Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Brazil19 May 2008

Shooting attack on TV reporter in São Paulo suburb, police suspected

Reporters Without Borders hopes the authorities will lose no time in solving a shooting attack on reporter Edson Ferraz of TV Diário (a station affiliated to the privately-owned Rede Globo network) on 15 May in Mogi das Cruzes, an outlying suburb of São Paulo, in which Ferraz was unhurt.

The 25-year-old journalist had been covering a case of corruption and money-laundering involving 19 local policemen and had been warned of possible reprisals.

“In some respects, Ferraz’s case recalls the murder of Luiz Barbon Filho, a reporter for the Jornal do Porto weekly, the JC Regional daily and Radio Porto FM, a year ago in São Paulo state, in which members of the military police were involved (see 6 March 2008 release),” Reporters Without Borders said. “Given the circumstances of the attack on Ferraz, it could well have been linked to his work and the authorities should investigate within the police.”

Ferraz was driving home in Mogi das Cruzes in a car with TV Diário’s logo on the night of 15 May when, at around 10 p.m., two masked men in a black car blocked his way and the driver opened fire twice without hitting Ferraz. They did not try to rob Ferraz, who had received an anonymous call on his mobile the previous day advising him to “take care.”

“They wanted to intimidate me,” Ferraz told the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo. “If they had wanted to kill me, they would have got out of their car and would have fired from closer range.” Ferraz immediately reported the attack to his TV station and the local military police. He left the town the next day with his family. The car used in the attack was found on the outskirts of Mogi das Cruzes on 17 May.

Ferraz had just done several reports on cases involving the police. One was the arrest of 13 members of the Armed Group for the Repression of Robberies and Attacks (Garra) in April on charges of extorting money from procurers, trafficking in stolen car parts and theft of slots machines. Garra chief Eduardo Peretti Guimarães, who was one of those charged, denied any role in the attack on Ferraz.

Ferraz had also been covering the case of two Mogi das Cruzes police officers suspected of stealing equipment from a pirate radio station, and he had exposed an attempt by four local police officers to extort money from a bakery. The authorities in charge of investigating the attack on Ferraz promised to carry out an internal investigation. The National Federation of Journalists and the São Paulo Union of Journalists called it an “attack on press freedom.”



In this country
1 May - Brazil
Victory as federal supreme court repeals dictatorship era press law
12 December - Brazil
Four new arrests in investigation into abduction of O Dia employees
3 September - Brazil
Call for boost to media safety ahead of elections after journalist injured in Mato Grosso do Sul state
23 July - Brazil
Legislators urged to oppose cyber-crime bill likely to threaten online free expression
9 July - Brazil
A Folha de São Paulo and Veja win appeal against “premature electoral propaganda” fines

in the annual report
Brazil - Annual Report 2008
Brazil - Annual report 2007
Brazil - Annual report 2006


reports
14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press
archives

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Cuba
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Cuba
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro