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Journalists in Brazil shaken but not cowed by colleagues' murders

The following is a CPJ Blog post by Sara Rafsky, CPJ Americas Research Associate

One month after their colleague Rodrigo Neto was gunned down on the street after eating at a popular outdoor barbecue restaurant, the journalists of Vale do Aço, Brazil, were indignant. Denouncing a sluggish investigation and the possibility of police involvement in the murder, they strapped black bands to their wrists in a sign of solidarity, put on T-shirts bearing Neto's name, and took to the streets to demand justice. Six days later, Walgney Assis Carvalho, a photographer who claimed to have knowledge of the crime, was shot twice in the back by a masked assassin as he sat at a fish restaurant. The journalists of Vale do Aço are still indignant, but now they are terrified.

The events of the past seven weeks in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais encapsulate what is happening throughout Brazil, a country most often portrayed as a rare success story, both rising economic power and inclusive democracy. The murder of two journalists, with hints of police involvement, in a period of weeks is shocking to those who look to Brazil as a model for the region. Yet CPJ's 2013 Impunity Index, published today, found that violence against the press and impunity for these crimes has soared in recent years in Brazil. Ten journalists have been murdered since 2010 with no convictions in any of the cases. The vast majority of the victims covered politics or corruption, and worked outside of the country's urban centers.

Read the full story on CPJ's website

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