Ex-police officer sentenced to 19 years in prison for 1989 killing of Brazilian columnist

By Isabela Fraga

An ex-police officer accused of killing a Brazilian journalist in 1989 was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Tuesday, July 10, reported the newspaper Folha Vitória.

Cezar Narcizo, former military police officer accused of being one of the two killers of columnist Maria Nilce dos Santos Magalhães, was sentenced after a 13-hour jury trial, but the lawyer has appealed the sentence and the defendant remains free, according to the news site G1.

The columnist, age 48, was killed July 5, 1989, in Vitória, located in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. The journalist was killed for writing about drug trafficking in a column published in Jornal da Cidade, explained the site Project Impunity, which monitors justice in crimes against journalists.

The Federal Police point to businessman José Alayr Andreatta as responsible for ordering the journalist's killing. Andreatta was convicted but remains at large. According to the newspaper A Gazeta, Andreatta contracted Romualdo Eustáquio da Luz Faria, known as the "Japanese," to kill the journalist, and he then subcontracted the killing to two hit men, José Sasso and Cezar Narcizo. The trial for the "Japanese" is scheduled for November 2012. The hit man Sasso, who was jailed for another killing, died while in prison. The accused were part of an organized crime group known at the time as the Crime Syndicate.

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.