Threatened journalist killed in northeastern Brazil

Luciano Leitão Pedrosa was killed the night of April 9 in a restaurant in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, G1 reports. The journalist worked for Radio Metropolitana FM and hosted the program Action and Citizenship on TV Victoria, where he discussed criminal allegations and police issues.

According to O Globo, Pedrosa had received several threats, but he had never submitted a formal complaint. “On the threats, he had always spoken with me, because he was at the department all the time to ask the police to investigate issues he covered on his show. But he never submitted a police report, because he said he didn’t fear anyone and thought it was all a joke,” said officer Maria Betânia Tavares, the lead investigator on the case.

The journalist was waiting for his food, when an armed man entered the restaurant and shot him in the head, Folha de São Paulo explains. According to witnesses, Pedrosa was followed to the restaurant by two men on a motorcycle.

The Pernamubco police are investigating whether it was a hired killing. “I’ve already discarded the idea that it was a robbery and I can’t say more, because in the beginning any investigation is difficult,” said Tavares, quoted by Terra. According to the officer, at the time of the attack, the gunmen announced that it was a robbery, but none of Pedrosa’s things were taken.

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» Committee to Protect Journalists (Critical Brazilian TV journalist shot dead)

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.