Larissa Carvalho, a reporter for TV Globo, was attacked during a live broadcast of a prison riot near the city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil on January 17, 2017. Footage of the incident shows a woman charge at Carvalho, knocking her down as the journalist broadcasts outside the Antônio Dutra Ladeira prison in Ribeirão das Neves shortly after midnight.
Police quickly pulled the woman away and Carvalho suffered only minor injuries to her right arm. “I’m fine, it was just a scare, I’m good,” she said a few moments after the attack, when she resumed the live broadcast on “Edição da Meia-Noite” (Midnight Edition) a program on the 24-hour news channel GloboNews.
Carvalho told viewers that some of the inmates’ relatives gathered outside the prison had been angry at reports, which she said were unfounded, that some prisoners had been hurt in the unrest and others had escaped.
GloboNews reported that the attacker was the mother of an inmate. The woman was taken to the local police station but later released, the online report said. Carvalho filed a police report, the Globo g1 website reported.
Carvalho, who has more than a decade of reporting experience with Brazil’s biggest media conglomerate, was given the rest of the day off but was due to return to work the following day, a spokesperson for TV Globo told CPJ.
The Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters, a lobby group run by members of Brazil’s broadcast industry, called the incident involving Carvalho “intolerable” and said it demonstrated the public’s “total lack of knowledge of the press’s role.”
The riot that Carvalho was reporting on is the latest in a string of unrest in Brazil’s prison that have erupted across Brazil since the new year and left more than 100 inmates dead, according to reports. Journalists from across the country, and particularly in the impoverished north and northeast, have reported from outside prisons in recent weeks in what are often tense circumstances.
Some prisoners were decapitated by rival gang members in the wave of violence and others have escaped as order in the chronically overpopulated jails broke down, according to reports.