Rodrigo Neto

On March 7, 2013, Rodrigo worked normally and, after leaving some friends at home, stopped at a restaurant, still accompanied by one of them. At Around 00: 27h, on leaving the restaurant, he went to his car, and as he approached the vehicle, two armed men, on a motorcycle, opened fire hitting the journalist in his back, chest and head. He was taken to the Ipatinga hospital, but died from his injuries.

Rodrigo had founded a small newspaper, with print and digital editions, in which he carried out investigative journalism to look into unsolved crimes. Rodrigo Neto revisited crimes already forgotten and confronted the police and authorities about the lack of answers about crimes carried out by organized crime in Ipatinga and in the region of Vale do Aço.

At the time of his death he was writing a book in partnership with a newspaper about unresolved crimes involving police officers who were part of a death squad in the region. Lúcio Lírio Leal, a former civilian police officer and Alessandro Neves Augusto, known as ¨Pitote¨, were convicted for the crime. Phone records showed that they had exchanged around 124 calls in 79 days. The indictment said that the car that appeared at the crime scene, minutes before Rodrigo was killed, belonged to Lucio.

Rodrigo was also a radio broadcaster at Radio Vanguarda, and just before his death he had returned to work at the newspaper Vale do Aço. He was married, the father of a son aged seven, and was studying for the police entrance competition, since it was his dream be a police officer.

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Department/Province/State:Minas Gerais


Date of Killing:08/03/2013

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Journalist/communicator

Organisation:Rádio Vanguarda

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights, ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Citizens' rights, Impunity/Justice

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).