Brazil has traditionally been a hostile country for journalists. Many prominent journalists fell victim to the authoritarian regimes that ruled the country over the 20th century. Others have died through the years at the hands of drug gangs and paramilitary mafias that preside over poor neighborhoods in several Brazilian regions. However, since 2018, the country has experienced a further decline in its press freedom indicators, with many attacks coming, in an organized way, from precisely those who should protect it — such as prosecutors, judges … and the president.
In 2019, President Jair Bolsonaro was responsible for nothing less than 58 percent of all attacks against the press accounted for in the country, according to a study by the National Federation of Journalists. Not even the worst pandemic in a century has managed to reduce the president’s vitriol towards press organizations — which Mr. Bolsonaro sees as “the enemy.” According to press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders, over the first quarter of 2020, the president has delivered at least 32 direct attacks against journalists.