Brazilian mayor accused of threatening journalist after article linking him with corruption scheme

Gaspar Domingos Lazari, the mayor of Confresa, in the western Brazil state of Mato Grosso, is accused of sending “henchmen” to threaten journalist Leandro Nascimento because of articles that revealed corruption at city hall, reported Gazeta Digital.

Nascimento filed a police report and underwent a physical exam on Tuesday, June 14, after his house was invaded by a man who beat him and ordered him to stop publishing trash in the press.

According to the journalist, this is the fourth time he has been harassed by men associated with Lazari. The first time, invaders destroyed furniture and vandalized his car and motorcycle, according to RepórterMT. After the third incident, at the beginning of this year, Nascimento was forced to move to a neighboring city.

The mayor, investigated for supposed involvement in a fraud scheme that diverted about $126,000 from city coffers, denied any responsibility for the threats against the journalist.

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.