Brazilian deaths highlights need for safety training

The brutal murders of Brazilian journalists Djalma Santos de Conceição and Evany José Metzker, which came at a time when INSI was in Rio de Janeiro to conduct safety training, have once again shown the dire situation for media workers in the South American country.

Both journalists, who were renowned for denouncing corruption, were found dead in May in northeastern Brazil.

“Unfortunately it’s not unusual for journalists to be killed in Brazil,” said Marcelo Moreira, editor coordinator at Globo TV, Brazil’s biggest media organisation. “In recent years Brazil has always been among the top ten countries for journalist deaths.”

INSI’s intensive three-day programme was attended by 15 media security advisors from three regions of the country and is part of a long-term partnership between INSI and Globo TV that started in 2006 and has resulted in the safety training of more than 600 local media professionals.

The security advisors learned ways to better understand the threats journalists face and how they can help mitigate them through rigorous planning and preparation, medical training and situational awareness.

“This training was a big learning experience for me,” said Globo producer Erika Stockler, who participated in the safety training. “Everything we’ve learned here will be important for keeping journalists safer and therefore contributing to press freedom.”

INSI has been supporting journalists in Brazil for almost a decade and has repeatedly returned to the country to run safety training sessions. In 2012, INSI trained 11 journalists to become safety trainers, and is currently mentoring them with the aim that they will be able train their colleagues in their own language in the future. This sustainable project aims to ensure that more journalists have access to safety training throughout the South American country.

“We truly believe that INSI’s work is fundamental to decreasing the numbers of journalist casualties around the world. We not only do safety sessions in Brazil for our journalists working at home, but also consult INSI when we deploy journalists on dangerous assignments abroad, and this has been very helpful,” said Moreira.

INSI is delighted to have worked with Globo over the past decade and support the growing awareness of a safety culture in Brazil.

“We look forward to returning to Brazil to continue the training we have already done, helping develop the capacity of local journalists to help their own colleagues and supporting Globo as it leads the safety conversation in the country in order to make Brazil a safer place for all those working there," said INSI Director Hannah Storm.


The image from AFP shows Copacabana beach and 21 bullets set up by an NGO on the anniversary of the murder of a judge