UNESCO demands justice for killing of Brazilian radio journalist in Amazon

The director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, condemned the killing of Brazilian journalist Valderlei Canuto Leandro, who was shot eight times by unidentified men on Sept. 1 in the city of Tabatinga, in the Amazons, UNESCO reported on Sunday, Oct. 2.

“The crime should be investigated and those responsible brought to justice. Impunity in these cases will not be tolerated, as it weakens democracy and the rule of law," Bokova said.

Host of the program "Green Light" on the bilingual radio station Frontera, the journalist was known for denouncing corruption in the region, according to local press. The Committee to Protect Journalists said Canuto Leandro had reportedly been threatened by the mayor of Tabatinga, Saul Beneguy.

Local congress members have sought information about the investigation of the case, according to Portal do Holanda. Reporters Without Borders criticized the standstill in the investigation into the journalist's killing. The group blamed the slowness of the investigation on the traditionally strong political pressure of regions in Northern Brazil.