The founder and owner of Jornal O Maricá, an online newspaper covering local news and politics, Giorno was gunned down outside his home on the night of 25 May. He was also involved in politics and had recently said he wanted to be the Avante party candidate for mayor in Maricá’s 2020 municipal election.
The local police have described his death as a premeditated “ambush” and say they are working on the assumption that he was killed in connection with either his political activities or his journalism.
A journalistic colleague told RSF that Giorno had said he felt threatened and in danger, but had not specified whether the threats were linked to what he was publishing in Jornal O Maricá, which he had launched in 2016, or to his political activities.
“The Maricá authorities must conduct an exhaustive investigation into this murky case and not rule the possibility that it was linked to the victim’s journalism,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “This latest murder yet again shows how urgent it is for the Brazilian authorities to completely rethink and overhaul the system for protecting journalists in Brazil.”
Giorno is the first journalist to be murdered in Brazil in 2019. According to RSF’s tally, four journalists were murdered in 2018 in Brazil, making it one of Latin America’s most dangerous countries for the media.
Brazil is ranked 105th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.