OAS press freedom monitor criticizes Brazil over journalist killings

The Office of the Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned the recent deaths of two Brazilian journalists: Valério Nascimento and Luciano Leitão Pedrosa, Folha de São Paulo reports.

In a press release, the organization expressed its “concern over the fact that two members of the media have been killed in Brazil in less than a month, for reasons potentially related to the practice of their profession.”

The director-general of Unesco, Irina Bokova, has joined the chorus of critics calling on the government to protect journalists and exhaustively investigate the killings, saying that Nascimento’s death “marks a clear attack on the right of citizens to engage in debate and political action; two essential and inter-related rights in any free democracy.”

Nascimento, the owner and editor of Panorama Geral newspaper, was found dead on May 3, after having been shot repeatedly. Police say the crime may be linked to his reporting on corruption in a nearby city.

Less than a month earlier, on April 9, Pedrosa, who had been threatened related to his coverage of criminal issues on TV Vitóri, was killed in a restaurant.

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.