jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2015

IAPA protests murder of journalist in Brazil, calls for prompt investigation

MIAMI, Florida (November 12, 2015)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today protested the murder of journalist Israel Gonçalves Silva, the fourth to have been committed in Brazil this year, and urged the authorities to act urgently to determine the motives and punish those responsible.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, offered condolences to the family and colleagues of the journalist, buried yesterday amid calls for justice. "We urge the state authorities to investigate exhaustively, solve the crime and punish the masterminds and perpetrators," he said.

Silva, 27, was a reporter with Radio Comunitaria Itaenga FM community radio station. He was killed on the morning of Tuesday, November 9 in the town of Lagoa de Itaenga in the Mata Zone of Pernambuco state in northeastern Brazil. According to local media the crime was believed to have been committed by two men on a motorcycle who went up to Silva outside a shop in the center of the town and shot him several times.

He died on the spot. Just minutes earlier he had left his children at a school a few yards from the scene of the murder.

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, "We consider the most effective means to ensure the protection of journalists is the investigation and solving of each murder, and for that reason we are joining the demand for justice in this and other crimes that remain unpunished."

His colleagues feel that Silva took a critical stance regarding the town's problems concerning public safety and politics. He had received death threats related to what he had reported on in broadcasts some weeks ago. In his program, in the open microphone format, he gave space to local people to voice their complaints directly to the authorities.

Silva was also correspondent of the Web site A Voz da Vitória and a municipal guard.

At least four people, among them two teenagers, have been detained and their possible link to the murder is under investigation.

This year, according to IAPA records, there have also been murdered in Brazil journalists Gleydson Carvalho, on August 6; Djalma Santos da Conceição, on May 22, and Evany José Metzker, in Minas Gerais on May 13.

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