In a year of elections for president, state and federal legislators, senators and governors, threats against journalists increased. The Justice Ministry prohibited the publication of politicians’ threats or information against journalists. In the past six months, there were many physical attacks against working journalists. On July 26, President Luiz Inácio da Silva vetoed Supplemental Bill 79-2004, sponsored by Deputy Pastor Amarildo, which would regulate journalists’ work. The text repeated proposals that had been vetoed two years earlier, including an increase from 11 to 23 in the number of journalistic functions that would require a degree in journalism. The bill also would have established a Federal Journalism Council to discipline, guide and control the profession, with administrative penalties. Press freedom was threatened in August when a journalist and a technician of TV Globo channel of São Paulo were taken hostage by a criminal gang, the First Capital Commando (PCC), to demand that a message be broadcast on one of the most popular Brazilian television programs. The IAPA criticized the increasing climate of chaos and violence caused by the impunity and lack of coordination between state and federal authorities. Impunity is also evident in other situations, such as the shelving in January of the investigation of the murder of television anchorman Edgar Lopes de Faria, known as “Escaramuça.” Faria was killed on October 29, 1997 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. Similarly, the investigation of who assisted in the escape of Cèlio Alves de Souza, a former military policeman who was sentenced in June of 2005 to 17 years and six months in prison for his role in the murder of businessman Domingos Sávio Brandão Lima Júnior. He escaped from Pascoal Ramos Penitentiary on July 24, 2005, in the same way as another suspect in the same crime. In addition, several crimes against broadcasters and journalists have not been punished. At best, several low level hit men and middlemen are arrested. And even these manage to avoid punishment because of loopholes in the law. In the case of the murder of journalist Samuel Román in April of 2004 in Coronel Sapucaia, Mato Grosso do Sul, a court determined that there was probable cause to hold Cleyton de Andrade Segovia, but he was granted a writ of habeas corpus, and fled after being released. The following are recent developments affecting press freedom: On May 2, radio reporter Camelo Luis de Sá of Rádio Comunitária of Quiterianópolis, Ceará, was shot twice in the right arm at the radio station. Antônio Valceni Vieira, son of the city’s mayor, Francisco Vieira da Costa, turned himself in at the Tauá police station and said he had shot the journalist because he had insulted his family in his radio commentaries. On May 5, Police Chief Edson Costa of the 4th Police District of Curitiba, Paraná, entered the office of TV Iguaçu with a weapon and demanded the right to reply to the news program “Tribuna na TV.” Apparently Costa felt that he had been insulted in a series of reports the program had broadcast throughout the week. The policeman, who was very nervous, was calmed down by the news team and agreed to leave his weapon in a drawer in the newsroom before going into the studio. The reports of “Tribuna na TV” were based on an investigation by the Civil Police Office of Internal Affairs, the Unit to Protect Child and Adolescent Crime Victims (Nucria) and Child and Youth Protective Services about the involvement of policemen in a pedophile, child prostitution and extortion ring. On May 5, Lucio Flavio Pereira Vaz, a special reporter of Correio Braziliense in Brasilia, was surprised by a news story published in the newspaper O Globo. In a report on Operation Sanguessuga by the Federal Police (PF), the newspaper published a conversation taped by the police on December 23, 2005 between businessman Luiz Antônio Trevisan Vedoin and Francisco Machado Filho, an adviser to legislator Nilton Capixaba (PTB-Rondônia) in which the two planned to have Vaz murdered. Tardelli Boaventuira, chief of the federal police Regional Organized Crime Unit of Mato Grosso, said that the tape was of an “isolated conversation.” On May 11, Ricardo Ojedo, editor of the local edition of the newspaper Diàrio MS and the news Web site Perfil News in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul, was threatened by telephone. He made a complaint at the regional headquarters of the Civil Police. Ojedo believes that the threat was a response to his coverage of the arrest of five councilmen of the city of Santa Rita do Pardo. They were accused of conspiracy and gang activity. On May 12, 2006, security agents of the former governor of Rio de Janeiro Anthony Garotinho attacked photographer Marizilda Cruppe of the newspaper O Globo when the politician, who was on a hunger strike, was transferred from the headquarters of the PMDB party in Rio de Janeiro to a hospital. When Gorotinho left, his security guards attacked several journalists, grabbed Marizilda around the neck, pulling her violently and pushing her. In May reporter Maria Mazzei of the newspaper O DIA of Rio de Janeiro, received death threats after the publication of a series of articles called “The Mafia of Bodies” about a fraud scheme against life insurance companies. The first article, published on May 13, resulted in the arrest of two people involved in the crime. The following week Maria Mazzei was threatened for the first time. When she reported that a former officer of the Merchant Marine, George Sarkis, was involved in the crime, a car began to drive around her home, and her relatives received anonymous telephone calls with new threats. The company moved the journalist and her family to a safe place. Early in the morning on May 18, three armed and hooded men invaded the headquarters of the newspaper Imprensa Livre in São Sebastião, a city on the north coast of São Paulo state. They went to the print shop at the back of the building, ordered the employees to lie on the floor, sprayed the presses, paper cutters and copies of the newspaper with gasoline and set them on fire. During the attack, the men shouted that the newspaper should not publish any more news about the PCC (First Capital Commando), a criminal gang that has been blamed for a series of attacks in São Paulo. But the editor of the newspaper believes the cause of the attack was more political. About a year ago, the paper published reports about irregularities committed by the city government of São Sebastião. On May 28, journalist and environmentalist Vilmar Sidnei Demamam Berna, editor of Jornal, da Revista e do Portal do Meio Ambiente, received an anonymous telephone call at his home in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. When his wife answered the phone, a woman’s voice said he would not live through the night. On June 20 in Paraíba, Potiguaras Indians destroyed a car owned by TV Cabo Branco, part of Rede Globo, and held two hostages in Rio Tinto (60 kilometers from João Pessoa) as well as a forest ranger and a security guard from a factory in the region. According to police the act was a response to the arrest of four Indians for cutting trees illegally in the Mata do Rio Vermelho state park. On July 11, reporter Alexandre Araújo of Estadão do Norte in Rondônia complained that he had been threatened by Irandi Oliveira, the mayor of Ouro Preto do Oeste, for publishing a news story about his impeachment. The next day, there was a new phone call with threats that the police officer heard on a speaker phone. On July 18 journalist José Ursílio, editor of the newspaper Diário de Marília and radio stations Dirceu AM and Diário FM in Marília, São Paulo, requested protection for himself and his family and asked the police and judicial authorities to take measures against the escalation of violence and attacks that began with the arson attack at the newspaper in September of last year. The day before, a furniture assembler had been caught firing two shots against driver Almir Adauto Marcelo, whom he mistook for the journalist. On June 25, Rafael Luís, sports reporter for the newspaper O Povo, of Fortaleza, Ceará, was punched in the chest by an adviser to the president of the Ceará Sporting Club. He had published an article about a dispute among officers of the club and delays in paying players and officers. In June, reporter-photographer Mauri Melo was attacked by security guards of the Electric Company of Ceará (Coelce). In August, Mauri Martinelli, columnist of the weekly O Minuano, of Estãncia Velha, Rio Grande do Sul, was shot five times. Martinelli believes it was a political attack because he had been criticizing the municipal administration in his newspaper. The newspaper’s editor, Caludete Rihl, and journalist Ver Fernandes also were threatened. On August 12, reporter Guilherme Portanova and technician Alexandre Coelho Calado of Rede Globo were kidnapped in São Paulo by alleged members of the criminal gang First Capital Commando (PCC). The kidnappers demanded that the station broadcast a recorded message from the group which had committed large scale acts of violence in that state. The gang released Coelho Calado first with the video. After the tape was broadcast by TV Globo in its Sunday program “Fantástico,” Portanova was released. On August 24, reporter-photographer Wagner Santos of Jornal Diário do Povo, of Teresina, Piauí, was detained by police officers providing security at Getúlio Vargas Hospital while taking photographs for a report on a strike by medical residents. A policeman took him behind the gate of the hospital and said he would call a patrol car to take him to the police station. The doctors asked that he be released, and demonstrators began to push the gate. In the confusion, the journalist was able to escape. On August 30, cameraman José Antonio Aparecido Marciano, who works for the news department of Band, was attacked in the news car around Avenida Paulista in São Paulo. The attacker broke a window of the car and attacked Marciano with an iron bar. He was assisted by Fire Department emergency workers and taken to São Paulo Hospital. On September 7, Afropress—Agência Afroétnica de Notícias, went off the air because of racist hackers. Afropress became a target of systematic attacks after it disclosed the name of the first person accused of racist crimes on the Internet. In addition, journalists of Afropress have received threats against their person and their good name. The following developments involving censorship were reported: On May 19, the weekly Folha do Amapá published an edition protesting the Democratic Workers Party (PDT). They did so because a state Regional Electoral Court had ordered, at the request of the PDT, the suspension of electronic edition number 571 put online the week of May 12. The censorship was a reprisal for the report “Sólida Dismisses, Tricks and Disappears,” published in that edition. In the report the newspaper publicized mass dismissals in the company Sólida Mineração and criticized the governor, a member of the PDT, for unfulfilled promises. Folha is linked to former governor João Capibaribe (PSB). Magistrate Judge Anselmo Gonçalves da Silva ordered that the online edition be taken down and set a fine of 5,000 reals if the newspaper disobeyed the order. In August, Judge Lúcia de Fátima Magalhães Albuquerque Silva of Comarca de Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, ordered the seizure of the ninth edition of the magazine Observatório Social, at the requestof the state Public Prosecutor’s Office. The magazine had a report called “The Stone Age,” about mining companies in the Mata dos Palmitos area that used child labor to collect gypsum rocks. The report was published in March, and according to journalists of Observatório, it had strong repercussions abroad. On August 27, 2006, Judge Roberval Casemiro Belinati of the Regional Electoral Tribunal of Brasilia, Federal District, prohibited the media from disclosing the content of a recorded conversation between two politicians. On August 30, Federal Police officers raided the offices of the weekly Hoje in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and the print shop Verdade in Riberão Preto (SP) where the newspaper is printed,to confiscate computers. Joseti Alves, editor of the newspaper, said prosecutors from the Public Prosecutor’s Office accused her of violating election laws for publishing news about irregularities in the use of public funds involving a federal legislator, a former cabinet minister and local prosecutors. On May 23, the newspaper Correio do Estado of Campo Grande, in Mato Grosso do Sul, was sanctioned in two rulings by the local judiciary because of news reported at the end of 2005. The reports concerned an action brought by the federal Public Prosecutor’s Office against the former prosecutor of the city, André Puccinelli, PMDB candidate for governor. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Puccinelli had violated election laws when he was mayor of Campo Grande. Puccinelli asked for the right of reply to four news stories. The request initially was deferred, but a second request was granted by a criminal court in Campo Grande. Judge Cíntia Letteriello ruled that the newspaper publish on one day, May 23, 2006, four texts in compliance with the right of reply. On May 29, the newspaper O Globo of Rio de Janeiro, was sanctioned by the state judiciary for publishing news about a scandal involving nongovernmental organizations which received public funds and supported the presidential candidacy of former governor Anthony Garotinho. In a preliminary decision before judging the merits of the case, the court ruled that the newspaper must publish a right of reply. But the text that O Globo was required to publish, on May 29, was almost 10 times longer that the report that was questioned. On September 25, the newspaper Gazeta do Povo, of Curitiba, Paranà, published on the front page a report about a request that the confidentiality of journalists’ telephone calls be denied. The request was made by Governor Roberto Requião (PMDB), who is on leave because he is running for reelection in October. The request was filed by the legal adviser of the governor’s coalition Paraná Forte to the inspector general’s office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. It requested that the confidentiality of telephone calls of the following journalists be lifted: Caio Castro Lima, Karlos Kohlbach and Celso Nascimento of Gazeto do Povo, and Mari Tortato of Folha de São Paulo,. The ruling was based on a series of reports published in the two newspapers about the arrest of police official Délcio Rasera who had presented himself as an adviser to Requiã with connections to the governor’s office and who was accused of illegally tapping telephone calls.