Saturday, January 31, 2009

Brazil: Newspaper building attacked in Campinas

Brazil: Newspaper building attacked in Campinas

On 22 January 2009,

A grenade was thrown at a window of one of the buildings of Rede Anhanguera de Comunicação (RAC) in Campinas. The news group owns a number of newspapers in the State of Sao Paulo, including Correio Popular in Campinas.
Three men approached an RAC building located in Vila Industrial at around 9pm on 22 January. One of them broke a window and threw in a grenade, but the window was protected by bars so that the grenade did not enter the building but instead fell outside, close to the sidewalk. A couple of hours after the attack, RAC’s telephone operator received a call from an unidentified woman saying, “this is only the beginning”. In the end, the grenade failed to explode and no one was hurt in the incident. There were, however, around 100 people in the building at the time of the attack and some 230 employees are there during regular working hours. A police file has been opened on the attack.
The motive for the attach is unclear, although some media reports have noted that it happened on the evening of the day Correio Popular published an article about a prisoner in the regional penitentiary with alleged links to the criminal organisation Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC). The prisoner is a suspect in the case of the 2001 murder of the mayor of Campinas.

ARTICLE 19 believes that attacks against journalists and media are far more common in Brazil than is commonly thought and many cases, particularly those from smaller towns and cities, are not widely reported. ARTICLE 19 condemns this attack as an attack not only on RAC, but on the right of all Brazilians to seek and receive information freely. We urge the authorities to investigate the attack fully and to do all within their power to bring those responsible to justice. We also call on the authorities to take measures to ensure the security of RAC’s facilities in Campinas and other cities, particularly in light of the threats against it.

NOTES TO EDITORS For more information, please contact Paula Martins, §, +55 11 3057 0071.

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