Radio sports commentator Valério Luiz de Oliveira was gunned down in Goiânia, the capital of the west-central state of Goiás, on 5 July, bringing to four the number of journalists killed in probable connection with their work in Brazil since the start of the year.
“We offer Luiz’s colleagues our heartfelt condolences and we hope this case will be solved quickly,” Reporters Without Borders said. “As he had received threats, the possibility that he was killed in connection with his work is being taken seriously by investigators. Despite the dramatic increase in murders of journalists in recent months, the authorities have been making a real effort to bring those responsible to justice. We have seen this in the Décio Sá case, in particular.”
Aged 49, Luiz had just left the station where he worked, Rádio Jornal 820 AM, and was about to start his car when one or two men on motorcycle stopped alongside and fired six shots at him. He died a few minutes later while being rushed to hospital in an ambulance. As nothing was taken from him, the motive was clearly not robbery and everything points to a contract killing.
G1, the online edition of the daily newspaper Globo, reported that several persons, who asked not to be identified in media reports, told the police that Luiz had received death threats. He had a reputation for being outspoken and controversial like his father, who is also a well-known sports commentator.
Without ruling out other possibilities, the police are reportedly trying to establish a link between the murder and Luiz’s journalistic work.