Brazilian neighbourhood journalist’s murder must be fully investigated, RSF says
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities in Fortaleza, the capital of northeastern Brazil’s Ceará state, to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into a neighbourhood news website editor’s murder in order to identify those responsible.
Pirambu News founder and owner Givanildo Oliveira was murdered on the night of 7 February in the Fortaleza neighbourhood of Pirambu by a man who pushed him to the ground from behind and shot him three times, leaving him dead in the middle of the street.
In his coverage of local news including crime and police operations, Oliveira often condemned acts of violence by organised crime groups. A few hours before his murder, he posted an article about the previous day’s arrest of a suspect in a double murder in Pirambu.
RSF has learned that he had been subjected to harassment and intimidation in the past with the aim of getting him to take down certain articles posted on the site. Pirambu is renowned for being the scene of acts of violence by the city's criminal gangs.
“The signs pointing to a direct relationship between Givanildo Oliveira’s journalism and his murder must be taken seriously and prioritised by those in charge of the investigation,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the director of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “The local authorities must carry out an exhaustive and fully transparent investigation that identifies the perpetrators and instigators of this unjustifiable murder.”
A few hours after Oliveira was gunned down, Ceará governor Camilo Santana issued a series of tweets referring to his murder and other recent violence in Fortaleza, and to the need for the security forces to quickly identify and arrest those responsible. RSF plans to follow the investigation in order to see if justice is rendered to Oliveira’s family and colleagues.
Oliveira is the first journalist to be murdered in Brazil in 2022. According to the data gathered by RSF, at least 30 other journalists have been murdered in Brazil in the past decade.
Brazil is ranked 111th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2021 World Press Freedom Index.