The International Press Institute (IPI) today called on Brazilian authorities to fully investigate last Saturday’s killing of journalist Rodrigo Neto de Faria.
Neto de Faria, who worked for Radio Vanguarda and the daily Vale do Aço, was shot by unknown gunmen on Saturday, March 9 in front of his home in Ipatinga, a city in Minas Gerais state according to the Spanish news agency EFE.
Reports say that two unidentified assassins fired at Neto de Faria as they passed the house on a motorbike.
Neto de Feira, who leaves behind a wife and one child, had been investigating alleged connections between the police and organised crime in Minas Gerais. According to local media, the journalist had frequently received death threats prior to the attack.
In a Twitter posting, Durval Angelo, chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Minas Gerais state legislature, condemned Neto de Faria’s death, saying that it “had characteristics of an execution, a crime against life and an attack on human rights.”
Neto de Faria is the third journalist killed in Brazil this year, and the second in the past two weeks. On Feb. 22, Mafaldo Bezerra Gois, a radio journalist known for his outspoken reports on organised crime, was shot dead in Ceará state.
“When will Brazilian authorities finally take concrete action to stem this crisis? Journalists are being killed in Brazil in shocking numbers and still nothing has been done” IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said. “Three Brazilian journalists this year have been deliberately targeted and executed for their work. These are crimes that affect all Brazilians, because wherever the press is unable to inform citizens on matters of public interest, democracy is threatened.”
On Feb. 13, the one-year anniversary of the murder of journalist Paulo Rocaro in Mato Grosso do Sul state, IPI released a special report detailing the depth of impunity in Brazil and calling on Brazil’s Congress to pass legislation that would allow federal authorities to investigate crimes against journalists. That responsibility lies with state officials, who have freqently proven themselves unable or unwilling to do so.