Copacabana Riot
Project info

It was April in Rio. I was at home, in Copacabana, and started hearing a noise coming from the street. Through my window i saw the Pavão-Pavãozinho favela burning out, so I took my equipment (which includes bulletproof jacket & helmet) and ran to the favela's entrance.

The residents of Pavão-Pavãozinho were protesting because a few days before the police killed a young dancer called Douglas DG who lived there. Police also changed the crime scene to make it look like Douglas was guilty. So his family, friends and supporters were really raging.

I was the first press to get there. I had no press friends to think in cover strategy or protect ourselves staying together. I realized that after the car that I was using to hide got shot by rifles.

I had to think fast to avoid being targeted during the shooting between the drug dealers in a high part of the favela and the police in the street - I was positioned almost in the middle. And at this time you may be a target for the drug dealers as much as for the police.

So I ran to the next car, luckly found a safe place near of the conflict and took strong images of a dead man who was shot by the police being carried by residents to be rescued.

After that the residents stopped the protest, the drug dealers had a break from shooting and the police could enter in the favela to control the situation.

I noticed that at this time photographers from other agencies start arriving. I knew I already had a good material and ran back home to transfer the images to Reuters.

The day after, my photos were in the cover of the biggest papers in Brazil and other important medias around the world. In the end of 2014, Reuters elected the first picture bellow as one of the bests of the year in the agency. This is a story I will never forget.