Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Brazil5 June 2003

Journalist murdered in São Paulo state

(JPEG) Reporters Without Borders today voiced its concern about the 3 June death of journalist Melyssa Martins Correia (picture) of Oeste Notícias in Presidente Prudente (a town in São Paulo state), in a murder that appears to have been prompted by the daily’s coverage of a criminal organisation.

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard asked Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckim in a letter to personally ensure that the murder was thoroughly investigated and that journalists were protected.

Martins Correia, 23, the editor of the newspaper’s cultural supplement, was shot in the head at point-blank range. Still alive when found by police, she died while being rushed to hospital.

The killer fled by commandeering a car and getting the driver to take him to the neighbouring state of Mato Grosso do Sul. On the way, he reportedly told the driver, Fábio César Padoves, that he had been paid to kill the journalist, and that the murder of a judge, Antonio José Machado, in March was also a paid hit. Oeste Notícias had covered the judge’s murder extensively, blaming it on a São Paulo criminal organisation known as Primero Comando da Capital or PCC, whose activities have often been the subject of reports in the newspaper.

Oeste Noticias’ editor, Adolfo Padilha, said that, a week before her death, Martins Correia had covered a promotional event in a supermarket reportedly owned by PCC member. Police raided the supermarket the same evening and closed it down the next day. Padilha said he suspected the PCC may have thought Martins Correia went to the supermarket to get information and on their activities and to denounce them.

The police superintendent in charge of the investigation, Cacildo Galindo, has said theft may have been the motive for her murder, as her mobile phone and purse were taken.



In this country
1 May - Brazil
Victory as federal supreme court repeals dictatorship era press law
12 December - Brazil
Four new arrests in investigation into abduction of O Dia employees
3 September - Brazil
Call for boost to media safety ahead of elections after journalist injured in Mato Grosso do Sul state
23 July - Brazil
Legislators urged to oppose cyber-crime bill likely to threaten online free expression
9 July - Brazil
A Folha de São Paulo and Veja win appeal against “premature electoral propaganda” fines

in the annual report
Brazil - Annual Report 2008
Brazil - Annual report 2007
Brazil - Annual report 2006


reports
14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press
archives

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Cuba
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Cuba
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro