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Police rule out work-related motive in journalist's murder in Rio de Janeiro province

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders notes that the police claim to have arrested the person who fatally shot journalist José Rubem Pontes de Souza on the night of 30 October 2010 in a bar in Rio de Janeiro province and that, according to the police, the motive was not related to Souza's journalistic work.

The suspect is Renato Demétrio de Souza (no relation), a former member of the military police who had been wanted in the past for suspected robbery, drug-trafficking, two murders and forming an armed organisation.

Police inspector Nei José Ramos Loureiro said that the suspect rented out juke-boxes to bars, sharing profits with influential local businessmen and others who helped him make sales, and that he shot Souza for refusing to enter into a business relationship with him.

Two people who were in the bar where Souza was shot have reportedly identified the detainee as the killer.

Souza was the third journalist to be murdered in Brazil within a two-week period last month. It currently appears that in only one of the three cases was the motive linked to the victim's journalistic work.

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