Fact check: Green screen added to footage of graveyard in Brazil

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Users on social media are sharing two photographs of gravediggers in protective suits, one of which features a green screen studio in the background, with comments implying that people are being lied to about the death toll from COVID-19. The claim is false: the green screen has been photoshopped into the original picture, which shows the biggest graveyard in Brazil.

Examples of the claim are visible here , here , here , here , here

The first picture, with a Reuters logo, is a genuine image of workers at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo on April 2. The image can be seen (moment of screengrab 00:08) here . At that moment, with almost 60 burials per day, the gravediggers of Vila Formosa were convinced the coronavirus was quietly killing far more people than official statistics showed ( here ). More recent images of the graveyard are visible here .

The second image is a version of the above against a green screen (the unicolor backdrop often used in filming to be able to edit the background for moving subjects). The claim includes the text “todo es una mentira” meaning “everything is a lie” in Spanish, implying the graveyard scene was staged in a studio. However, it is this second image, not the first, that is fake.

The image of the green screen studio featured in the altered photo is visible here .

As of July 2, 2020, Brazil has the second most cases of COVID-19, behind the United States with 1,447,523 registered cases and 60,610 deaths ( here ).


False. This claim is based on a photo that has been altered to include a green screen studio.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts   here   .