Journalist Glenn Greenwald said Saturday that he was the victim of a home invasion and robbery in Brazil last month, where at one point, the burglars stuck a gun in his mouth.
He detailed the experience in an essay on his Substack, noting the events took place March 5. A representative for Brazilian law enforcement did not immediately return a request for comment.
While reflecting on reports of a recent home invasion in California, Greenwald explained that he, his husband and their two children have been staying at a rental farm outside of their Rio de Janeiro home and he was there alone the night of March 5. An off-duty police officer was there providing security to the home.
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“Within seconds, three men wearing full black face masks descended on me, all pointing guns at me. They told me to walk toward a small stand-alone room near the house and began pushing me to go faster. Soon as I entered, I saw that two other armed men had detained the security guard, the off-duty cop, and had him lying face-down on the floor as they stood over him with guns pointed at his head,” he wrote.
Greenwald ruled out the idea of the attack being politically motivated, he said, and the robbers seemed interested only in money and valuables — none of which he had, he explained, as most of the family’s possessions remained in their Rio home. For an hour, he said, the robbers “attempted various forms of psychological terror.” That included threatening to shoot the officer and kicking him, as well as placing a gun in Greenwald’s mouth. According to the journalist, they were there for an hour. He and the officer were then bound, by his account, and freed themselves when the coast was clear so they could call the police.
In January 2020, Greenwald was charged by federal prosecutors in Brazil, accused of committing cybercrimes because of his role in reporting on leaked text messages relating to the nation’s prosecutors and the government’s anti-corruption task force. The charges were dismissed the next month.