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Convicted trafficker alleged to have ordered journalist’s murder from inside prison

first_img Organisation News BrazilAmericas Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies May 13, 2021 Find out more News April 27, 2021 Find out more Radio presenter Francisco Gomes de Medeiros’ murder on 18 October in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte was carried out on the orders of a jailed drug trafficker, according to a report in the Diário de Natal daily newspaper on 3 December, quoting the local police.Valdir Souza do Nascimento, who was arrested in 2007 and is now serving a sentence for drug trafficking in Alcaçuz prison, ordered accused hit-man João Francisco “O Dão” dos Santos to shoot Gomes because the journalist’s reporting was affecting the criminal activities that Souza was continuing to run from prison, the newspaper’s report said. Santos was arrested the day after Gomes’ murder.“The solution of this case in a very encouraging sign for the fight against impunity and the Brazilian authorities are to be commended,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Gomes’ murder is nonetheless a cruel reminder of the dangers to which journalists are exposed when they dare to cover organized crime. And the fact that a murder was ordered from inside a prison raises serious question about the state of the prison system in certain regions of Brazil.”_______________21.10.10 – Journalist murdered in Rio Grande do Norte because of his reportingA suspect has reportedly confessed to murdering local radio host and politically committed blogger Francisco Gomes de Medeiros because of something the journalist reported. Gomes was shot five times as he left his home in Caicó, a town in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, on the night of 18 October by two men on a motorcycle.The two gunmen fled the scene immediately after the murder but one of them, João Francisco “O Dão” Santos, was arrested last night and is said to have admitted to shooting Gomes because his reporting had led to Santos getting a longer jail sentence in 2007 for his role in a hold-up. Santos served an 11-month sentence. Investigators are not however convinced by the motive Santos gave and suspect he may have been the hit-man for an organised crime group.A crime reporter as well as a presenter on Radio Caicó, Gomes had recently written about organised crime in his blog and had accused local politicians of being involved in a crack-for-votes swap during the first round of the general elections on 3 October.Gomes said he began getting threats after writing about this issue on 29 September. In his last post on Twitter, Gomes also criticised the lack of media attention being paid to paedophilia cases involving priests.Although Brazil has risen in the latest world press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders released yesterday, it continues to be a dangerous country for journalists who cover organised crime, drug trafficking and corruption, especially in the north and northeast, where these problems are particularly serious.Until very recently, 2010 had seen a relative fall in cases of violence against the Brazilian press but the Gomes killing came just 48 hours after reporter and newspaper owner Wanderley dos Reis was murdered in the state of São Paulo.Aged 46, Gomes was married and had three children. His murder sent a shockwave through Caicó and an estimated 30,000 people attended his funeral. December 6, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Convicted trafficker alleged to have ordered journalist’s murder from inside prisoncenter_img Follow the news on Brazil to go further BrazilAmericas Reports Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America News April 15, 2021 Find out more RSF_en last_img


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