Hooded gunmen shoot at TV reporter’s car

New York, May 21, 2008—Two unidentified individuals fired on a marked car driven by a reporter for TV Diário de Mogi in São Paulo on Thursday. Edson Ferraz, who was not injured, told local reporters that he believes the attack was in retaliation for his recent reporting on police corruption. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Brazilian authorities to conduct a thorough and timely investigation.

On Thursday night, as Ferraz was driving to his home in Mogi das Cruzes, a São Paulo suburb, a vehicle carrying two hooded people cut him off, according to Brazilian media reports. One of the assailants shot at Ferraz’s car, which was was marked with the TV Diário de Mogi logo, from 20 feet (6 meters) away, the reports said. The journalist was able to speed away unharmed.

Ferraz has reported on local police corruption, according to TV Diário de Mogi. Three of his recent stories described an official investigation into allegations that police blackmailed criminal suspects. Prosecutors filed a criminal case against Mogi das Cruzes police officers last week.

Ferraz told local reporters that he had received a telephone call earlier on Thursday, threatening reprisals for his reporting.

According to the national television station TV Globo, of which TV Diário de Mogi is an affiliate, Ferraz filed a complaint with the internal affairs office of the São Paulo police on Friday. The local daily O Estado de S.Paulo reported that Ferraz and his family left the city temporarily.

A spokesman for São Paulo police told CPJ that there is no evidence linking local police officers to the attack against Ferraz.

“Brazilian authorities must immediately investigate the violent attack and threats against Edson Ferraz,” said CPJ’s Senior Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría.