SAO PAULO – A Brazilian journalist was killed by gunmen who fired 12 shots at him in Ponta Pora, a city on the border with Paraguay, the Mato Grosso do Sul state police said.
Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues, who was known as Paulo Rocaro, was shot early Monday while sitting in his automobile by two men armed with 9 mm pistols and riding on motorcycles.
Paramedics worked to save the journalist’s life and transported him to a hospital, where he died.
Ponta Pora, a city of 61,000, is about 360 kilometers (224 miles) from Campo Grande, the state capital, and it is separated by a street from the Paraguayan city of Pedro Juan Caballero.
Investigators are looking at “all the theories,” but all indications are that it was “a hit ordered” against the journalist because the gunmen did not steal anything, precinct chief Clemir Vieira Junior, who is in charge of the investigation, told the official Agencia Brasil news agency.
The 51-year-old Cardoso Rodrigues founded the Mercosulnews Web site and served as editor-in-chief of the Jornal da Praça newspaper, where he worked for the past 30 years.
Businessman Fahd Jamil, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 on a drug conviction and is a fugitive, was one of the newspaper’s owners until recently.
Investigators are looking at whether Cardoso Rodrigues’ killing is linked to the case of Paraguayan journalist Candido Figueredo, the ABC Color newspaper’s correspondent in Pedro Juan Caballero, who received death threats from the drug traffickers who operate in the area.
Cardoso Rodrigues is the second journalist murdered in the past week in Brazil.
Journalist Mario Randolfo Marques Lopes and his girlfriend, Maria Aparecida Guimaraes, were gunned down last Thursday in Barra do Pirai, a city in Rio de Janeiro state.
Lopes was the publisher of the Vassouras na Net Web site, which reported on judges, police officers and politicians. EFE