August 17, 2018

Radio journalist who “annoyed politicians” murdered in Bahia state

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Brazilian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into yesterday’s murder of Marlon Carvalho, a radio station presenter and reporter in the northeastern state of Bahia, and to focus on the hypothesis that he was killed in connection with his journalism.

The third radio presenter to be murdered this year in Brazil, the 37-year-old Carvalho was shot dead in his home in the small town of Riachão do Jacuípe in the early hours of 16 August.


The local police said that, according to their initial findings, four gunmen entered his home, shot him and then left. They appear not to have taken any of his journalistic material or equipment or any other object with them.


An outspoken critic of local officials, Carvalho worked for two radio stations, Gazeta and Jacuípe. He also posted daily videos on his Facebook page about alleged cases of corruption and collusion between local officials and criminal groups. A friend described him as a popular and controversial person who “annoyed a lot of politicians.”


The authorities must conduct an exhaustive investigation into Marlon Carvalho’s murder taking account above all of the possibility that he was killed in connection with his work,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau.


Outside the major cities, journalists – and radio show hosts in particular – are systematically the victims of threats and reprisals when they tackle subjects linked to local politics and corruption. We deplore their appalling vulnerability and call on the Brazilian authorities to provide journalists with better protection.”


The two other radio show hosts to have been killed this year in Brazil were Jefferson Pureza on 17 January and Jairo Sousa on 21 June. Both had received repeated threats. Another radio show host, Hamilton Alves, miraculously survived despite being hit several times when six shots were fired at this car in Rondônia state on 20 April.


Brazil is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index.