April 22, 2018
A Nicaraguan journalist was shot dead on Saturday while filming a confrontation between demonstrators and the police, amid a wave of protests against the government which has left 11 people dead.
Miguel Angel Gahona was killed by a suspected sniper in the city of Bluefields, on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, local media reported.
"We believe a sniper fired the shot; it wasn't the young people... The only people who were armed were the police and riot police," his colleague Ileana Lacayo told television station Canal 15.
Gahona was describing a damaged cash machine while videoing with his phone as a cameraman filmed behind him. Local newspaper El Nuevo Diario said he was broadcasting live on Facebook.
The shot ended his commentary, sending Gahona tumbling down the steps in front of the building. He then lay prone as people screamed his name and rushed to help, the footage showed.
Neither authorities in Managua, nor Lissett Guido, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Nicaragua, were immediately able to independently confirm details of the incident, which quickly spread onto national, international and social media.
Since protests erupted on Wednesday - the biggest in President Daniel Ortega's 11 years in office - journalists have reportedly faced attacks, been temporarily detained and had their work equipment stolen. Meanwhile, four independent television outlets were taken off air on Thursday, although only one currently remains closed.
Nicaraguans have taken to the streets over a proposed change to the pension system, which would see workers and employers pay more toward the retirement system. The reform would aim to settle a US$76 million deficit faced by the country's social security institute. - Agencies
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