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BRAZIL: Newspaper owner and journalist shot dead

Tuesday 10 May 2011 - 1:00am

RAN 20/11 10 May 2011

The Writers in Prison Committee PEN of International (WiPC) protests the murder of Panorama Geral owner and journalist Valério Nascimento, who was shot dead outside his home in Rio Claro, Rio de Janeiro state, on 3 May 2011. The motive for the crime is still to be determined but recent editions of the paper had reportedly covered alleged irregularities implicating the mayor of the neighboring town of Bananal. The WiPC calls on the Brazilian authorities to investigate Nascimento's murder as a matter of the utmost urgency, and to bring the culprits to justice.

The following is a press release issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on 4 May 2011 (Spanish and Portuguese versions also available):

New York, May 4, 2011-The Committee to Protect Journalists called today on local authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing of Brazilian newspaper owner and journalist Valério Nascimento, who was shot to death Tuesday outside his home in Rio Claro, Rio de Janeiro state.

Nascimento's killing was the third shooting of a Brazilian journalist to be documented by CPJ this year.

"Brazilian authorities must thoroughly investigate Valério Nascimento's murder, determine if it was work-related, and bring those responsible to justice," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior coordinator for the Americas. "We are alarmed by a series of violent attacks this year targeting journalists who report on official corruption."

Nascimento, owner of the newspaper Panorama Geral, was found dead Tuesday morning outside his doorway, shot in both the head and chest, according to news reports. Panorama Geral had only published four editions, according to a local news report.

Police are still establishing a motive for the killing, and haven't ruled out that it could have been politically motivated, press reports said. Citing local police, O Globo reported that the latest issue of Panorama Geral had uncovered irregularities in the administration of the mayor of the neighboring town of Bananal. The paper had also criticized the management of Bananal's public services including sewage treatment, public parks, and health clinics, according to press reports. Nascimento, who was also active in area politics, served as president of his local residents association and had twice run for alderman.

In April, Luciano Leitão Pedrosa, a radio and television journalist known for his critical coverage of local authorities and criminal groups, was shot in Pernambuco state. In March, critical blogger Ricardo Gama was seriously wounded when an unidentified gunman shot him in the head, neck, and chest as he walked in his Rio de Janeiro neighborhood.


Please send appeals:
Protesting the fatal shooting of Panorama Geral owner and journalist Valério Nascimento on 3 May 2011;
Noting that Nascimento's death follows the murder of broadcast journalist Luciano Leitão Pedrosa in April and a gun attack on blogger Ricardo Gama in March;
Calling on the Brazilian authorities to carry out a full and impartial investigation into Nascimento's murder and all unsolved attacks against journalists as a matter of urgency, and to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.

Appeals to:

Federal Minister of Justice
Exmo. Ministro
Sr. José Eduardo Cardozo
Ministério da Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco "T", 70712-902 - Brasília/DF Brasil

Fax: + 55 61 3322 6817/ 3224 3398

Electronic messages can be send via the Minister's website

Salutation: Dear Minister

Federal Human Rights Secretary
Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos
Exmo. Secretário Especial
Sra. Maria do Rosário Nunes
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco "T" - 4º andar, 70064-900 Brasília/DF - Brasil

Fax: + 55 61 3226 7980

Salutation: Dear Secretary

Please also send copies of your appeals to the Brazilian Embassy in your country. Details of some Brazilian embassies can be found here:

Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 10 July 2011.

For further details please contact Tamsin Mitchell at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office: PEN International, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 207 405 0339 email: