Brazilian radio journalist Marlon de Carvalho Araújo, 37, was murdered on Aug. 16 inside his home in Riachão de Jacuípe, Bahia, in the northeastern region of Brazil. Police suspect that the crime was motivated by his "aggressive way of providing the news,” reported site G1.
According to witnesses, Araújo was alone when four men invaded his house at 2 a.m. and shot him dead, G1 reported. There is no record of theft at the property and no suspect has been arrested so far.
Araújo had worked at radio stations Gazeta and Jacuípe and last year posted news videos on his Facebook profile, according to Correio. The site said he was known for "controversial videos of denunciations," often involving local officials.
The day before his death, Araújo posted a videoin which he promised to soon reveal the name of a councilman who was allegedly beaten by a loan shark and delivered a motorcycle belonging to the City Hall to pay a debt.
A friend of the communicator, who preferred not to identify herself, told Correio that Araújo was very influential and popular in the city. "He bothered many politicians, but he had no limits when it came to making the denunciations," she said.
Freedom of expression organization Article 19 said it contacted local communicators and authorities responsible for investigating the case who confirmed that the main motivation considered for the crime is Araújo's role as a communicator.
According to Article 19, the broadcaster is the fourth communicator murdered in the country this year. Radio journalists Jefferson Pureza, in the State of Goiás, and Ueliton Brizon, in Rondônia, were murdered in January, and Jairo de Sousa was killed in Pará in June.
"It is evident that the crime reinforces a scenario of violence against communicators that has intensified this year, and it is urgent and necessary that the State, at all levels, recognize the alarming condition of the communicators in the country and commit to concrete policies to confront the problem," Article 19 said.
Emmanuel Colombié, head of the Latin America bureau for Reporters Without Borders (RSF, for its initials in French), urged authorities to "conduct an exhaustive investigation into Marlon Carvalho’s murder taking into account above all possibilities that he was killed in connection with his work.”
RSF recalled that, in addition to the killings already recorded, radio broadcaster Hamilton Alves survived an assassination attempt in Jaru, Rondônia, in April. He was hit by five shots fired by two men on a motorcycle , according to the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji). In July, three councilors from the municipality of Governador Jorge Teixeira were arrested as suspected of having ordered to kill Alves, the organization said.
“Outside the major cities, journalists -- and radio show hosts in particular -- are systematically the victims of threats and reprisals when they tackle subjects linked to local politics and corruption. We deplore their appalling vulnerability and call on the Brazilian authorities to provide journalists with better protection,” Colombié said.