August 14, 2006 [LINK]

Hostage released in Brazil

After their demands for a broadcast message complaining about bad prison conditions were met, the "First Capital Command" criminal gang released television reporter Guilherme Portanova, whom they had kidnapped two days earlier. Portanova said he was fed and not harmed while under captivity. See and O Globo. This case draws attention, once again, to the erosion of governmental authority in Brazil under the government of leftist President da Silva, and the rise of organized crime, which draws much of its wealth from contraband traffic along the poorly-guarded border with Paraguay.