Radio broadcaster Jairo Sousa was murdered at dawn on June 21, 2018, in the city of Braganca, distant 220 km from Belem, the capital city of the state of Para. The journalist hosted the show “Show da Perola”, on the radio station Perola FM. In his broadcasts, Sousa criticized the local administration and opened the mic for complaints from listeners.
According to the Civil Police, the crime took place around 5 am at the entrance to the building where the radio is based. Witnesses said that Sousa was shot in the back by a man, who then ran away on a motorcycle with a companion. Sousa was taken still alive Hospital Santo Antonio Maria Zaccaria, but died shortly after being admitted.
A task force from the homicide division of the state of Para is in Braganca to investigate the murder. The team, led by the interior police director Sílvio Maues, is made up of forensic experts, investigators, and specialized chiefs of police.
Years ago, before the “Show da Perola”, Jairo Sousa hosted “Patrulhao 106” on radio Princesa FM, a show with a broad audience in the region and similar content. A colleague of Sousa told the Committee to Protect Journalists that the professional had received threats in the past and that he sometimes wore bulletproof vests.
Through the Tim Lopes Program, Abraji works to ascertain whether the crime was retaliation for Sousa's work. Moreover, Abraji has sent letters to the Secretary of Public Security, the general delegate of the Civil Police, and the Governor of Para, requesting speed in the clarification of the homicide.
For Abraji, the murder of a communication professional due to the exercise of journalistic activity is a severe attack on freedom of expression. By trying to silence a voice and create a climate of insecurity among other professionals, crimes of this type impair the circulation of information and opinion.
Abraji Board of Directors, June 22, 2018.