2012 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee
(Courtesy of CNN)
To watch Mauri König’s acceptance speech, click here.
Mauri König’s 22-year career as a journalist has led him to become one of Brazil’s premier investigative reporters. His extensive investigations, in which he has exposed human rights abuses and corruption, have brought him worldwide acclaim and numerous journalistic awards.
In 2004 and 2005, König wrote a comprehensive series of articles for the Curitiba-based daily Gazeta do Povo that revealed the sex trafficking of children and adolescents all along the Brazilian border. The articles led to the arrest of a key sex trafficker.
Among König’s most important works is a series of articles in late 2000 and 2001 that documented the recruitment and kidnapping of Brazilian children for military service in Paraguay. While researching the story in late 2000, König was brutally beaten with chains, strangled, and left for dead near the Brazilian border by three alleged Paraguayan policemen after he photographed a police station. In 2003, he was forced to abandon his research along the Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina border area after receiving threats from local police. Neither case was ever resolved.
At least 10 journalists have been murdered in Brazil in 2011 and 2012, at least six in direct relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Despite the lurking dangers for journalists who expose criminal networks and abuses of authority, König continues to probe human rights issues.
A graduate in journalism with a master’s degree in literary reportage, König has worked as a “special reporter” with Gazeta do Povo since 2002. He has previously worked for the newspapers O Estado de São Paulo, Gazeta Mercantil, Folha de Londrina, and O Estado do Paraná. He is a board member at the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalists, ABRAJI, a CPJ partner.