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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Political reporter threatened at council meeting by politician in Brazil



The Brazilian newspaper Diario da Região reported that city councilman Cesar Gelsi threatened a political reporter for the publication, Rodrigo Lima. The threats followed articles the journalist published calling Gelsi "the living-dead of politics" and included him in a list of officials charged with failing to pay backed taxes.

The threats took place at the São José do Pio Preto city hall, in the interior of São Paulo state. During a legislative session, the politician told Lima that he would split his skull, according to the website Araraquara.com. The councilman also alluded to the reporter's death.

The reporter filed a complaint about the statements and admitted he was upset about the situation, "In 13 years at Diario, this has never happened to me," reported the website Comunique-se

Journalistic organizations including the National Association of Newspapers and the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI) repudiated Gelsi's threats. According to ABRAJI President Marcelo Moreira, the representative's intention was to silence the reporter. "This is not permitted. It's a situation that still happens in Brazil. They are officials who feel like they own the power," he told Diário da Região.



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