PEN International is appalled by the news of the April 23 murder of Brazilian journalist Décio Sá. Sá was a reporter for local newspaper O Estado do Maranhão and blogged at Blog do Décio. He was shot to death by an unidentified man in what appears to have been a contract killing in a bar in the city of Sao Luis, northeastern Brazil. PEN calls on the Brazilian authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the journalist’s murder.

Background Information

Forty-two-year-old Décio Sá reported on politics and crime. On the day he was murdered he had gone to eat at a local bar. According to reports, he received a phone call at the bar, went outside to answer it, and was gunned down by his killer when he returned. Sá was shot six times in the head and back. His killer made no attempt to avoid being recognized and escaped on a motorcycle.

According to colleagues at O Estado do Maranhão, Sá’s reporting, both for his newspaper and his blog, had made him several enemies. His blog was one of the most popular in Maranhão. The police are reportedly investigating whether Sá’s murder is connected to an article he wrote about a local politician who was implicated in a prostitution ring and in the murder of a student.

Décio Sá is the third journalist to be murdered in Brazil in 2012. In February, Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues and Mario Randolpho Marques Lopes were killed in separate incidents. No one has been arrested for these murders.

Sá had been a reporter for 17 years. He leaves a widow and an eight-year-old daughter.

In the last two years, eight print journalist have been murdered in Brazil, including Valério Nascimento (shot dead in May 2011) and Auro Ida (shot dead in July 2011).

More Information:

Write A Letter

  • Protesting the murder Décio Sá;
  • Noting that eight 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 those responsible are brought to justice.

Send Your Letter To

Sr. José Eduardo Cardozo
Federal Minister of Justice
Exmo. Ministro
Ministério da Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios,
Bloco "T", 70712-902 - Brasília/DF Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3322 6817 / 3224 3398
Salutation: Dear Minister
Electronic messages can be sent via the Minister’s web site

Sra. Maria do Rosário Nunes
Federal Human Rights Secretary
Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos
Exmo. Secretário Especial
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco "T" - 4º andar, 70064-900 Brasília/DF - Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3226 7980
Salutation: Dear Secretary

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Brazil in your country if possible.

Please check with PEN if sending appeals after June 30, 2012: ftw [at]