Press freedom, human rights groups condemn killing of Brazilian sports journalist

By Isabela Fraga

The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Wednesday, July 11, condemned the killing of Brazilian sports commentator Valério Luiz de Oliveira, who was shot to death on July 5 in the city of Goiânia, reported the news portal Terra. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also condemned the crime and demanded an investigation, according to the news agency EFE.

The journalist was shot and killed whilen leaving the building of the radio station Jornal 820 AM, where he worked, in Goiânia. Oliveira was considered a controversial commentator and the police suspect that the crime was an execution, reported the news portal G1. The police of Goiás already started the investigation of the crime, but the IACHR urged the Brazilian government to bring forward "all necessary efforts" to identify those responsible for the crime and to punish them.

Senior coordinator of the CPJ program for the Americas Carlos Lauría said that "the deadly anti-press violence" is "undermining journalists' ability to report critically on all types of topics important to the public."

The Inter American Press Association already condemned the killing of the journalist in a statement released on Friday, July 6. Oliveira was the seventh Brazilian journalist killed in 2012. Because of this number, Brazil is the fifth country where most journalists are killed in the world, according to a report from the Swiss entity Press Emblem Campaign.

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.