Brazilian reporter harassed after investigating local corruption

By Leo Cardoso

Vânia Costa, a journalist for the newspaper O Mato Grosso in the central-western state of the same name, reported suffering harassment after she tried to investigate alleged misuse of federal funds in the city of SinopFolha Online reports.

Costa said that she was stopped three times by people who identified themselves as police officers and demanded access to documents she had obtained in Sinop. Later, she was chased in her car by three men, one of whom drew a gun and ordered her to pull over. Startled, she lost control of her vehicle and crashed, Folha explains.

The Mato Gross Journalists’ Union urged an immediate investigation into the Sinop matter, which Costa said has resulted in at least one other journalist facing harassment. “Journalists of all stripes in Mato Grosso are shocked at this tale of violence and coercion,” the union said.

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.