446 of May 8, 2002, to have the Federal Police get involved in the event of failure or ineffectiveness of the relevant authorities in investigating crimes against journalism; this bill is now before the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, awaiting designation of the rapporteur.

WHEREAS Senate Bill 743/2011, authored by Senator Marcelo Crivella, with Senator Paulo Paim as rapporteur, has been awaiting a vote since 2015; Senate Bill 699/2011, authored by former senator Vital do Rêgo, is being analyzed by its rapporteur, Senator Simone Tebet; Senate Bill 2658/2011, authored by Lindomar Garçon in the Chamber of Deputies, is awaiting the rapporteur's decision in the Public Safety and Anti-Organized Crime Committee; all of these proposed laws deal with the use of bulletproof vests and other personal protective equipment by journalists working in situations that entail risks

WHEREAS the amicable settlement signed by the Brazilian government with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with regard to the killing of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira on January 14, 1998, in Itabuna, Bahia, which called for the case to be reopened for the purpose of identifying and punishing those who ordered the killing, has not yet been fulfilled

WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: "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 request that the gunmen, intermediaries, and masterminds behind the killings of journalists be punished

To demand protection for the right of journalists, including journalists outside major cities, community journalists, bloggers, and media activists, to do their work in safe conditions, free of attacks of any kind from civil or military police or from security or repressive forces

To request that funding be ensured for maintenance of the protection programs for witnesses and human rights advocates, including journalists who are at risk, and that funding and structures be ensured to enable police chiefs, detectives, and officers to complete their investigations and arrest those accused of crimes against journalists

To request that all support to be brought to bear for passage of a law establishing federal jurisdiction over cases involving the killing of journalists in the course of their work in the event of failure or ineffectiveness of the relevant authorities, or in the event that witnesses or local authorities are subjected to coercion

To demand fulfillment of the amicable settlement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for punishment of the mastermind(s) behind the 1998 killing of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira in Itabuna, Bahia, so that this may be considered an exemplary case in the fight against impunity and against attacks on freedom of expression and freedom of communication.