Brazilian reporters who were covering their president Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to Rome for the G20 meeting were allegedly attacked by his security detail, local media reported.

The Brazilian president was out on the streets of the Italian capital on Sunday, Oct.31, when the reporters, with whom he has had a hostile relationship and has long accused of publishing fake news and treating him unfairly were allegedly attacked by his bodyguards.

Videos from Sunday’s G20 events showed Bolsonaro as an isolated figure. He was also not seen in the photo taken at the Trevi fountain with world leaders.

"This video of Bolsonaro walking around alone in the G20 conference hall, while other world leaders are chatting, is painful to watch, but it adequately reflects the collapse of Brazil’s standing in the world," Oliver Stuenkel, an international relations professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a Brazilian university, tweeted.

When Broadcast journalist Leonardo Monteiro of TV Globo asked Bolsonaro why he was not seen at any G20 events on Sunday, the president’s security allegedly punched him in the stomach and pushed him, Newspaper O Globo reported

UOL journalist Jamil Chade captured the chaotic scenes in which the president’s security staff were seen jostling the reporters and Bolsonaro supporters chanting abuse at the press.

Even though the outlet reported that Italians had been assigned to provide security to Bolsonaro, it is still unclear if the officers were Brazilian or Italian.

"Globo vehemently condemns the aggression against its correspondent Leonardo Monteiro and other colleagues in Rome and demands a complete assessment of responsibilities," TV Globo said in a statement.

Bolsonaro’s visit to the city had been brewing tensions as the president who was loudly criticized for his handling of Brazil’s brutal pandemic was approved granting honorary citizenship in Italy.

The far-right leader’s visit comes days after Brazilian senators demanded that Bolsonaro must face criminal charges for inexpertly handling the coronavirus pandemic that led to the country’s more than 600,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Bolsonaro was met with cheers by supporters who had wrapped themselves in the Brazilian flag and jeers by about 200 protesters who held banners saying: "Justice for the Amazon" and "No citizenship for dictators".

Andrea Zanoni, an environment councilor in the Veneto region for the center-left Democratic Party, said the honorary citizenship was an "incomprehensible choice" especially as Bolsonaro is facing accusations of "crimes against humanity" against and his "nefarious" handling of the pandemic.

"But not only that: Bolsonaro’s policies are a disaster for the planet," said Zanoni.

"He has laid out the red carpet for multinationals that are devastating the Amazon and dismantled environmental controls. Bolsonaro’s policies are dangerous not only for Brazil but the whole world."

The president’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the alleged violence or why he was not part of the photo taken with world leaders.

Ana Estela De Sousa, Europe correspondent of the Brazilian daily Folha de S.Paulo said she was "pushed and brutally treated" by the Bolsonaro’s security.

"It is unacceptable. We are going to file a complaint," she told news agency AFP.

"In the 20 years that I have been covering trips of presidents and events of this type, nothing like this has ever happened to me," she added.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro
President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

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