10 July 2014 06:38
Another Argentine journalist died in Brazil on Wednesday, as his taxi was struck by a stolen car that was being pursued by police.
Jorge ‘Topo’ Lopez, 38, was killed in Guarulhos in the early hours of Wednesday morning – Brazil time – just a week after fellow Argentine journalist Maria Soledad Fernandez also died in a car crash when travelling from Sao Paulo to Belo Horizonte.
Guarulhos is the second-largest city in the state of Sao Paulo.
A stolen car, which was being pursued by military police, reportedly struck Lopez’s taxi and some media sources have claimed he was thrown from the vehicle.
The taxi driver was injured, while the three individuals in the stolen car were apparently unharmed.
The trio were arrested at the scene.
Lopez was covering the FIFA World Cup for Spanish newspapers AS and Sport, Argentine sports newspaper Ole and Argentine radio station Radio La Red.
AS claimed Lopez was “a giant in the media world”.
“Married to Marca’s Argentina correspondent, Veronica Brunatti, Lopez was well connected in Spain, where he arrived to follow the career of Javier Saviola when ‘El Conejo’ signed for Barcelona in 2001,” AS wrote on their English website.
“Saviola and Topo Lopez, a specialist of River Plate and the Argentine national team, remained close friends.
“In Barcelona he was Ole’s correspondent, the newspaper he had worked with since its launch.
“Jorge Luis Lopez has worked as a journalist for two decades, and had a very good relationship with footballers.
“From Barcelona he returned to Buenos Aires, collaborating with Catalan daily Sport, in addition to covering River Plate and Argentina with Ole.
“In 2010 he became AS’s correspondent in Argentina. He was the journalist closest to Leo Messi and the majority of the Argentine players.”
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) paid tribute to Lopez on Twitter before Argentina took on Netherlands in Sao Paulo in Wednesday’s semi-final.
“The AFA has a deep regret at the death of journalist Jorge ‘Topo’ Lopez and send their heartfelt condolences to his wife Veronica, his children and family, as well as his colleagues at Radio Network and the sports daily Ole,” the AFA tweeted.