Press groups urge thorough investigation into killing of Brazilian radio reporter

The International Association of Radio Broadcasters (AIR) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asked the Brazilian authorities to carefully investigate the killing of journalist Laércio de Souza, a reporter for Rádio Sucesso in Camaçari, Bahia, reported the websites G1 and Terra.

Souza, who had been receiving threats over the telephone, was shot to death on Jan. 3, 2012, minutes after receiving a cell phone call. According to initial investigations, the shooting was executed by local drug traffickers that opposed the reporter's social activism in the community.

"The escalation of violence committed against journalists by drug traffickers in Latin America demands an energetic response from the police and judicial authorities," read a statement released by AIR, an organization representing more than 17,000 private radio and television broadcasters in the Americas and Europe, reported the newspaper O Globo.

“We hope, therefore, that this latest case will be solved quickly. We express our full support for Laércio de Souza’s family and colleagues,” said RSF on its website, adding, “At this stage there is nothing to link the murder of Laércio de Souza with his activities as a journalist.”