Police invade newspaper offices in Brazil to stop release of voter poll

By Isabela Fraga

On Aug. 29, federal police agents invaded the offices of the newspaper Correio do Estado in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul to stop the release of the Aug. 30 edition of the newspaper that included the results of an voter poll, reported the Brazilian Press Association (ABI in Portuguese). The survey was not to be published since it had not been finalized.

Under the orders of Judge Elisabeth Rosa Baisch, three court officials went to the headquarters of the newspaper with two injunctions prohibiting the release of a voter poll for the Campo Grande mayoral election, and ordered the newspaper's executive editor to sign the documents, reported the website Consultor Jurídico. The judge's injunctions were requested by mayoral candidates Reinaldo Azambuja and Alcides Bernal.

On the evening of Aug. 30, police agents were at the publication's offices demanding to see all the pages of the newspaper, reported Correio do Estado.

ABI considered the action a "grave violation of constitutional provisions" and sent a statement to Minister of Justice José Eduardo Cardozo requesting an inquiry, reported the website Terra.

Federal police denied their actions constituted an invasion, affirming they were following the electoral court's orders, according to the website Mídia Max.

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.