Investigators have been on the hunt for Brazilian TV host and former state legislator Wallace Souza, accused of ordering at least five murders to bolster his ratings and emphasize his point that violence was skyrocketing in the Amazon region of the country. Souza, who denies the allegations, skipped town once a warrant for his arrest was issued. This morning, he turned himself in to authorities, BBC News reports.
"Souza turned himself in to the police this morning," a police spokesman in the Amazonas state capital, Manaus, told AFP news agency.
The former host of popular crime television show Canal Livre is believed to have ordered the murders of drug traffickers. Authorities in the Amazonas region claim he ordered several killings in order to get rid of his rivals, while afterwards TV crews from his show would mysteriously arrive at the crime scenes before the police, enabling them to secure graphic footage. One of the arrest warrants described Souza—a police officer whose career ended in disgrace—as the "mentor" of a gang that killed rival drug traffickers.
Souza vehemently denies the charges. "I was the one who organized legislative inquiries into organized crime, the prison system, corruption, drug trafficking by police, and pedophilia," Souza insisted to the AP. Souza's lawyer, Francisco Balieiro, rebuffed the charges, saying, "There is not one piece of material proof in these accusations."