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With a Toy Weapon Former Official Takes Hostage and Demands Cleaner Politics in Brazil

Santos held victim hostage for almost eight hoursAfter holding hostage a hotel employee in downtown Brasília, the capital of Brazil, for nearly eight hours, Jac Souza dos Santos, 30, released him and turned himself in to the police. Escorted by civil police, Santos, a farmer from the state of Tocantins, left the building and was taken on a police car to the 5th Police Station. 

The incident began at around 8:30 am on Monday, September 29, when Santos checked in at the Saint Peter Hotel. Shortly after that, he held hostage chief messenger José Ailton dos Santos, 49, went up to the hotel’s 13th floor, where he started to knock on apartment doors, telling guests to evacuate the building under the allegation of a terrorist attack.

Apparently confused, the hostage taker said he would explode the hotel if his demands were not granted. Among his requests were the extradition of Italian activist Cesare Battisti and the real enforcement of the Clean Record Law, which prevents politicians with a police record from being allowed to run for office.

According to an investigation conducted by Agência Brasil, the assailant had told at least one close acquaintance that he would leave for the federal capital and become famous.

He also left at least two farewell letters which suggest he would do something similar to what he did today. One of the letters was addressed to his mother.

Former Municipal Secretary of Agriculture, Santos had run for local councilman in 2008, with no success. He also worked at the committee for the electoral campaign of Tocantins gubernatorial candidate.

His colleagues claim he is a calm person, who, in spite of being involved in local politics, never showed any signs of planning something of the sort.

According to the police, Santos was using a toy weapon. The Anti-Bomb Squad further announced that the material attached to the victim’s body was not a set of explosives, but actually PVC pipes stuffed with sawdust and sand.

Devastated and weeping copiously, hotel employee José Ailton dos Santos was taken to a hospital for medical examinations.



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