Reporters Without Borders hopes the police will quickly solve the murder of Mafaldo Bezerra Goes, a local radio host who was gunned down in Jaguaribe, a town in the northeastern state of Ceará, on 22 February. Aged 61, he often covered crime and had been threatened.
Goes was the second journalist to be killed this year in Brazil, following Renato Machado, a radio journalist who was shot in Rio de Janeiro state on 8 January. Last year, there were five murders of journalists in Brazil that were demonstrably or clearly linked to the victims’ work.
“The police investigating the Goes murder are assuming it was linked to his work because of the often sensitive information he reported on the air”, Reporters Without Borders said. “In the absence of quick results, the federal authorities should take over the investigation under a mechanism envisaged after last year’s particularly deadly toll on Brazilian media personnel.”
Goes was on his way to the radio station where he worked, FM Rio Jaguaribe, when he was gunned down in cold blood by two men on a motorcycle with a false licence plate that was found shortly afterwards.
Police chief Vera Lúcia Granja immediately said he thought the murder was linked to the victim’s work. Goes often reported crimes on the air, and did not hesitate to name suspects. The Iguatu Notícias website quoted a police source as saying he may have been killed on the orders of local drug trafficker currently in prison.
In a survey earlier this month of the high price paid by radio journalists, Reporters Without Borders reported that a total of 18 had been killed worldwide since the start of 2012.