Yet another fatal attack on a blogger. This one, Evany José Metzker.
Metzker was known for his in-depth investigations of political corruption in Brazil and also for his blog titled ‘Coruja do Vale’ (The Owl of the Valley). He was found late Monday in the poverty-stricken town of Padre Paraíso located in the northeast state of Minas Gerais. Various local media outlets report that Metzker was stripped half naked, decapitated, with his hands tied behind his back. His body had clear signs of torture, and his head, located almost 330 feet away from his body, had been scalped.
Metzker was missing for several days and colleagues state that he was in the Minas Gerais region investigating child prostitution and drug trafficking rings. His credit cards, check book and ID were all found near his body, suggesting this was a crime of intimidation or retaliation. Metzker received death threats before, though it’s unclear if any were related to his current investigation.
According to Reporters without Borders, behind Mexico and Colombia, Brazil is ranked as the third most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America. (http://en.rsf.org/ameriques-infographic-the-deadliest-30-09-2014,47028.html) Today, the news of blogger Evany José Metzker’s murder is a gruesome reminder of how real the threats are in a country many associate with only cold caipirinhas and a sunny Copacabana.
Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, and colleagues. Brazil, Latin America’s most populous country with over 200 million, faces an extremely turbulent future so long as the climate of the free press has a cloud of barbaric terror looming over it. Rest in Slack Mr. Metzker, the latest blogger to give his life in the name of freedom of expression.
I sincerely hope that a dozen Brazilian bloggers rise to duplicate his efforts. Let them try and blow out the candle of the free press — and let that wind just fan the flames higher. See Why you should speak up for slain blogger.