Press organization laments latest murder

The Inter American Press Association has expressed its dismay upon learning of a new murder of a journalist in Brazil, the second in less than a week.

The body of Djalma Santos da Conceição, a journalist with RCA community radio, known by the nickname Djalma Potato, was found Saturday near a highway in Timbó, a rural area in the municipality of Conceição da Feira, some 68 miles from Salvador, in Bahía state. The body had bullet wounds and signs of torture.

The journalist, 53, was host of the radio program “Acorda, Cidade” (Wake Up, City!). According to reports by the local press, he had been receiving threats. Recently he carried out an investigation for the magazine Globo into the murder of a local teenager by drug traffickers.

Inter American Press President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Perú, newspaper La República, called on the authorities to “act urgently and identify the motives so as to punish the perpetrators and masterminds,” of this murder, and that of blogger Evany José Metzker, whose decapitated body was found  May 18 in Minas Gerais state.

The chairman of the association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, lamented that during the same week in which the murders occurred, on May 20, a chamber of deputies committee rejected a bill seeking the participation of the federal police in investigations into crimes against journalists.  However, the chamber’s Constitution and Justice and Citizenry Committee is due to review this decision.

The Inter American Press officers expressed their satisfaction on learning that the Brazilian judiciary had upheld charges filed against five individuals accused of the murder on July 5, 2012, of sports commentator Valério Luiz de Oliveira, in the city of Goiânia, Goiás state. The trial date is yet to be determined.

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