New York —

The President of Brazil maintains a harsh relationship with the press in his country

The main Brazilian media outlets announced this Monday that due to lack of security they will no longer cover the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, in his meetings with followers and statements that he usually gives daily at the Palacio da Alvorada, official residence.

In a letter to the Minister of Institutional Security, Rede Globo, the country’s main media conglomerate, noted that the professionals who cover the Palacio da Alvorada suffer “insults and screams” from “militants” of the president and there are no conditions for “Security for journalistic work”.

“These attacks have been growing” and, for that reason, “as of today, our reporters, who cover the Palacio da Alvorada, will no longer appear in that external location for the press,” the statement said.

For Globo, the decision was made “with the responsibility we have with our collaborators and because there is no security for our work.”

Globo’s decision was joined by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, the newspaper with the largest national circulation, which joined on a “temporary” basis and until “the security conditions” were met, after its coverage team was called “Trash” by supporters.

The verbal assault occurred this Monday as a result of Bolsonaro’s statement in that same place, who said, addressing journalists: “the day you have a commitment to the truth, I will speak to you again.”

Other local media and the international press are evaluating the same decision made by Globo and Folha.

The insults against press professionals, not only in the Palacio da Alvorada but in places where hundreds of supporters of the president are concentrated every week, with crowds that contradict health recommendations amid the pandemic of the coronavirus, have been increasing in the last days.

On May 5, Bolsonaro sent journalists to “shut up” after he greeted a small group of followers at the gates of the Alvorada Palace and then turned to reporters to claim what he called ” rogue press ”and“ liar ”.

The insult by the far-right leader occurred just a day after saying that the attack on a group of journalists from the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper and portal 360, during a protest in his favor on May 3, was the result of ” infiltrators ”and“ crazy ”and that is why he supported that those responsible be“ punished ”.

The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalists (Abraji) condemned the aggression and stated that it is “the result of the position of Bolsonaro”, who had participated in that act against the Legislative and Judicial Power in Brasilia and that it is carried out all weekends with caravans in the main cities.

“Such events highlight the increasing risk to which the bellicose and outrageous speech of the President of the Republic exposes Brazilian journalists,” the Abraji statement said.

According to the association, “the deterioration of press freedom, promoted by elected authorities and public officials, is a serious risk to democracy.”

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