Brazilian journalist censored, harassed after publishing video alleging corruption in state government

Valdir Cardoso, the Brazilian journalist responsible for the site O Jornal MS, is denouncing the way a judicial order to confiscate one of his videos was carried out, according to the digital newspaper Midiamax. The video in question is about a supposed corruption case involving government officials from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

According to Cardoso, armed police accompanying two lawyers for chief of staff Osmar Jerônimo, who was mentioned in the video, and a justice official, went to the journalist's house the night of Friday, May 6.

The journalist explained that police went to neighboring houses before finding his house, around 9 at night. Earlier, they had visited the house of his 71-year-old brother, who felt bad because of the aggressive manner of the group. Cardoso said he will seek compensation for the episode.

The video denounces an alleged scheme, involving governor André Puccinelli and a mayor, to faciliate the distribution of social housing. The judicial order also required that the video be taken off the website, added Midiamax.

Previously, the Puccinelli government has been involved in other cases of harassment and press censorship. In September 2010, copies of a newspaper distributed in Campo Grande, the state capital, were seized by police because they were critical of the governor. In February 2011, Midiamax accused the same government of censorship.

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.