Police arrest second man accused of participating in murder of Brazilian journalist

A second person accused of participating in the murder of journalist João Miranda do Carmo was arrested on the night of Aug. 26, about a month after the crime, according to news site G1.

Police accuse 22-year-old Rooney da Silva Morais of firing the 13 shots that killed the journalist on July 24 in Santo Antônio do Descoberto, in Goiás state.

Morais is the son of Douglas Ferreira de Morais, head of the Guarda Patrimonial of the city, who was arrested three days after the crime. A witness identified him as the driver of the vehicle used in the murder, according to police.

On a press conference held on August 29, police said the arrest warrant was based on the “conviction” of an eyewitness, as reported by G1.

“We arrived at him through a confidential statement, in which a witness assured, with great conviction, he was the author of the shots against the victim,” said police chief Pablo Batista.

Both father and son deny the charges.

According to investigations, the crime was motivated by revenge related to Carmo’s profession as a journalist. The police said the journalist was threatened after reporting on the arrest of Rooney’s brother, who is also Douglas’ son.

Carmo owned the site SAD Sem Censura (SAD Uncensored) and covered local news related to police cases and municipal problems.

He was very controversial in his city. He demanded answers from politicians, police and local officials,” said Cláudio Curado, president of the Goiás State Union of Professional Journalists, to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Shortly after the crime, the National Federation of Journalists (Fenaj) and the above mentioned association demanded that authorities adopt preventive measures for the protection of journalists and freedom of the press.

Since Carmo’s murder, his news site has ceased to be updated.

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.