Reporters Without Borders

Little progress in investigation into fatal shooting of journalist in northeast

Little progress in investigation into fatal shooting of journalist in northeast

Published on Friday 22 April 2011.
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Reporters Without Borders urges police investigating the 9 April murder of radio and TV broadcaster Luciano Leitão Pedrosa in Vitória de Santo Antão (in the northeastern state of Pernambuco) not to rule out the possibility that it was connected to his work as a journalist. The organization also calls on the police to keep the public informed about their investigation, which appears to have made little progress.

Pedrosa was the second journalist to be the victim of a shooting in Brazil this year. The first was the blogger Ricardo Gama, who miraculously survived being shot three times in Rio de Janeiro on 23 March.

A reporter for Radio Metropolitana FM and the host of the programme “Ação e Cidadania” (Action and Citizenship) on TV Vitória, Pedrosa was known for being critical of both the municipal authorities and criminal groups in his city. He was shot in the head by a man who followed him into a restaurant. He had often been threatened and had mentioned this on the air but, as he never filed a formal complaint, the police had not investigated the threats. On 13 April, the police arrested a motorcycle taxi driver suspected of driving the motorcycle that the hitman used as his get-away vehicle. However, the arrest has not so far shed any light on the murder motive.

The Rio de Janeiro police also seem to have made no progress with their investigation into the shooting attack on Gama, in which Reporters Without Borders had urged them to actively consider possibility that it was a reprisal for his blogging. Gama has said the police did not even ask him to make a statement about the shooting, which shows their lack of interest in cases involving journalists

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