Brazilian hostage situation unfolds on live television
The phrase “live coverage” took on a whole new dimension during a hostage stand-off in Brazil on Friday, as a popular television host was called upon to negotiate the victims’ release.
CNN reported that the unidentified man, who had allegedly taken his mother and sister hostage in Sao Paulo, told police he would only talk to Jose Luiz Datena, host of the crime-news show Brazil Urgente (“Urgent Brazil”). Since negotiations with the suspect had stalled up to that point, authorities agreed to his demand.
Datena then spent 20 minutes talking to the suspect while on the air, eventually convincing him to let the two women go unharmed. Police arrested the man shortly thereafter and took him to a hospital.
The Daily Mail reported that the suspect was “distraught” over marital issues at the time of the incident.
Datena, who was ranked at No. 81 in a nationwide poll to determine the “100 Greatest Brazilians Of All Time,” deflected any credit for his role in the negotiations.
“I deeply regretted doing that,” he said. “It is not our role as journalists.”
Watch CNN’s report on Datena’s on-air negotiations, aired Friday, below.