Brazilian mayor threatens journalist, photographer

By Isabela Fraga

A Brazilian journalist and photographer from the newspaper O Globo were threatened on July 23 by the mayor of the city of Redenção (in the state of Pará), Wagner Montes, who is also the candidate for reelection in 2012, reported O Globo. The journalists were sent to the city to investigate about illegal schemes related to city hall.

According to the story, reproduced by the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism's website, and the Congress in Focus' website, the mayor said: "I'm talking so you may lay the foundation of your questions, even so you may reflect on what I'm going to tell you. If (anyone) speaks negatively with defamation goals, it may be that tomorrow or later (he/she) may be dead." Later, the mayor told the journalists a story of the case of a local blogger who "disappeared" after publishing criticism against the city's administration.

The journalists filed a complaint with the Federal Police of Redenção, saying that the mayor coerced and threatened them. The journalists were given police protection until they left the state of Pará, on the morning of Tuesday, July 24.

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.