Impunity - Brazil

Midyear Meeting
April, 19-22 2022
WHEREAS, due to the resignation of the defense attorney for defendant Maurício Borges Sampaio three days before the Jury Session, the trial of the individuals charged with the crime against sports journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira - murdered on July 5, 2012, in Goiânia, State of Goiás - was postponed once again; that the Session, which was to be held on March 14, 2022, was moved to May 2, 2022; and that the defendants are Ademá Figuerêdo Aguiar Filho, Djalma Gomes da Silva, Urbano de Carvalho Malta, Marcus Vinícius Pereira Xavier and Maurício Borges Sampaio

WHEREAS, in March, the Court of Justice of Goiás rejected the habeas corpus request of the director of the Atlético de Goiás club, Maurício Sampaio - one of the defendants in the murder of Valério Luiz de Oliveira; that Sampaio also filed an appeal on suspicion of bias against the judge in the case, the Civil Police and the Public Prosecutor's Office - alleging bias; that this is not the first time he has tried to postpone his trial for the crime against the journalist

WHEREAS, the masterminds behind the crimes against Aristeu Guida da Silva - murdered on May 12, 1995 in the municipality of São Fidélis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro; Manoel Leal de Oliveira - murdered in January 1998 in Itabuna, Bahia; Ivan Rocha - disappeared in April 1991 in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia; Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva - murdered on August 29, 1995 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro; Edgar Lopes de Faria - murdered on October 29, 1997 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul; and José Carlos Mesquita - murdered on March 10, 1998 in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia, remain unpunished

WHEREAS, on March 31, the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders (CBDDH) reported the federal government's lack of transparency and openness regarding the makeup of the civil society members within the Deliberative Committee of the Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists

WHEREAS, Principle 4 of the Chapultepec Declaration states: "Murder, terrorism, kidnapping, coercion, intimidation, unjust imprisonment of journalists, physical destruction of the media, violence of any kind, and impunity for perpetrators severely curtail freedom of expression and of the press. These acts must be promptly investigated and severely punished."


To request that efforts be made to prevent the postponement of the trial of the individuals accused of the murder of journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira - so that those responsible for the crime are punished in an exemplary manner

To request the Brazilian government to commit itself to comply with the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in situations of threats, attacks and murders of journalists

To demand that the investigations into the cases of threats, attacks and murders of communication professionals lead to the identification and punishment not only of the perpetrators, but also, and especially, of the masterminds - in order to put an end to impunity and prevent the repetition of other crimes of this nature

To request the discussion and the passing of bills in the Federal House and Senate to broaden the penalties for crimes against communicators in the exercise of their profession - as well as the support of the Federal Police in investigations into cases involving local politicians and other authorities

To request the federal government to adopt measures to ensure the equitable and adequate presence of civil society in the selection process - and participation - within the Deliberative Committee of the Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists

To support the recommendations made by the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) in the 2021 Report on Monitoring Attacks on Journalists in Brazil, which suggests: that the government develop new policies to protect journalists and strengthen the Protection Program for Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists (PPDDH) - as well as to protect the work of local professionals who face threats and strong pressures from agents in positions of power.