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Journalist receives death threats after denouncing irregularities at Barcarena city hall

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - Carlos Baía, the director of the Journalism Department at the Metropolitana radio station in Barcarena, Pará state, has been subjected to repeated death threats after denouncing irregularities at Barcarena's city hall. The journalist denounced a fraud scheme involving "ghost employees" hired by Olival José do Espírito Santo, the director of the Barcarena city hall Human Resources Department.

The journalist was approached by Espírito Santo, who offered him R$3,000 per week (approx. US$1,500) in an attempt to avoid having the case taken to the Public Ministry. On 8 July, the city hall employee was arrested in the act of trying to bribe the journalist. Since the arrest, the journalist has repeatedly received death threats via telephone calls. As a result, Baía has stopped working for the radio station and has left the city.

"When they call, they even tell the telephone operator that 'the reporter is in trouble'. I had to leave the radio station for a while in order to avoid having something bad happen. However, I will resume my work as a reporter," Baía told ABRAJI.

Baía filed a report regarding the threats against him at the Barcarena Police Station.

ABRAJI contacted the Barcarena city hall press office, but they said they could not comment on the issue. Espírito Santo is out on parole.

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