Abuse of Power: Brazilian Minister Beats Up Journalist and His Wife

Ronaldo Lázaro Tiradentes Brazilian journalist Ronaldo Lázaro Tiradentes, of the Rádio e Televisão Tiradentes network, which relays the CBN national radio station, was assaulted at the end of June by Transportation minister, Alfredo Nascimento, and his son, Gustavo Nascimento. The incident took place in Manaus, the capital city of Amazonas state.

The journalist was sitting with his wife in a vehicle owned by the radio station at the Eduardo Gomes Airport when he was identified by the minister. The minister began to insult him and attempted to hit him, while his son managed to get inside the car through a window and began assaulting the journalist's wife. The assault ended when the journalist started recording the incident with the camera on his mobile phone.

In the report sent to the National Journalists' Federation (FENAJ),
Tiradentes said the assault was linked to the station's criticism of the
minister over his failure to fulfill promises made during his campaign.
Nascimento was elected as a senator but left his position to become a
government minister.

The Transportation Ministry released a statement in which it says that Tiradentes issued a death threat against Nascimento and that the minister has had to seek police protection.

Tiradentes  filed a motion with the Amazonas Federal police against former senator and Transportation minister, Alfredo Nascimento, and his son, Gustavo Nascimento, for threats and abuse of authority.

Last June 27, the journalist and his wife, attorney Kiê Mariee Cavalcante Hara, were waiting for a parking spot at the Amazonas Government hangar's parking lot, when they were confronted by the Transportation minister, his son, and military police captain Wellington Silva.

According to the motion, upon seeing the couple in the car sporting the radio station Tiradentes logo, Alfredo Nascimento tried to break open the door on the driver's side while screaming: "Open the door you bum, thief, rascal and get out of the car that I want to walk over you."

On the other side of the vehicle, Gustavo Nascimento, the son,  was trying to pry open the passenger's door. "As the window was half-open, he introduced his hand through the opening cowardly assaulting the journalist's wife with several punches, while she attempted to prevent him from opening the car's door," says the motion.

The attacks only stopped when the journalist started to record what was happening with his cell phone's camera. According to the journalist's account, the minister ran away not to be filmed, but the military police officer continued to kick and punch Marcos Santos, another journalist, who was just behind the couple, also looking for a place to park.

Tiradentes charges the minister with abuse of power for having summoned the federal police officers who were on duty at the airport and ordering them to check the car used by the journalist.

"A few minutes later," says the document filed with authorities, "two federal agents arrived at the airport's VIP room informing that Alfredo Nascimento had summoned them, alleging that there was a gun in the journalist's car."

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