MIAMI, Florida (March 8, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the takeover of the plant of the newspaper O Globo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by protestors and called on the authorities to ensure the safety of the paper's workers and identify and punish those responsible for this "violent and illegal act."
Some 400 members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the majority of them women, for a half hour this morning burst into the print plant of the newspaper belonging to the Globo Group multimedia company. The protestors, some of them wielding machetes, arrived in some 10 buses at the paper's parking lot and invaded the building. The security staff was not able to stop the invasion.
IAPA President Gustavo Mohme condemned "the violent and illegal act against the news media outlet." Mohme, editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, added "While democracy allows protest, when this is carried out violently, intimidating and restricting the rights of other people and in this case press freedom, it then becomes a reprehensible action that the authorities must investigate swiftly in order to determine responsibilities"
For his part Roberto Rock, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, declared "We condemn and vigorously reject the threatening and aggressive attitude of the protestors who put at risk the physical safety of the media outlet's workers."
The protestors, who publicized the invasion on social media, painted political messages on the building's windows, walls and floor. There were no reports of injuries.
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 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.