By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Police have confirmed that the object that injured a journalist during a Thursday evening protest over an increase in city bus fares was not thrown by police forces. Cameraman Santiago Ilídio Andrade from TV Bandeirantes was struck in the head as he filmed the demonstration in Rio de Janeiro’s downtown area.
Andrade suffered an injury to the head late Thursday evening during protests at the Central do Brasil, a hub of transportation in Rio, against a five percent increase in bus fares to R$3, which ended in clashes between demonstrators and police.
Images published in the Brazilian press show what appears to be a burning homemade bomb striking Andrade as he stands with a camera filming the confrontation. Andrade was rushed to Hospital de Souza Aguiar where he underwent a four-hour surgery and is now in serious condition. Andrade’s skull sank from the impact of the bomb.
Mauricio Luciano, a policeman from the 17th Precinct of São Cristovão, confirmed that the object launched at reporter Andrade of TV Bandeirantes was not thrown by police. “We’ve assessed the artifact that was thrown at Andrade and concluded that it was not thrown by police officials but by people participating in the rally,” Luciano said.
The artifact contained sixty grams of explosives, chemicals that are confiscated by police during demonstrations. Professor Nelson Massini of UERJ, Rio’s state university, examined images from TV Globo and confirmed that this object was a firecracker that can be purchased by anyone and is usually not used by military police. “This foreign black tube is comparable to those fireworks used during festivities,” concluded Massini.
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