Impunity in Brazil

74th General Assembly
Oct 19 to 22
Salta, Argentina


CONSIDERING that the IAPA Impunity Project has followed, investigated and still demands punishment for the murders of: the radio reporter, blogger, former commissioner and current candidate for federal representative Jeolino Xavier Lopes, aka "Jel Lopes", who was murdered on February 27th, 2014, in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia; Ivan Rocha, radio host at Rádio Alvorada AM, in Teixeira de Freitas, who disappeared on April 22nd, 1991, and whose disappearance was never investigated; Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, which occurred on August 29th, 1995, in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro; Edgar Lopes de Faria, occurred on October 29th, 1997, in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, and José Carlos Mesquita, occurred on March 1oth, 1998, in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia; as well as the murder of Luiz Otávio Monteiro, occurred on December 20th, 1988, in Manaus, Amazonas

CONSIDERING that the murder of journalist Manuel Leal de Oliveira completed 20 years on January 14th, 2018, in Itabuna, Bahia, without the crime being fully investigated, whereas the head of the conspiracy has never been identified; that Mozart Brasil was sentenced to 18 years in prison for participating in the murder, and that another accused, Marcone Sarmento, was acquitted; and that a friendly settlement was reached between the Brazilian government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) providing for the reopening of the case to punish all parties involved

CONSIDERING that the case of the journalist Aristeu Guida da Silva, from the newspaper Gazeta de São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro, shot dead on May 12th, 1995, remains unpunished and was accepted by the IACHR; that, at a meeting within 39th ordinary session of the IACHR, held on February 26th, 2018, the Brazilian State has proposed that a publication be made do provide information on the inter-American parameters to protect journalists, as recommended by the IACHR and that, as a tribute to the victim, this booklet should be named "Aristeu Guida"

CONSIDERING that in August 2018, the Federal Prosecution Office in São Paulo started an investigation on the criminal liability of agents of the military dictatorship for the death of journalist Vladimir Herzog, arrested and tortured in 1975

CONSIDERING that, from May 10th, 2018 until October 4th, 2018, a survey made by the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji) reported 70 cases of harassment in digital media and 59 physical attacks against journalists in professional activities related to the general elections scheduled for October 7th, 2018

CONSIDERING that Regulation No. 300/2018, published in the Official Federal Gazette on September 4th, 2018, included in the Protection Program of Human Rights Advocates (PPDDH) communicators and environmentalists threatened because of their work; that such protection can be extended to include spouses and relatives living with them; that the request to join the PPDDH can be done before the Deliberative Council directly by the individual being threatened, by an organization of the civil society, or by any other person or public entity

CONSIDERING that there are bills not yet voted by the Senate and House of Representatives to federalize crimes against journalists and increase penalties for the murderers; among them, a bill providing that the Changing Jurisdiction Event enabled by Constitutional Amendment 45/2004, and related to the federalization of crimes, can also be invoked by representatives of these entities, and not only by the Attorney General of the Republic

CONSIDERING that the Oversight of Violence against Communicators, proposed since 2013/2014, has not yet been implemented; that the Communication Taskforce participating in these discussions, constituted under Article 19 by the Union of Journalists of São Paulo, the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI), the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ) and Reporters Without Borders, proposed the development of a model of Standard Operational Plan on police activities in cases of violence against journalists

CONSIDERING that ABRAJI is implementing the "Tim Lopes Project", a tribute to the reporter Tim Lopes, who was assassinated in 2002, when investigating for a news article in Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro; and that, following the example set by IAPA's Fast Response Unit/Impunity Project, whenever a communicator is murdered while exercising his professional capacity, reporters will visit the crime location to identify root causes and demand actions from the authorities to prevent that such murders remain unpunished

CONSIDERING that Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "the murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, and unjust imprisonment of journalists, the material destruction of means of communication, any type of violence and impunity for perpetrators severely affect the freedom of the press and expression. Such acts must be promptly investigated and severely punished".


To request the investigation and punishment of anyone involved in the murders of journalists while in the exercise of their profession who remain without solution in Brazil, not only of the intermediaries, but also of those who hired the killing

To demand compliance with the friendly settlement agreement reached with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the murder of journalist Manuel Leal de Oliveira, from Itabuna, Bahia, which calls for reopening the case for the identification and punishment of the person who hired the killing; as well as the case of journalist Aristeu Guida da Silva, who was assassinated in São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro

To request support to have a trial by jury of those accused of murdering the sports commentator Valério Luiz de Oliveira

To request a commitment to approve a law to federalize crimes against journalists murdered while in the exercise of their profession to avoid pressures on witnesses and local authorities, and in cases of omission or inefficiency by the competent authorities

To request urgent implementation of the Oversight of Violence against Communicators agency for monitoring, prevention and actions to avoid impunity for the aggressors

To ensure participation of the civil society and human rights organizations in the implementation of the Oversight of Violence against Communicators and the National Protection Program of Human Rights Advocates

To request the allocation of financial resources and the support for the maintenance and expansion of Witness Protection Programs and Protection Programs of Human Rights Advocates in all States and the federal government

To request support for the elaboration of a Standard Operational Plan for police actions in cases of violence against journalists, and to ensure civil society participation in this process.