More journalists report threats after killing of Brazilian reporter

After the killing of Brazilian journalist Décio Sá, of the newspaper O Estado do Maranhão, on April 23, other local reporters and editors said that they also receive frequent threats, according to Último Segundo.

These disclosures confirm recent reports about increasing attacks on journalists and about deteriorating press freedom. For example, the Inter American Press Association published a report on April 23 in which it claimed that there was an increase in killings of Brazilian journalists: in six months, 27 cases of crimes and violence against press members were registered.

The country also ranks No. 99 in the global freedom of press ranking published in January of this year by the organization Reporters Without Borders, and it ranks number 11 in countries in the world where killings of journalists go unpunished, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists' Impunity Index, published on April 17.

At least two journalists said they received threats after Sá's death: Neto Ferreira, and Gilberto Léda, writers for a regional political blog. Marco Aurélio D'Eça, Sá's colleague of the political newspaper O Estado do Maranhão said he also received threats. "I feel uneasy now. When a motorcycle stops close to my car, I'm afraid something might happen,” said D'Eça to Último Segundo. All the cases were reported to the police in Maranhão.

Friends of Sá said that he frequently received threats, although family members said he never reported anything of the sort. Sá was at a bar in São Luiz (capital of the state) when a man entered and shot him three times in the head.

Eye witness testimonies pour out
Sá's murder investigation is becoming difficult as three testimonies of eye witnesses were released online, according to the Secretary of Public Security (SSP in Portuguese). The SSP confirmed the authenticity of the documents on Wednesday, May 2, six days after the Maranhão police enacted confidentiality of the investigation.

Although the documents released did not contain the names of the eye witnesses, the SSP claims that this puts witnesses in danger.