The International Press Institute is saddened by the passing of award-winning Brazilian video journalist, Santiago Andrade, on Feb. 10.
Andrade, 49, was declared brain dead after being hit in the head by an explosive device as he was covering street protests in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 6. The device, described as a firecracker, had reportedly been thrown by a young protester.
News reports released on Sunday evening indicated Fábio Raposo was arrested at his home the same day after being identified as one of the main suspects on videos taken by other photojournalists, although he is allegedly not the person who actually threw the device.
According to FENAJ, the National Federation of Journalists for Brazil, Andrade was caught in the fire between military police and protesters who both reportedly threw gas bombs as well as firecrackers during the demonstration.
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said on her official Twitter account on Monday that she was “saddened and disturbed” by the incident. The same day, Rousseff sent federal police officers to Rio de Janeiro to assist local authorities in investigating the matter.
The Union of Professional Journalists for the Rio de Janeiro Municipality has condemned the incident in a brief statement posted on their website, saying it “could have been avoided or at least minimised.”
Rio police today released a photo of 23-year-old Caio Silva de Souza, accusing him of throwing the device that hit and gravely wounded Andrade. The Brazilian news site G1 reported today that both suspects Caio Silva and Fábio Raposo would be charged with murder for the death of Andrade, and if convicted, each could face a prison term of up to 35 years. Silva was still being sought by the police.
Andrade, who is survived by his wife, Arlita, three sons, and a daughter, won two awards for Urban Mobility in 2010 and 2012.
According to the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism, ABRAJI, 118 journalists have been assaulted, wounded or killed by both protesters and police forces in Brazil since June 2013.
Marina Iemini Atoji, executive manager of ABRAJI, told IPI by e-mail that her organisation has been tracking violent acts against journalists covering demonstrations in Brazil for the last year or so.
For more information, contact Vanessa Garnica.