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Brazil5 May 2006

Mayor’s son suspected in shooting attack on comunity radio presenter

Reporters Without Borders voicing outrage today at an attack on community radio journalist Camelo Luís de Sá of Quiterianópolis in the northeastern state of Ceará, who was shot twice in the right arm on 2 May while presenting a programme going out live. Police said the mayor’s son is suspected of being the gunman.

“We call on the authorities to do everything possible to ensure the perpetrator is brought to justice even if he is the son of an elected official,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This attack highlights the fragility of press freedom in Brazil and the way the local media are exposed to harassment and abuse of power. In view of the gravity of this case, we hope the state authorities will take charge of the investigation.”

Sá did not recognize the man who burst into the community radio station during his evening programme and fired five shots at him, hitting him twice in the arm. Sá was rushed to hospital but was allowed to leave at 4 a.m. the next morning.

The local police, which is so far handling the investigation, said witnesses identified the gunman as businessman Antônio Valceni Vieira, the son of Quiterianópolis mayor Francisco Vieira Costa, a member of the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).

The police are working on the assumption that the shooting was linked to Sá’s revelations about several cases of possible corruption in which the mayor is allegedly implicated. A summons has been issued to the mayor to report to the police for questioning this afternoon.

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