Brazilian public officials responsible for most crimes against the press, says journalists federation

Por Isabela Fraga

The majority of crimes against journalists in Brazil are committed by politicians and the police, said the National Federation of Journalists of Brazil (Fenaj in Portuguese) in a public hearing of the Commission on Public Safety and the Fight against Organized Crime held Tuesday, July 3, according to the Agency News Chamber.

Fenaj also warned about the high number of journalists killed in 2012 in Brazil, where six reporters died for causes related to their profession.

During the hearing, proposals to improve the safety of news media professionals in the country were also discussed. The federal police said that the alternatives would be studied, although journalism organizations demanded the approval of a law that federalizes investigations of crimes against journalists, reported the newspaper Estado de Minas.

The bill that would allows for federal police to investigate crimes against journalists was presented by Congressman Protógenes Queiroz. However, during the hearing, the assistant director of the Division of Human Rights of the Federal Police, Delano Cerqueira, said that federalizing crimes isn't enough and that police need to be offered other "legal tools," such as rewarding informants, reported G1.

Currently, the bill is before the Chamber of Representatives, according to the newspaper Diário de São Paulo.

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.