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I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Otávio Frias Filho, editor-in-chief of the Folha de S. Paulo.

Otávio Frias Filho was a reference in the Brazilian and world press. At an early age, he took on the challenge of directing Folha and initiated a modernization process that led to the emergence of a newspaper that was more active, objective and in line with the reader's interests. Frias Filho also played a central role in the newspaper's support for the direct elections campaign ("Diretas Já") and the process of democratic transition. As an advocate of a critical, non-partisan and pluralistic press, he understood the importance of the debate on ideas for the strengthening of democracy and the progress of the country. Conscious that the press needs to be able to acknowledge and overcome its own mistakes, Folha created, under his leadership, the position of ombudsman to freely criticize editorial decisions, from within the newspaper, and propose corrections.

I extend my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Otávio Frias Filho, whose legacy to Brazil is one of professionalism, integrity and commitment to pluralism.

Aloysio Nunes Ferreira
Minister of Foreign Affairs

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