The editor of Hora H, a daily serving low-income communities in suburban Rio de Janeiro, was fatally shot, Brazilian police said Wednesday.
Hooded assailants pumped at least 44 bullets into Jose Roberto Ornelas de Lemos, indicating that the killing was a murder-for-hire, detectives said.
The victim had received various threats in connection with Hora H’s reporting, according to his father, Jose Lemos, the newspaper’s founder and owner.
“The periodical is strong in the region and was tough about some issues,” Jose Lemos said, acknowledging that the persistent threats prompted him to get his own car armor-plated.
Jose Ornelas de Lemos was gunned down while meeting with friends at a bakery he often frequented after work. The fatal shots were fired from a vehicle sitting in front of the establishment.
“We have information that his newspaper was very combative and that he made many accusations,” police inspector Tarcia Amoedo said.
The victim was himself arrested in 2003 in connection with the killing of a municipal official, but Ornelas de Lemos was never convicted.
Three Brazilian journalists were slain in the first three months of the year, the Switzerland-based Press Emblem Campaign says.
The Committee to Protect Journalists rated Brazil as the world’s fourth-most-dangerous country for reporters in 2012.