October 30, 2012 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Radio host shot dead in studio, 10th journalist killed this year

A radio host's murder on the night of 28 October in Itabaiana, in the northeastern state of Sergipe, has brought the number of Brazilian journalists and media owners killed since the start of the year to ten, of whom five were definitely or possibly murdered in connection with their work.

Edmilson de Souza was shot dead while alone in his Princesa da Serra FM studio. Aged 40, he was also known as "Edmilson dos Cachinhos."

"We offer our condolences to Souza's family and colleagues and we hope that his murderer will be found quickly and brought to justice," Reporters Without Borders said. "As well as all the tragic media deaths, 2012 has also been marked by many cases of harassment and censorship and even targeted attacks on news media.

"While recognizing that, unlike other Latin American countries, Brazil has made a real effort in several cases to ensure that violence against journalists does not go unpunished, we think that coordination is now needed at the federal level in order to guarantee the safety and protection of journalists."

Reporters Without Borders plans to visit Brazil next month.

Souza was alone in his studio when a man entered shortly after 9 p.m., exchanged a few words with him and then shot him three times. When Souza's nephew called the studio half an hour later, an unidentified voice told him that Souza was dead and then hung up.

The police think Souza knew his killer. There was no sign of a break-in or theft. Souza's sister, Eliana de Jesus, said he had no enemies and had never received the least threat. The murder motive is still unknown.

Souza had been working for this local radio station for the past six months after spending a decade working for radio stations in Aracaju, Sergipe's capital. He was single, had no children, and lived with his mother in Itabaiana.