Journalists threatened in Brazil, demand authorities take action

The Journalists Union of Alagoas accused provincial authorities--including delegates--of recent threats against journalists in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. "These attacks have been frequent, above all by those who feel uncomfortable when society learns of their actions, which are not always noble or consistent with their office," the union said in a statement.

Last week, Delegate Cícero Ferro, accused of homicide, supposedly joked, "I wouldn't leave a hair on her head" when talking about the reporter Niviane Rodrigues of the newspaper Gazeta de Alagoas, reported the website Repórter Alagoas. On the same day, Temóteo Correia and João Beltrão criticized the journalist, according to the website.

According to Cada Minuto, journalists Ricardo Motta and Thiago Correia for the media company Sistema Pajuçara de Comunicação were also threatened. Motta wrote on his blog that he was being "filmed, followed and monitored by an informal security service working for a particular authority."

Correia was already targeted by gang members he accused of operating a maternity subsidy scheme, according to Alagoas Em Tempo Real.

Niviane Rodrigues commented on the delegates' charges over Twitter, saying, "I never did anything but I've been called venomous and evil, among other 'adjectives.'"

The Alagoas Bar Association of Brazil condemned the threats against the journalists and assured that they would help the union collect any necessary compensation, reported Alagoas 24 Horas.