Since Kidnapping Brazilian Reporters Are Being Escorted by Bodyguards

Brazil’s leading TV network, Globo, has implemented some security changes around its news crews since a reporter and a technical aide were kidnapped one week ago.

Their personnel was abducted by men connected to the PCC (First Command of the Capital), a prison gang that has been terrorizing São Paulo with fire, bomb and bullet attacks against buses, the police and public services. 

Although Globo is not revealing the details of its security arrangement, the TV network confirmed that they have hired extra security personnel after the abduction of their employees.

Reporters from other Brazilian media outlets noticed Friday, August 18, that Globo’s news crew working in the Guarulhos International airport was being escorted by bodyguards. 

It was last Saturday morning that reporter Guilherme Portanova and technician Alexandre Calado were kidnapped while getting ready to cover a political event. 

Calado was released the same day by his captors with a video and a message: the reporter would only be freed after the video was aired on TV. Globo took no chances and immediately broadcasted the three-minute message criticizing the inhumanity of the Brazilian prison system.

Since then, the Brazilian media as a whole has taken the stand that no other message will be broadcasted or published in the future in the case new abductions occur.

Globo might have decided to reinforce its security after hearing from the freed reporter, who was kept captive for around 40 hours, that his captors threatened to kidnap a reporter a day to get their point across and their message heard. 

The police detained two men who they suspect were involved in the kidnapping. One of them has already been released, however, for lack of evidence. Authorities believe that the order for the kidnapping came from inside a prison in the interior of São Paulo.

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