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IAPA condemns murder of journalists in Brazil

Published:Tuesday | January 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM

MIAMI, Florida:

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) Tuesday condemned the murder of two journalists in Brazil and called for the authorities to carry out a swift and in-depth investigation so as to identify those responsible, learnthe motives, and bring the guilty to justice.

Journalist Jefferson Pureza Lopes, 39, host of the programme A Voz do Povo (The People's Voice) broadcast on radio station Beira Rio FM in Goias state, was murdered on January 17. The day before, Ueliton Bayer Brizon, 35, owner of the news website Jornalde Rondonia in Cacoal city, Rondonia state, was also killed.

IAPA President Gustavo Mohme expressed sympathy to the family members and colleagues of the journalists killed in two days and expressed his condemnation of "these crimes that put Brazil back on the list of countries where it seems that the practice of journalism is at risk".

On January 17, two men riding a motorcycle shot three times at Pureza Lopes, who was in his home with the front door open. On his programme, he used to denounce alleged acts of corruption in the municipal and regional public administration. Colleagues and friends told the local press that he had been receiving threats for several years in which he was warned to cease his accusations, and in November his radio station's building was set on fire.

On January 16, an unidentified assailant opened fire from a moving motorcycle at Bayer Brizon, who was riding another motorcycle accompanied by his wife. She was not injured in the attack. Bayer Brizon, who was also a city councillor and municipal president of the Humanist Solidarity Party (PHS), published on his website local political information, according to various news media. The local police are investigating whether the crime is connected to his work as a journalist.