Brazilian journalist wins award for reporting project that got him sued

The same project that caused Brazilian journalist Lúcio Flávio Pinto to be sentenced to pay moral damages also made him the winner of the 34th edition of the Vladimir Herzog Amnesty and Human Rights Award, reported the news site Ambiente Já. His journalistic work in the Amazon has led to more than 33 lawsuits against him, as well as many awards, such as four Esso awards, which are the most important awards for journalism in Brazil.

This new award, which will be given on Oct. 23, in Sao Paulo, is granted by the Professional Journalists Union of Sao Paulo that, since 1979, has honored news media professionals that excel in citizenship, human and social rights advocacy.

Pinto, newspaper editor of the Jornal Pessoal for 25 years, is one of the most persecuted and threatened journalists in the Amazon region due to his reports. On Wednesday, June 6, the reporter said he would pay a fee for alleged moral damages caused by one of his published articles, according to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. The fee amounts to about $13,000, which will be paid by donations given by friends and readers.

In February of this year, after a higher court upheld a ruling against him, Pinto decided to drop the appeal, for which he was sentenced for reporting on illegal land appropriation in Pará by businessman Cecílio do Rego Monteiro, owner of one of the largest companies in the country. The Federal Police confirmed the illegal land appropriation, but the businessman wasn't detained for the crime.

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.