Brazil’s Nat'l. Archive keeps documents from journalists during election campaign

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  • November 3, 2010

By Maira Magro

Claiming that “journalists were misusing documents and seeking data about candidates involved in the electoral campaign,” the National Archive denied researchers access to files, during recent campaigns, about the dictatorship (1964-1985), O Globo reports.

The complaint came from historian Carlos Fico of Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University. In protest, Fico resigned from his advisory role in Revealed Memories (Memórias Reveladas ) —the federal government's project created in May 2009 to gather and disseminate secret documents from the military regime.

Ironically, that project was launched by the president’s chief of staff, President-elect Dilma Rousseff, and her own activities as a former guerrilla who was imprisoned and tortured by the military, sparked journalists’ curiosity during the elections. Fico believes the managers of the archives may fear being sued for offenses to the honor, image, and privacy of the persons involved.

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.