09 March 2016

Brazil: IAPA protests invasion of Grupo Jaime Câmara headquarters

IAPA protests invasion of Grupo Jaime Câmara headquarters in Brazil

MIAMI, Florida (March 9, 2016)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today repudiated the invasion by members of the Brazilian association Movimiento Sin Tierra (Landless Movement–MST) of the headquarters of the Grupo Jaime Câmara editorial group, an action that it called "a loutish act that seriously impacts press freedom."

The attack occurred last night (March 8) when some 70 MST members raided the editorial group's offices in Goiânia, Goiás state, where there are produced the newspapers O Jornal and Jornal Daqui, radio station CBN and television channel TV Anhanguera (an affiliate of Rede Globo network).

In addition to the disturbance produced at the media center the demonstrators painted slogans on the walls against the group and the Rede Globo for their editorial stance on investigations into corruption that involved former president Lula da Silva.

Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, condemned this "loutish act that seriously impacts press freedom." He added that "it is not part of democracy to disagree in a violent way with ideas and it is totally contrary to press freedom to blame the messenger for social problems being faced by the community."

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, stressed that "the community should understand that the media are a sounding box and amplify the messages, in any case give an opinion on them but do not build them. To use intimidation, as in this case, distorts the message that one wishes to express and goes against freedom of the press."

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.