All three of November’s victims were killed in the same way, by masked gunmen on motorcycles.Israel Gonçalves Silva, 37, was killed on 10 November in Lagoa de Itaenga, in Pernambuco state. A Radio Comunitária Itaenga FM presenter, he had received death threats in the past. Independent blogger Italo Eduardo Diniz Barros, 30, was found dead three days later in Governador Nunes Freire, in Maranhão state. Orislandio Timóteo de Araújo, 37, a blogger known as Roberto Lano, was gunned down on 21 November in Buriticupu, also in Maranhão. He was a radio host as well as having his own blog . Although two of these murders took place in Maranhão, it is not regarded as a particularly dangerous state.All three were involved in the politics of their towns and criticized the alleged corrupt practices of local officials and politicians in their blog posts or broadcasts. The police are investigating all three murders with the aim of identifying the perpetrators and instigators, and their motives.“We appeal to both the relevant local authorities and the Brazilian government to shed all possible light on these appalling and cowardly acts,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk. “The possibility that these murders were linked to the victims’ work as journalists should not be ruled out by the police and justice system, which has a duty to protect bloggers and journalists throughout the country.”November’s deaths bring the total of journalists and bloggers murdered this year in Brazil to seven. The previous victims were Gleydson Carvalho on 6 August, Djalma Santos da Conceição on 22 May, Evany José Metzker, a journalist and blogger found beheaded on 18 May, and Gerardo Ceferino Servían Coronel on 4 March.Brazil is ranked 99th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
After last month’s murders of two independent bloggers and a radio presenter in the space of 11 days in northeastern Brazil, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the country’s justice system to combat impunity for crimes of violence against news providers and to reinforce their protection.