Brazilian journalist injured in protest declared brain dead

Brazilian cameraman Santiago Ilídio Andrade was declared brain dead on February 10, 2014, after being injured while covering protests in Rio de Janeiro on February 6, 2014. Authorities identified two individuals believed to be involved in the attack that wounded the journalist, according to news reports.

Andrade, cameraman for the television network Bandeirantes, was filming a confrontation between police officers and demonstrators protesting a public transportation fare hike when a flare hit him in the head, according to news reports. He underwent surgery at a local hospital and was in a coma for several days. News reports said on February 10, 2014, that he was on life support as his family prepared to donate his organs.

Initial reports conflicted as to who was responsible for the attack, but authorities released video footage that appeared to show protesters launching the device. Authorities also alleged that the protesters had meant to target police officers, not the journalist, the reports said.

On February 8, 2014, an individual told authorities that he had given the explosive device to another protester but had not ignited it himself, according to news reports. He was placed in preventive detention on homicide charges. Two days later, authorities said they had identified the protester believed responsible for shooting the device and had issued an arrest warrant for him.

Dozens of journalists were arrested or violently targeted in massive anti-government protests that swept Brazil in the second half of 2013. Journalists were attacked both by law enforcement and by protesters who said they disliked certain networks’ coverage of the demonstrations.