Brazilian and Mexican journalists' names inscribed on memorial at Washington freedom of expression museum

João Miranda do Carmo, of Brazil, and Marcos Hernández Bautista, of Mexico, were among the 14 individuals whose names were added to the Journalists Memorial at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on June 5.

These journalists represent “all those who died in pursuit of the news in 2016,” according to museum, which promotes free expression and the U.S. First Amendment. Both Mexico and Brazil were among the deadliest countries for journalists in 2016, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Carmo was killed on July 24, 2016 at his home in Goiás state in central Brazil. At the time, his friends said Carmo, who owned news site SAD Sem Censura (SAD Uncensored), had received death threats. According to the Newseum, the head of security at city hall and his son were arrested for the murder.

Hernández, a correspondent for Noticias Voz e Imagen of Oaxaca, was shot while getting into his car on Jan. 21. 2016 in the Costa Region of Oaxaca state. In 2017, former police commander Jorge Armando Santiago Martínez was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The other journalists added to the memorial this year died in Afghanistan (2), India, Iraq (2), Libya, Somalia, Syria (4) and Ukraine.

“Journalists last year faced unprecedented dangers as they strove to report the news, often in countries where press freedom is imperiled or nonexistent,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, according to a press release.

In all, the names of 2,305 reporters, photographers, broadcasters and news executives are inscribed on the two-story Journalists Memorial, which dates back to 1837. Of those included in the memorial, 535 were killed in Latin America.

To coincide with the rededication of the memorial, the Newseum blacked out the front pages of newspapers from around the world, which usually form one of its most popular daily exhibits. For the third year, it will also promote the #WithoutNews campaign on social media to “raise awareness of the threats to journalists around the world.”

Like this year, the Latin Americans added to the list in 2016 were from Mexico and Brazil. Photojournalist Rubén Espinosa Becerril was killed in a Mexico City apartment on July 31, 2015. Gleydson Carvalho was shot to death on Aug. 6, 2015 while taping his show in Ceará, Brazil.

Paraguayan journalist Pablo Medina’s name was inscribed on the Newseum wall the previous year. He and his assistant, Antonia Almada, were killed in October 2014 while on assignment near the Brazilian border.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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