Ex-police officer arrested for killing Brazilian editor

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  • November 4, 2010

By Maira Magro

Police arrested former military police officer Renato Demétrio de Souza, accusing him of the Oct. 30 shooting of José Rubem Pontes de Souza, the editor and president of Entre-Rios Jornal, in Três Rios, Rio de Janeiro. The suspect was recognized by two witnesses and arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 3. He has denied the charges.

According to the police official responsible for the case, De Souza—whose arrest record includes charges of larceny, consipiracy, drug trafficking, and two homicides—rented jukeboxes to bar owners in the region. Police believe Souza was killed for refusing to participate in the business, the Diário do Vale says. The Entre-Rios reports that one active-duty police offer was also arrested, accused of driving the car used in the journalist's killing.

Souza was killed 12 days after the assassination of journalist Francisco Gomes de Medeiros, in Rio Grande do Norte. National and international monitoring organizations have condemned the killings. The freedom of expression monitor of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Press Association have urged the government to take urgent action in the cases, as has Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers.

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.