Brazil - New murder attempt against journalist probing gaming machines racket



    MONTREAL, Nov. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today
condemned a murder attempt against Joao Alckmin, presenter of the programme
"Showtime" on Radio Piratininga, who was hurt when an unknown assailant opened
fire on him in Sao José dos Campos, Sao Paulo state in the southeast. His
injuries are not life-threatening.
    Alckmin, aged 55, came under fire as he walked his dog in the city centre
on 22 November. His dog attacked the gunmen who fled on a motorbike, leaving
the journalist with neck, arm and back injuries. Several witnesses had a clear
view of the gunman's face.
    The journalist, who is in hospital and under police protection, has for
the past five years been investigating criminal control of gaming machines and
collusion on the part of certain police officials. His daughter said that her
father had received scores of anonymous threats both by phone and in the post.
    "This murder attack could be linked to the many revelations made on air
by Alckmin about the gangs controlling gaming machines in the region, made
even more likely by the fact he was the intended target of a similar shooting
in July this year," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
    "We urge the authorities to rapidly investigate and hunt those
responsible for the attack. Despite progress in press freedom, Brazil is still
plagued by violent physical attacks and murders of journalists, sometimes
implicating the police," it added.
    It is the second time Alckmin has been the intended target of a shooting
since the start of the year. The lawyer Rodrigo Duenhas was mistaken for the
journalist and shot in the neck, while travelling in a car with the wife of
Alckmin, the lawyer Tânia Lis Tizzoni Nogueira on 5 July. He is still in
convalescing.
    Joao Alckmin is a cousin of Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of Sao Paulo
state and unsuccessful candidate in the 29 October 2006 presidential election.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, secretary general, Reporters
Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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