Broadcasters gunned down in Brazil and in Perú

A radio broadcaster in Brazil and another in Perú have been murdered.

The murder of Vanderlei Canuto Leandor in Brazil is the fifth such crime in the South American country this year.

Canuto Leandro (known as Wanderley), 32, hosted the program “Séñal Verde” (Green Light), broadcast by the bilingual radio station Radio Frontera in Tabatinga, in Amazonas state on the Brazilian border with Colombia and Peru.

He was killed on the evening of Sept.1 by two assailants riding a motorcycle as he was on his way home. They shot him eight times.

In his radio program he often reported on alleged wrongdoing and corruption in the local mayor’s office and in May this year he filed a formal complaint with the State Attorney’s Office after receiving death threats from a city official. It was not immediately known if his murder was linked to his work as a journalist.

In Perú, José Oquendo Reyes, director and host of the program “Sin Fronteras” (Without Borders) broadcast by BTV Canal 45 television in Chincha province, was killed on Wednesday. He was attacked by unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle who shot him five times near his home in the town of Pueblo Nuevo on the south-central coast of Peru.

According to his widow Oquendo Reyes, who also worked as a building site foreman, had not received any threats. In his on-air program he had exposed alleged corruption in the office of the mayor of Chincha, Lucio Juárez Ochoa.

The Inter American Press Association expressed concern and anger over both murders.

Canuto Leandro’s murder was the fifth so far this year in Brazil, joining those of Auro Ida in Mato Grosso; Edinaldo Filgueira in Rio Grande do Norte; Valério Nascimento in Rio de Janeiro, and Luciano Leitão Pedrosa in Pernambuco. This year a total of 26 journalists have been killed in 10 countries in the Americas, these being, as well as the five in Brazil, five in Honduras, eight in Mexico, two in Peru and one each in, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and Venezuela. In addition, a newsman has been missing in Mexico since June this year.

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