Brazilian radio host murdered at station previously had asked to leave crime beat

  • By
  • March 14, 2016

By Giovana Sanchez

Brazilian radio host João Valdecir de Borba, known as Valdão, was killed on March 10 while working in the studios of Rádio Difusora AM in São Jorge do Oeste, southwestern Paraná state.

Police said that two unidentified people committed the crime, according to G1. The site also reported that the only witness to the crime, a singer that was rehearsing in the radio studio with Borba, said the journalist left the studio for a moment and was overpowered by people who took him to the bathroom where he was then shot. Borba was taken to the hospital, but died there.

According to news portal G1, five months ago, Borba asked to leave his post covering crime, without giving any specific reason or reporting that he had received threats. The radio director accepted his request; he has since been hosting music shows at the station.

The radio host worked at Difusora AM for 10 years and hosted three music programs. He was married and had two children.

The Paraná Broadcasters Association issued a statement condemning the death and remembering that Borba was killed on the same day that press associations joined UNESCO to deliver a letter to the Brazilian government asking for more security for journalists working in Brazil.

If officials determine that Borba murder is linked to his work as a journalist, he will be the first journalist killed in Brazil this year for that reason.

The Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Brazil third on its list of deadliest countries in the world in 2015. The country also ranked eleventh on CPJ’s 2015 Global Impunity Index, a list of countries where the killers of journalists remain unpunished.

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.