Violence Against Press Workers in Brazil Escalates

Brazil, home for 145 thousand registered journalists [pt] (according to data from December 2011), held the International Conference on Human Rights and Journalism, organized by the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ) on January 18-19, 2013. Journalism in Americas blog from Knight Center announced:

There, representatives from journalism unions in Brazil and other Latin American countries will discuss violence against press workers, which increased in Brazil and across the world during 2012..

A few days before, on January 9, Reporters Without Borders reported on the murder of Renato Machado Gonçalves, Rio radio station manager who became the first journalist murdered in Americas in 2013.

One of his colleagues told Reporters Without Borders that Gonçalves was physically attacked at a meeting of the São João da Barra municipal chamber during last October’s local elections. There were several cases of violence against journalists during the campaign, as well as attacks on news media and many cases of court-ordered censorship.

The colleague nonetheless added: “Renato had not received any threats and if he had, he would have reported them. “He was not working on anything controversial at this time. I would not go as far as to say this was politically-motivated, but given the way it was carried out and the fact that he was fired on seven times, you can call it a targeted killing. It certainly was not a case of armed robbery.”

Journalists Deaths spike in 2012. Source: CPJ

2012 reported a rise in the number of killed journalists

Since the new year began, 6 journalists have been killed around the world so far, half of them in Syria. In 2012, “an unprecedented 133 journalists were killed in the line of duty or as a consequence of their reporting”, five of them in Brazil, reported International Press Institute (IPI). According to Press Freedom Index 2011/2012, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen get the worst ever rankings. However, journalists protection in Brazil was among the biggest falls in Latin America:

[Brazil] plunged 41 places to 99th because the high level of violence resulted in the deaths of three journalists and bloggers.

24 Journalists Killed in Brazil since 1992/Motive Confirmed. Source: CPJ

On its side, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) addressed the names of the 24 journalists who have been killed in Brazil since 1992 with their murder motivation.

While Knight Center posted “Escalating violence placed Brazil among the most dangerous countries for journalists in 2012”:

Brazil emerged as one of the most lethal countries in the world for journalists in 2012, according to analyses from international organizations dedicated to press freedom. All of them reported a rise in the violence against journalists compared to years past. According to Reporters Without Borders’ annual study, Brazil ended the year as the fifth most dangerous country in the world for press workers, with five killings connected to their journalistic work, up from three in 2011.

In this regard, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) warned on December 31, 2012, on its website that journalist victims were  “the result of systematic failure by governments and the United Nations to fulfill their international obligations to protect and enforce journalists’ basic right to life.”

On 23 of January, Reporters without Border posted on their Facebook page, “Brazil, the country of 30 Berlusconis” where the media topography has barely changed in 30 years since the end of the military dictatorship:

The media topography of the country that is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. The editorial independence of both print and broadcast media is above all undermined by their heavy financial reliance on advertising by state governments and agencies.

While mapped the 2013 PRESS FREEDOM INDEX with Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea on the last three positions.

About Rami Alhames

I'm a Syrian Brazilian, Freelance Translator and Social media contributor @GlobalVoices @GVinArabic, Meedan, in Portuguese, Arabic and English.
This entry was posted in Culture & Life, Econmoy & Business, English, Eudcation & Human Rights and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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