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Newspaper editor receives death threats

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - Laércio Ribeiro, editor of the crime section of "O Diário" newspaper, from Mogi das Cruzes, state of São Paulo, says that he was threatened with death by phone and chased by someone in a car on 4 June 2009, as he was leaving the newspaper building.

"I received two phone calls in the editorial office from someone saying that my wife and I would be killed", said Ribeiro in an interview with ABRAJI.

The following day, 5 June, the journalist was threatened again, this time via a call on his mobile phone. As the caller's number was recorded in Ribeiro's phone, he filed a police report at the Second Police Division of Braz Cubas, Mogi das Cruzes.

The journalist told ABRAJI: "I believe that these threats come from the CNH (Driver's License) Mafia or the Nickel Hunt Mafia, due to the reports published by the newspaper. Police Chief Carlos Jose Ramos da Silva, who is suspended at the moment, was incriminated several times by the Department of Public Prosecution. He is involved in all this. He has already been arrested and is now free on parole. After leaving the jail, he promised that he would 'settle scores' with everyone".

According to Edson Gianuzzi, the Police Chief responsible for the case, in the event of a threat, the police report itself is not enough to start an investigation. "A threat is considered a public action subjected to a complaint. We can only continue the investigation if a formal complaint (is filed by) the offended (party)". According to the Police Chief, Ribeiro is expected to file an official complaint which will allow police to launch an investigation.

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