The headquarters of the newspaper Leia o Jornal, located in the southeastern city of Osasco, in the Greater São Paulo, were attacked with Molotov cocktails on March 30. The building is also home to the owner of the newspaper, José Alcides de Oliveira. Editions of the paper are distributed in the neighboring city of Barueri.
According to Oliveira, the attackers were two armed men who arrived on the scene around 11:30 pm, escaping a few minutes after the cocktails were thrown into the headquarters’ garage.
“Had I gone out to put out the fire, I would have probably been shot,” said Oliveira. The fire department and the police were called, and were able to control the fire. Two cars were destroyed, but no one was hurt.
Oliveira, who is the owner and sole reporter of Leia o Jornal, believes that the mayor of Barueri, Rubens Furlan, was behind the attack. According to Oliveira, the mayor is displeased with accusations the journalist has been making against him and his family, especially his daughter, who is a likely candidate for the next deputy-mayor elections.
Police official Rosângela Máximo da Silva, who is in charge of the investigation, said Oliveira pressed charges the day after the assault. The investigations were opened on April 1st, but the police still have no leads regarding the crime.
According to the daily Folha de S. Paulo, the mayor’s office claimed not to have any knowledge about the incident and denied having made any threats to Oliveira.
The secretary of communications from the mayor’s office, Tom Moisés, said that Oliveira “Hasn’t got the slightest credibility, and his work is against the honor of the mayor and his daughter. He wants to demoralize political personalities.”
According to Moisés, the mayor has already taken legal measures against Oliveira over calumny and defamation. “He wants to extort the mayor’s office for publicity.”