Brazilian judges bullying journalists into silence

Award-winning investigative journalist Rubens Valente is on the hook for a massive defamation suit filed by a Supreme Court justice — and confirmed by the Supreme Court itself

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Illustration: Jorm S/Shutterstock

In 2014, award-winning Brazilian investigative journalist Rubens Valente published his first book, “Operação Banqueiro,” narrating the ins and outs of a groundbreaking Federal Police investigation into corruption and money laundering involving bankers, investors, and politicians — which Mr. Valente covered in-depth during his time as a reporter for newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil’s biggest.

The book revolves around the 2008 imprisonment of Daniel Dantas, founder of private-equity firm Opportunity, and the involvement of Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes, who twice ordered the banker be released from jail within the space of 48 hours.

Six years on, when “Operação Banqueiro”...

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