[Brazil] Reporter Décio Sá shot dead in suspected contract killing

English PEN is appalled by the news of the murder on 23 April 2012 of Brazilian journalist Décio Sá. Sá was a reporter for local newspaper O Estado do Maranhão and blogged at Blog do Décio. He was shot dead by an unidentified man in what appears to have been a contract killing in a bar in the city of Sao Luis, north-eastern Brazil. We call on the Brazilian authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the journalist’s murder, and ask our supporters to do the same.

Forty-two year old Décio Sá reported on politics and crime. On the day he was murdered he had gone to eat at a local bar. According to reports, he received a phone call, went outside to answer it, and was gunned down when he returned. Sá was shot 6 times in the head and back. His killer reportedly made no attempt to avoid being recognised, before escaping on a motorbike.

According to colleagues at O Estado do Maranhão, Sá’s reporting, both for the newspaper and on his blog – one of the most popular in Maranhão – had made him several enemies. Silvia Moscoso, the newspaper’s state affairs editor, is reported as saying “For sure, he was killed because of his work as a reporter… Over his at least 17 years at the newspaper, he made a long list of enemies, many of whom I imagine would love to see him dead…But he denounced so many people and so much corruption that it is impossible to say who was behind his murder”. However, the police are reportedly investigating whether Sá’s murder is connected to an article he wrote about a local politician who was implicated in a prostitution ring and in the murder of a student.

Décio Sá is survived by his wife, Silvana, who is pregnant with their second child, and their 8-year-old-daughter. Our thoughts are with them.


Please send appeals:

  • Protesting the murder of Décio Sá;
  • Calling on the Brazilian authorities to carry out a full and impartial investigation into the killing as a matter of urgency, and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

Appeals to:

Federal Minister of Justice

Exmo. Ministro
Sr. José Eduardo Cardozo
Ministério da Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco “T”, 70712-902 – Brasília/DF Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3322 6817/ 3224 3398

Electronic messages can be send via the Minister’s website

Salutation: Dear Minister

Federal Human Rights Secretary

Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos
Exmo. Secretário Especial
Sra. Maria do Rosário Nunes
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco “T” – 4º andar, 70064-900 Brasília/DF – Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3226 7980

Salutation: Dear Secretary

Please also send copies of your appeals to the Brazilian Embassy in the UK:

His Excellency Mr Roberto Jaguaribe
Embassy of Brazil
32 Green Street,
Fax: 020 7399 9101
Email: mbryant@brazil.org.uk

Please do let us know if you send an appeal letter, and certainly f you receive a response, by emailing cat@englishpen.org

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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