Suspect in journalist slaying arrested then freed in Brazil

A man suspected of killing political journalist Auro Ida was arrested by the police July 25 in the neighborhood of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso where the crime occurred, G1 reports. Soon after, the 19-year-old man was released by the police when the victim’s girlfriend – the principal witness to the crime – failed to recognize him, Terra explains. The police say he is still under investigation.

Ida, a well known regional political reporter, was shot six times in front of his girlfriend’s house on July 22.

The police’s main theory is that the killing was a crime of passion, but Jornal Floripa reports that the journalist’s friends said the crime could be tied to his reporting on state government corruption.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on the authorities to not discard that Ida was killed for his journalistic work and warned that violence against the press was increasing in Brazil.

At the request of the Mato Grosso Journalists’ Syndicate and the Brazilian Bar Association, the Federal Police will investigate the case, Agência Estado adds. Both organizations say the killing may have been political.

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.

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