Brazilian journalist fired, threatened after opinion piece linking senator to the "fuel mafia"

Brazilian journalist José Marcondes was fired from the radio station where he was a political commentator and received threats in the aftermath of an opinion piece criticizing a senator from Mato Grosso, the journalist told the news site Repórter MT.

Marcondes' Oct. 24 story titled, "The Mafia of Pedro Taques,", which ran on the Repórter MT site, linked Sen. Pedro Taques to the state's "fuel mafia." After publication, the journalist reported receiving threats. "I got a call today from someone who didn't identify themselves threatening, 'Be careful what you say,'" Marcondes said.

According to Marcondes, Aldo Locatelli, a businessman and president of the Retail Petroleum Products Union, asked that he be fired from the radio station. Locatelli is a friend of the senator and donated to his campaign, reported Mídia News.

Sen. Taques announced that he would press charges against the journalist. "I read the article and found that that the paper had to publish it. I'm not going to criticize those that published it, freedom of the press and all that. But, I decided to pursue charges against the commentator. By noon today, I'll present the complaint to the court," he told Mídia News.

The politician's lawyer presented a criminal accusation of libel and slander against Marcondes to the Public Ministry.