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Murders of journalists in Brazil and Colombia demand efficient investigations

This statement was originally published on sipiapa.org on 25 November 2015.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murders in recent days of journalists in Brazil and Colombia and urged those countries' authorities to investigate in depth, determine whether the crimes were linked to the victims' work and bring those responsible to justice.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, expressed "consternation and extreme concern at the increase in murders in Brazil." The most recent one was that of the blogger and radio reporter Orislandio Timoteo Araújo, 37, known as Roberto Lano, killed on Saturday, November 21 in Buriticupu city in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhão.

Araújo, who wrote the Roberto Lano Blog was riding on a motorcycle with his wife when a person also on a motorcycle shot him in the head. He was in addition known for his work in political campaigns and promoting local events.

He was the third journalist to be killed within two weeks in Brazil, the sixth this year. On November 13, also in Maranhão, killed was blogger Ítalo Eduardo Diniz Barros. Murdered on November 9 in Pernambuco state was radio journalist Israel Gonçalves Silva. Other murders this year were those of Gleydson Carvalho on August 6; Djalma Santos da Conceição on May 22, and Evany José Metzker on May 18.

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, also condemned the murder in Colombia of journalist Dorance Herrera on November 23 and he called on the authorities "to investigate urgently and prevent those resorting to violence from imposing the rules of play in their country."

The local press disclosed that Herrera, 28, wrote for two media outlets in Caucasia city in Antioquia province, in which he was understood to have reported on criminal gangs operating in the area. On social media he had reported that he had received death threats.

Herrera was at his sister's home with a fellow university student, Marlon Faddoul Quiroz, when two men shot them several times. Both died.

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