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Website owner is third journalist killed in Brazil in 2016

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 26 July 2016.

João Miranda do Carmo, a website owner and reporter who's been threatened, was gunned down outside his home in Santo Antônio do Descoberto, in the central state of Goiás, on 24 July. He was the third journalist to be murdered this year in Brazil.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns this barbaric act and urges the Brazilian authorities to move quickly to step up protection for media personnel.

Carmo, 54, was shot several times by individuals in a car, who pulled up outside his home and drove away immediately after the crime. He owned and edited a local news website called SAD Sem Censura, for which he was a crime reporter and often covered local government corruption.

He had notified the police that he had received threats in connection with his reporting.

“We firmly condemn João Miranda do Carmo's murder and we urge the local police and judicial authorites to identify, arrest and try those responsible for this extremely cowardly act,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF's Latin America desk. “Futhermore, in view of the impunity and corruption prevailing in many municipalities, the Brazilian government must urgently create an alert and protection mechanism for threatened journalists.”

The Santo Antônio do Descoberto police have not yet developed any clear hypotheses about Carmo's death and have not ruled out the possibility of a link to his journalistic work.

Brazil is currently undergoing a great deal of economic, political and social turmoil and has seen an increase in attacks and violence against the media in recent months. The police and judicial authorities have a duty to rein in this violence by tackling the problem that lies at his core, the problem of impunity for crimes of violence against the media.

The two other journalists killed this year in Brazil were João Valdecir de Borba on 10 March and Manuel Messias Pereira on 9 April.

Brazil is ranked 104th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

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