Brazilian authorities confiscate television station's equipment

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  • September 16, 2010

By Maira Magro

Military police accompanied by a court official confiscated television sets, cameras, furniture, and even the transmitters of the television channell TV Descalvados, affiliate of the SBT network in the town of Cáceres, in the western state of Mato Grosso, reported Midia News. The seizure, which forced the channel off the air, was court-ordered to pay for "moral damages" inflicted on the city's first lady, Gisele Fontes, according tol Diário de Cuiabá.

In 2001, TV presenter Edmilson Campos, on the now defunct program "Here Now," called Fontes a "thief." The channel in 2008 was sentenced to pay what in current dollars is $275,000 in damages, reported Diário de Cuiabá, although the owner of TV Descalvados questions that calculation. As the amount was not paid, the channel's property was confiscated. Besides the damages, the television presenter -- who at the time also was a city councilman -- spent six months on house arrest in 2006, added the website Olhar Direto.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.