Brazilian journalists warned not to report on local mayor's embezzlement case

Brazilian journalists received death threats over e-mail after reporting on investigations by the State Public Ministry into family members and other people connected to the city's mayor, Silvio Félix, according to Canal Rio Claro. The reporters, in the city of Limeira, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, are from the newspapers Gazeta de Limeira and Jornal de Limeira, and TV Jornal.

The e-mails demanded that the reporters stop covering the allegations of embezzlement against the Félix family, reported the Gazeta de Limeira's website. The most recent threats were received on Jan. 13, and originated from an unknown Internet provider outside the South American country.

The Public Ministry's Special Action Group for the Repression of Organized Crime opened a criminal inquiry to investigate the threats. Opening up the process is the first step in an international judicial cooperation agreement that could help find the location of the server that originated the threatening e-mails and bring those responsible to justice, said the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism.