Just months after surviving assassination attempt, Brazilian political journalist shot to death

Brazilian political journalist Mário Randolfo Marques Lopes was killed in the early hours of Feb. 9, in the city of Barra do Piraí, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, along with his girlfriend, reported Diário do Vale. Known for criticizing authorities in the region on his website Vassouras na Net (Vassouras Online), Lopes survived an attempt on his life at his home in July of last year.

The couple was kidnapped by three men for 22 hours in their home on Feb. 8, and then taken to the Chacal highway, where the execution took place, reported the website A Voz da Cidade.

According to reports from the newspaper O Globo, the journalist was known for being controversial and having to respond to judicial charges in Vassouras, where he ran his publication. A police officer who did not want to be identified said that a delegate and a judge had charged Randolfo with libel and defamation.

O Globo reported that in another attempt on Lopes' life, nearly four months ago, a gunman burst into the website's newsroom in Vassouras and shot the journalist five times in the head. Randolfo was in critical condition in the intensive treatment center at the University Hospital of Vassouras. After recovering, Randolfo moved to Barra do Piraí for fear of more attacks. Police opened an investigation into the attack but no one was charged.