Critical newspaper owner is the second Brazilian journalist shot to death in a month

Brazilian journalist Valério Nascimento was found dead on May 3, after having been shot repeatedly in the city of Rio Claro in the interior of Rio de Janeiro state, iG and the Associated Press report. The crime was the second journalist killed on the same day as the celebrations for World Press Freedom Day 2011.

Nascimento was the owner and editor of Panorama Geral newspaper, president of a regional community association, and a past city council candidate in the nearby city of Angra dos Reis, O Globo explains.

According to Rio Sul Net and O Estado de S. Paulo, the local police say they do not know who the shooters were, but they are investigating the possibility that the crime was politically motivated, as the last edition of Panorama accused a nearby city in São Paulo state of mismanaging and failing to invest in public health and sanitation.

Reporters without Borders (RSF), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and the International Press Institute were among the organizations that denounced the killing and called on the authorities to solve the case and determine if Nascimento was killed for his reporting.

“Nascimento’s murder, which took place on World Press Freedom Day, is a reminder that Brazil is still a dangerous country for journalists despite recent legislative progress and efforts to combat impunity,” RSF said.

The groups noted that the killing is Brazil’s second in less than a month, as a critical TV journalist in northeast Brazil was shot to death April 9. Additionally, on March 23, crime blogger Ricardo Gama was nearly fatally shot on March 23 in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

This blog is produced at The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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.