IAPA condemns murder of a journalist in Brazil, calls for prompt investigation

Jairo Sousa was killed on June 21.

MIAMI, Florida (June 25, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder of Brazilian journalist Jairo Sousa in Pará state and urged the authorities to investigate fully and diligently to bring those responsible to justice.

Sousa, a 43-year-old radio reporter, was killed on June 21 outside the building housing the radio station Perla FM in the town of Bragança, where he had arrived early in the morning to host from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. his program "The Perla Show." A man riding with another on a motorcycle shot him several times. He died at a local hospital.

Gustavo Mohme, IAPA president and editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, lamented Sousa's death and said that "the authorities have the obligation to investigate promptly so as to learn the motives, without discarding any theory, in order to identify the perpetrators and masterminds of the murder."

According to local media Sousa often used to report in a critical manner on his radio program matters of pubic safety and local political topics. He had already been the victim of two attempts on his life and one physical attack. He confessed to friends that he had been under threat and some months ago, he was seen wearing a bulletproof vest.

Roberto Rock, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, declared that "we cannot forget that while the murder of a journalist fractures the practice of press freedom, it turns into an even more despicable affront when it goes unpunished."

Sousa's murder was added to those this year in Brazil of Jefferson Pureza Lopes in Goiás on January 17 and of Ueliton Bayer Brizon in Rondonia on January 16.

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 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.