A Brazilian journalist and director of a newspaper was beaten by three men who also stole two thousand copies of the publication on Saturday, Sept. 1, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, reported the website G1. Police announced they would open an investigation into the journalist's assault on Tuesday, Sept. 4, according to Jornal A Cidade.
Monize Taniguci, director and owner of the weekly O Jornal in the city of Guaíra, believed the attack was related to political denunciations the newspaper published during the last five months after she assumed leadership of the publication, according to the Jornal Dia Dia's website. "They beat me, swore, and said, 'This is so you learn, so you see who you're messing with. Open your eyes,'" Taniguci said.
Taniguci told the newspaper SBT Noticidade that the suspects drove two cars and surrounded her after she returned from the facility where printed copies of newspaper awaited distribution at the end of the week. One of the men had a gun and forced the journalist to swallow a pill. Then, the suspects drove Taniguci to a sugar cane field where they made her kneel while the newspapers were stolen.
"Someone wanted to scare me into not publishing political denouncements in the newspaper, but I'm not going to stop. I'm going to continue on the same line," the director affirmed. Taniguci ordered three thousand more copies printed to sell in Guaíra over the next week along with a single-page supplement in the newspaper about her attack, reported Folha de São Paulo.
The headline on the stolen newspapers dealt with the donation of a piece of land valued at over $900,000 by the mayor's office for the construction of a private college. Taniguci also exposed an alleged fraude in the election of the local servers' union.
Journalism has become increasingly dangerous to practice in Brazil. The same day as Taniguci's attack, a journalist for the website in the state of Rondônia was attacked by a doctor who claimed he was hurt by the journalist's report. A few day before, a TV news van in Bahia was shot at on its way to cover a bus fire. Another journalist received death threats after publishing a series that denounced problems in the city Brumadinho, Minas Gerais.
A 2012 report from the International News Safety Institute listed Brazil among the five most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, along with Nigeria, Somalia, Indonesia and Mexico.
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.