Former Brazilian mayor starts serving sentence 14 years after murder of Paraguayan radio journalist

Almost 15 years after ordering the murder of Paraguayan radio host Samuel Romã, former Brazilian mayor Eurico Mariano will begin serving his 17-year prison sentence.

Mariano, a former mayor of Coronel Sapucaia in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, was convicted by a Brazilian judge of hiring men that murdered Romã on August 10, 2007, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Paraguayan newspaper ABC Color reported that Mariano fled to Capitán Bado, Paraguay where he hid for more than a decade under the protection of an armed group.

In 2017, Mariano was captured by Interpol in Capitán Bado, according to ABC Color. He was extradited to Brazil on Jan. 11.

Mariano was handed over to Brazilian authorities at the airport in Asunción, Paraguay's capital, according to portal G1. He was transported by plane by Brazilian Federal Police to Ponta Porã, in Mato Grosso do Sul, where he must serve his sentence.

According to information from ABC Color, Mariano was in jail in Tacumbú, Asunción during his extradition process. The order to send him to Brazil was signed on Sept. 15 by Judge Alcides Corbeta.

Radio host Samuel Romã was shot outside his house in Coronel Sapucaia, Brazil on April 20, 2004 by four men on two motorcycles, according to CPJ. He was the owner of Rádio Conquista FM, based in neighboring Capitán Bado, where he presented the program "A Voz do Povo."

According to CPJ, Romã was a fierce critic of local government, and had denounced Eurico Mariano for financial irregularities. The communicator also warned of alleged involvement of the region's authorities with organized crime.