The journalist Anderson Leandro da Silva was the victim of a crime of passion, the Curitiba police said yesterday after finding Silva’s body and arresting his alleged murderer, who showed them where he left it.
The police said that, after learning that Silva had been having a relationship with his wife, the suspect called him and, passing himself off as a client, lured him to a location in Quatro Barras, on the outskirts Curitiba, in order to kill him.
17.10.12 - Authorities pressed to find out what happened to missing journalist
Reporters Without Borders adds its voice to those of all the journalists, media representatives, journalists’ organisations, civil society groups and labour unions that will gather tomorrow in Curitiba, in the southern state of Paraná, to demand to know the fate of Anderson Leandro da Silva, a Curitiba-based independent journalist and filmmaker who has been missing for the past week.
The media freedom organization takes note of the solemn undertaking that the Paraná state prosecutor’s office has given to investigate Silva’s extremely disturbing disappearance. Aged 38, Silva works with grass-roots movements. He was last seen in Curitiba on 10 October.
"You, the family, friends and colleagues of Anderson Leandro da Silva, can count on our support," Reporters Without Borders said in a message to the organizers of tomorrow’s demonstration, entitled "Where is Anderson Leandro?"
"All those who defend freedom of information must take up your call. Too many Brazilian journalists and bloggers have been tragically struck down in recent times. Five journalists have been murdered since the start of the year. The authorities must keep their promises to combat impunity.
"When a journalist disappears in this part of the world, many people are reminded of the not-so-distant time when freedom of information was permanently violated by censorship and repression. You are there to remind us that now, under democracy, this freedom still needs to be won through people such as Anderson Leandro."
Reporters Without Borders shares the fears of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abaraji) and the Paraná Union of Professional Journalists (Sindjor-PR) that Silva is the victim of a "politically-motivated abduction." According to Sindjor, threats have been received by journalists who have commented on his disappearance.
Owner of the Quem TV production company and closely involved with grass-roots labour and civil society groups, Silva has often witnessed police abuses. While covering clashes between police and homeless families on industrial wasteland in 2008, he filmed military police firing on journalists and was hit in the face by a rubber bullet. The case incident was widely reported and commented, and Silva received threats thought to have come from the police.
According to his family, Silva left the Quem TV office in the early afternoon of 10 October in order to go to Quatro Barras in the Curitiba metropolitan region. His disappearance was reported the next day. Police investigators say no money has been withdrawn from his bank account and his car has not yet been found.