The killings of two Brazilian journalists come just weeks after two others were killed, raising fears that the South American country is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to work in media.
Divino Aparecido Calvalho, also known as Calvalho Júnior, was ambushed around 5 am on March 28 in Foz do Iguaçu as he arrived at Radio Cultura AM, where he worked as artistic director, . He was said to have hosted a variety program that morning called Show da Cultura, local reports said.
Alarms were raised earlier when the owner of a weekly newspaper, Onei de Moura was shot dead on March 24 in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Helena, and the assailant was released after confessing his crime.
The International Press Institute said the killings came just as the organisation released a report warning of increased violence towards journalists.
"We are seeing a deadly pattern of media-directed violence emerging in Brazil," said IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills. "While those working in the country’s largest cities enjoy a relatively high degree of press freedom, critical journalists in Brazil’s interior and border regions are being silenced with impunity – and at an increasingly alarming rate”.
Moura, the 42-year-old co-owner of the weekly Costa Oeste, was shot three times in the chest in the night of March 24 shortly after he had an altercation with his assailant in a nearby bar.
The daily Novo Tiempo (New Time) said Moura was head of the opposition Social Democratic PSDB party in Santa Helena and was a former senior municipal official.
Novo Tiempo director Sergio Jonikaites, who also chairs the Association of Parana state newspapers and magazines, described the crime as a threat to freedom of expression.
"It is not an isolated case, many owners of newspapers and magazines are being threatened, many journalists are being intimidated," he said.
Two Brazilian journalists who criticised local authorities were killed earlier this year, one in the central state of Mato Grosso do Sul and the other in Rio de Janeiro state.
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights condemned the two killings and called on the Brazilian government to speed up the investigation into the cases.
Source: AFP, reports