[Brazil] Two journalists shot dead

English PEN protests the recent murders of two Brazilian journalists, Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues and Mario Randolpho Marques Lopes. Both men were killed in attacks that bore the hallmarks of contracted assassinations. In the last 2 years, seven print journalists have been killed in Brazil. English PEN calls on the Brazilian authorities to investigate these murders as a matter of the utmost urgency and to bring those responsible to justice.

Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues – better known as Paulo Rocaro – was shot dead in Ponta Porá on the night of 12 February 2012. Rocaro had been driving home when he was attacked by two armed men riding a motorcycle. They fired at least five bullets into him.

Rocaro, 51, was the editor of the local daily Jornal Da Praça and the news website Mercosul News. According to local reports, he had been critical of the local mayor and had publicly lent his support to a rival mayoral candidate. On the night he was killed, the journalist had been returning home after a meeting with the opposition candidate.

The killing took place near the Paraguayan border, a region of Brazil known for organised criminal activity and for political corruption.  Police are reportedly investigating the crime as a possible contract killing, and are looking into political motives, among others.

In a separate incident, Mario Randolpho Marques Lopes, editor-in-chief of the news website Vassouras na Net was murdered alongside his girlfriend on 8-9 February 2012. The couple were abducted from his home in the city of Barra do Piraí in Rio de Janeiro state on 8 February. Both were found dead the following day; Randolpho had been shot in the head.

Randolpho, 50, wrote articles that frequently accused local officials of being corrupt; his most recent piece leveled charges of corruption at local judges and courts. Randolpho had been the victim of violence previously. In July 2011, an unidentified gunman entered the Vassouras na Net newsroom and shot the journalist five times in the head. The attack left Randolpho in a coma for three days, but miraculously, he recovered.

For further information on previous PEN cases from Brazil please see:



Please send appeals:

  • Protesting the murders of Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues and Mario Randolpho Marques Lopes;
  • Noting that seven print journalists have been murdered in the space of two years;
  • Calling on the Brazilian authorities to carry out a full and impartial investigation into the killings as a matter of urgency, and to ensure that the culprits 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 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


Send this link on to any friends or colleagues that you think may be interested, asking them to take action of behalf of Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues and Mario Randolpho Marques Lopes;

  • Write articles and blog pieces about the murders to help raise further awareness here in the UK.
  • Use social media to help news of their deaths reach even more people.
  • For those of you on Facebook, please share our bulletin with your friends and encourage them to take action.
  • For those of you on Twitter, please tweet a message to your followers. You may use to use this shortened link to the bulletin on our website – http://bit.ly/yHm125
    [Sample tweet: Join me in taking action on behalf of two journalists shot dead in #Brazil http://bit.ly/yHm125 via @englishpen ]

Thank you for your support.

About Cat Lucas

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

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

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