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Brazil11 June 2003

Second journalist killed in a week

Reporters Without Borders today voiced its utmost concern about the murder yesterday of Edgar Ribeiro Pereira de Oliveira, the owner of the weekly Boca do Povo in Campo Grande, the capital of the southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul. He was the second journalist to be killed in a week in Brazil.

Robert Ménard, the Reporters Without Borders secretary-general, called on Mato Grosso do Sul state governor José Orcírio Miranda to do everything possible to ensure that the police identify those responsible for the killing and establish the motives. He noted that 15 journalists were killed from 1991 to 2002 in Brazil just for doing their job.

Gunmen opened fire on Oliveira, 43, at around 6 p.m. yesterday as he was taking one of the newspaper’s employees to her home. The Boca do Povo is known for its controversial reporting on drug trafficking and murders by hired killers and its criticism of political corruption and business fraud.

Police superintendent Valmir Messa, who is in charge of the investigation, said Oliveira had not reported receiving any death threats. The police are assuming that the gunmen were hired to kill Oliveira. Edgard Lopes de Faria, a journalist who often wrote about hired killings, was murdered in the same city in 1997.

Journalist Melyssa Martins Correia of Oeste Notícias was killed on 3 June in São Paulo state.

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