Brazil journalist hurt in Rio protest dies

Riot policemen follow demonstrators during a joint protest against a rise on public bus fares and the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb 10, 2014. A Brazilian journalist has died of a head injury sustained in a Rio street p
Riot policemen follow demonstrators during a joint protest against a rise on public bus fares and the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb 10, 2014. A Brazilian journalist has died of a head injury sustained in a Rio street protest as the city prepares to host the World Cup, his employer said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - A Brazilian journalist has died of a head injury sustained in a Rio street protest as the city prepares to host the World Cup, his employer said on Tuesday.

Furious Brazilians have been protesting since last June over what they consider poor public services like transport, education and health care while the country spends billions to host the World Cup starting in June and the Summer Olympics in 2016.

The unrest in the South American giant normally associated with Carnaval and good times has triggered concern over whether the Games will be safe for athletes and visitors.

Television news cameraman Santiago Ilidio Andrade, 49, was left in a coma after being hit in the head with a flare during protests against bus fare increases last Thursday.

On Monday he was declared brain dead, and following his passing that same day his family donated some of his organs, said TV network Bandeirantes.

His death was the first fatality in the wave of sporadic protests, and it gripped the country, drawing reactions even from President Dilma Rousseff and the trainer of the national football team, Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Andrade's daughter Vanessa, 29, and also a journalist, wrote a letter that zipped through social media and featured on page one of the newspaper O Dia.

She said she was alone with her father, with her head on his shoulder, when he died.

"I asked forgiveness for all my mistakes and promised to keep my head held high and take care of my mother and my grandparents," the daughter wrote.

Register here to get free digital access to The Straits Times until Aug 9, 2015.
Comments