Councilman suspected of being the mastermind of the radio broadcaster's murder is released
  • 22.03
  • 2019
  • 17:10
  • Angelina Nunes

Liberdade de expressão

Councilman suspected of being the mastermind of the radio broadcaster's murder is released

Councilman Cesar Monteiro – accused of being the mastermind of the death of radio broadcaster Jairo de Sousa, in Braganca (PA) – had his preventive detention order revoked after the Para Court of Justice granted him a habeas corpus on March 18, 2019. The release took place 26 days before the licensing term of the councilman of the City Council of Braganca expired – meaning that he kept his political prerogatives. A group has been requesting to revoke his mandate. “We fear that this habeas corpus will harm the process and that possible witness will be silenced by fear," said councilman and lawyer Rivaldo Miranda.

Miranda is one of the names mentioned in a list that circulated in the city of people marked for death. Radio broadcaster Jairo de Sousa was the first name. “We are worried, but we will continue to ask for clarification to reach the end of this process," said Miranda. During the session in the City Council, Monteiro said that he was a victim of political setup and that he is at the disposal of the Justice for clarification. Relatives of Jairo de Sousa protested.

Cesar Monteiro has been in prison since November 20, 2018, and will wait for the proceedings out of jail. In January, the Braganca Public Prosecutor's Office filed a complaint against him and ten other people involved in the crime. According to the investigation, the murder was ordered by a group of gunmen and would have cost 30,000 reais. The reason would be the dissatisfaction of a political group with the accusations that Sousa aired during his show.

According to witnesses heard in the investigation, the group chipped in to collect the amount agreed with José Roberto “Calar” Costa de Sousa, the boss of the group of killers. Councilman Cesar Monteiro was responsible for negotiating the death, according to depositions.

Jairo de Sousa was killed when he climbed the stairs that give access to Radio Perola FM, on June 21, 2018, around 4.50 am. He arrived at work to present his morning show, “Show da Perola,” which aired from 5 am to 9 am. After locking the iron gate and climbing some steps, he was shot by Dione de Sousa Almeida, with two shots that hit his chest.

Sousa's murder was the second case dealt with under the Tim Lopes Program, developed by Abraji (Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism), with support from the Open Society Foundations, to combat violence against journalists and impunity for those responsible. Whenever there is a crime related to the exercise of the profession, a network of traditional and independent media outlets is activated to follow the investigations and publish reports on the allegations in which the journalist worked until he or she was killed. Currently, the network includes Public Agency, Post Office (BA), O Globo, Poder 360, Ponte Jornalismo, Projeto Colabora, TV Aratu, TV Globo, and Veja.

The first case included in the program was the murder of broadcaster Jefferson Pureza, in Edealina, in the state of Goias, on January 17, 2018. The radio host was killed with three shots to the face while resting on the balcony of his house. The crime was negotiated for 5,000 reais and a revolver .38. The six accused of involvement remain in prison. Three teenagers carry out socio-educational measures, as determined by the law. In essence, one would be the sniper, the other would have driven the motorcycle, and the third would have referred the other two for the service. Councilman José Eduardo Alves da Silva – accused of ordering the killing –, Marcelo Rodrigues dos Santos, and Leandro Cintra da Silva were indicted by Judge Aluizio Martins Pereira de Souza, of the district of Jandaia, at the end of December 2018.

Assinatura Abraji