Brazilian authorities to investigate disappearance of video journalist

On Monday, Oct. 15, The Brazilian Public Ministry of Paraná announced it would investigate the disappearance of video journalist Anderson Leandro da Silva, reported the website G1.

Silva, 38 years old, disappeared on Wednesday, Oct. 10, after leaving the video production company where he worked to supposedly attend a work meeting in Quatro Barras, in Curitiba. Family members of the video journalist said he could have been the victim of a politically-motivated kidnapping, according to the website Banda B.

Known for his coverage of social movements, Silva had the largest collection of images of social movements under attack in Paraná, his family told the newspaper Gazeta do Povo. In 2008, he received death threats after photographing a police officer shooting at a group of journalists.

The Professional Journalists Union of Paraná (SINDIJOR-PR in Portuguese) and the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism released statements calling for the "urgent" need for authorities to investigate the possible crime. Both organizations claimed there is "strong indication" that Silva's disappearance was motivated by his work as a journalist, reported the newspaper Jornal Hoje.

SINDIJOR-PR worried that other reporters would be threatened for posting their comments about Silva's disappearance on social media . "Communications professor Valdir José Cruz was threatened for asking for information about the case, which suggests more is going on than a simple disappearance," the union said in a statement on its website.

Groups and social movements plan to demonstrate in the center of the city of Curitiba next Thursday, Oct. 18, to call attention to the journalist's disappearance, reported Gazeta do Povo.

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.