Over 30 journalists and bloggers have been murdered in Brazil since 1992, making it a dangerous place for those who speak out against local corruption – especially in the country’s remoter regions. And a culture of impunity means the killers are rarely brought to justice.
By James Young
In a country like Brazil, where there were more than 52,000 murders in 2014, it is not always easy to identify patterns. Especially in cases such as that of Roberto Lano, murdered in the town of Buriticupu in the northern state of Maranhão just over a week ago, and victim of one of the most typical types of Brazilian homicide – a gunman pulling up on a motorbike, squeezing the trigger, and speeding off into the night.
Or the death of 30-year-old Ítalo Eduardo Diniz Barros, killed in almost identical circumstances in another Maranhão town, Governador Nunes Freire, the Friday before that.
Or even the murder of Israel Gonçalves Silva, shot dead in a stationery store at 7.30 in the morning, again by men on a motorbike, in Lagoa de Itaenga, in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, on November 10th. He had just dropped his two young children off at school.