Brazilian journalist threatened after uncovering $2 million fraud

Brazilian journalist Lúcio Flávio Pinto reported he was threatened by a businessman when he left a restaurant in downtown Belém, the capital of the northern state of Pará, on Dec. 10.

Pinto, editor of Jornal Pessoal, reported the event to the police. He said that he was threatened by businessman Rodrigo Chaves, who said he would leave the journalist alone if he stopped mentioning him in his articles, according to Diário do Pará.

"He showed up with a glass full of soda, looked at me and said, 'Respect me. Read in your newspaper what you did.' I walked away with my family, thinking he might throw the glass. He followed me to the street, yelling 'clown,'" the journalist said, according to Correio do Brasil.

Chaves, along with the brothers Rômulo Maiorana Júnior and Ronaldo Maiorana, owners of a large media company in northern Brazil, are accused of defrauding the Superintendency of Development for the Amazon of over $2 million. The crime against the federal development organization was reported in Pinto's Jornal Pessoal.

This is not the first time Pinto's accusations have landed him in trouble. Over the 19 years he has edited Jornal Pessoal, Pinto has been a defendant in 33 cases for his reporting on environmental damage and raw material trafficking in the Amazon region.