Gleydson Carvalho was known as a radio journalist who stood up to corruption in his native Brazil, and now he appears to have paid with his life.
Carvalho was broadcasting live on Thursday when two men entered the building, claiming to want to buy advertising space. But instead, the men forced their way into Carvalho’s radio booth, killing him during the live broadcast.
“The guy opened the door and shot three times. It was very quick. I saw the bloody body and asked for help right away,” said the show’s technician, Ricardo Farias. “Gleydson had received threats saying they would kill him and he said on the air that he was threatened and he was not afraid… I always told him not to do it.”
The attack was not broadcast on the air, as the show was in a musical interlude when the gunman broke in. Carvalho was reportedly shot three times before the gunman fled on a white motorbike. He died en route to a hospital.
Gleydson Carvalho was no stranger to threats. His work to expose corruption was often controversial, earning him many enemies. Friend Autran Santos said Gleydson often received threats while he was live on the air.
“He spoke to me constantly about the threats but said he wasn’t afraid,” Santos told the Mirror. “The most serious threats he received were to do with politics. He said he had enemies because of the accusations he made.”
Now those close to Carvalho are calling for justice.
“I never imagined something like this could happen in our city,” said Carvalho’s lawyer, Marcos Coelho. “This is a crime that deserves the most rigorous investigation possible by the authorities.”
The on-air killing of Gleydson Carvalho was also decried by many journalist groups. The Committee to Protect Journalists noted that he was the third journalist killed in Brazil this year for their work and the 16th since 2011.
“Violence against the press in Brazil had already reached unacceptable levels. Now we are stunned by the brazen murder of Gleydson Carvalho in the middle of his radio show,” said Sara Rafsky, CPJ’s Americas research associate. “Authorities must take action to combat a press freedom crisis that is violating the right of all Brazilians to be informed, not to mention ending journalists’ lives.”
Authorities have not said if they have a suspect in the on-air killing of Gleydson Carvalho.
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