Impunity Brazil


Resolution presented to the IAPA Mid-year Meeting 2020


WHEREAS Brazilian journalist Lourenço Veras, known as Léo Veras, was shot and killed on February 12 in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, located on the Paraguay-Brazil border, and he had denounced on the Web site Parã News actions of drug trafficking on the border, 10 persons were arrested for the crime

WHEREAS the judges of the 1st Panel of the Penal Court of the Bahía Justice Tribunal accepted on February 11 the appeal motion of the Attorney General's Office, setting the extension of 13 years imprisonment, under closed initial regime, of the sentencing of Marcone Sarmento, found guilty of the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira on January 14, 1998 in Itabuna, Bahía, which corresponds to the Attorney General's Office to call for the arrest of Sarmento in order to carry out the sentence, given that he responded to the process being free

WHEREAS identified were the masterminds of the murders of Aristeu Guida da Silva, which took place in the municipality of São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro state, in May 1995, and of Manoel Leal de Oliveira, committed on January 14,1998 in Itabuna, Bahía, both cases were reported to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which called for the reopening of the proceedings in order to punish those involved in the crime

WHEREAS there continue unpunished the murders of radio speakers, bloggers, communicators and journalists investigated by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in the Impunity Project, among them those of Ivan Rocha, presenter of Radio Alvorada AM of Teixeira de Freitas, Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, committed 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, Rondonia

WHEREAS Judge Lourival Machado da Costa scheduled for June 23 the trial of the five accused in the death of speaker Valério Luiz, murdered in 2012 when he was leaving the station where he worked in Goiania, Golás state, who were denounced: Urbano de Carvalho Malta, Marcus Vinicius Pereira Xavier, Ademá Figueredo Aguiar Filho, Djalma Gomes da Silva and the former president of Atlético Goianiense, Mauricio Borges Carvalho, this latter named as mastermind of the crime

WHEREAS lawyer Alexandra Oliveira Menezes, together with the office of criminologist Eduardo Mayr, revealed to the press on January 22 that she would seek a re-examination of the bone found in an underground cemetery and identified as belonging to Tim Lopes of TV Globo, murdered in June 2002 in Rio de Janeiro; the lawyer argued that Elias Maluco, convicted of ordering the murder, would be innocent and that the proceedings could be repealed; in October 2019 the STF (Federal Supreme Tribunal) repealed a judicial order that would set him free

WHEREAS there exist cases of aggression and murder of journalists, some of which run the risk of remaining unpunished due to the time passed and the measures that facilitate the annulment of evidence or the postponement of justice

WHEREAS the "Cartilha Aristeu Guida da Silva – International rules for the protection of human rights of journalists and other communicators" was relaunched by the federal government amid aggressions and intimidations promoted by the President of the Republic and other members of government against communications professionals, which reinforces the need to reiterate compliance with the accords and treaties signed by Brazil anticipated in this document

WHEREAS there has not been carried out Recommendation No. 07 of June 13, 2019 of the Permanent Commission on the Right to Communication and Freedom of Expression, linked to the National Human Rights Council, which establishes that the treatment of communicators on the part of public agents should follow "guidelines established in international and national standards that have as an objective guaranteeing respect for the professional exercise, freedom of expression, press freedom and the right to information"

WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes "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"

The IAPA Midyear Meeting resolves

to request the identification and the exemplary punishment of those responsible for aggressions on and threats to communicators in the exercise of their profession, not only of the perpetrators but also the masterminds

to ask the responsible authorities to reopen the cases of Manoel Leal de Oliveira and Aristeu Guida da Silva with the objective of punishing the masterminds of the crimes

to call for support for the formation of the jury that will judge those accused of the murder of journalist Valério Luiz, so that the trial will not be further postponed

to present to society the "Cartilha Aristeu Guida da Silva – International rules for the protection of human rights of journalists and other communicators," not only disseminating it in universities but also through practical measures in order to prevent aggression and punish those attacking freedom of expression and of communication

to adapt the Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists to the needs of the communicators, assigning a sufficient budget for it to be carried out

to request the reinforcement of the Program of Protection of Witnesses, with the assignment of funds for its maintenance and expansion, if necessary, thus encouraging the solving of old and unpunished cases

to request compliance with Recommendation No. 07 of June 13, 2019 of the National Human Rights Council, which foresees the adoption of a public discourse that would contribute to preventing violence against communicators and creating a favorable setting for the free practice of journalism and freedom of expression and, among other things, condemn publicly, unequivocally and systematically, any form of violence and attack upon communicators, as well as warn the competent authorities to act with due diligence and speed in the investigation of events and punish those responsible for them.