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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Brazilian reporter secreted away after series of increasingly aggressive threats



After a series of increasingly aggressive threats from an ex-commander of the Rondas Ostensivas Tobias de Aguiar (ROTA in Portuguese), an arm of the São Paulo Military Police, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo moved its reporter André Caramante to an undisclosed location for his security, reported the newspaper Brasil de Fato.

The first threats began on Facebook after the journalist published a report titled "Ex-ROTA chief turned politician and preacher of violence on Facebook," about an ex-ROTA commandante and current city council candidate. Supporters of the city council hopeful responded with intimidating comments about the journalist on the aspirant's Facebook page.

The digital threats followed Caramante into the comments section of his articles for the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, according to an interview the journalist gave to the magazine Vice. Recently, according to the website Portal Imprensa, a blog linked to the military police, "Flit Paralisante," posted a photo of the executive editor of the newspaper, Sérgio Dávila, identifying him as Caramante. Accompanying the photo was a quote from ex-judge Ronaldo Tovani, accused by the reporter of money laundering, saying, "The written word, lying and cruel, of journalist André Caramante now has a 'face.' The photo of him is posted on 'Flit' and has been seen by all, including those military police officers offended by and criticized by him. I hope no maniac shows up and tries to take justice into his own hands when he sees him around."

The post has since been taken down but the material from Portal Imprensa on the threats was reproduced under the title "Better to be tied to the Military Police (PM) than the PCC--Flit is to blame; Flit is linked to the 'military police'...Flit...It's Flit...Everything is Flit's fault!" (sic). In the comments section, readers posted that the journalist lied and that there were never any threats.



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