Cameraman Blinded After Press Attack in Tirúa

The vehicle Iván Núñez and Esteban Sánchez were in during the attack in Tirúa

TIRÚA – Unidentified assailants opened fire on a television crew traveling through the Biobío region on Mar. 27. National TV journalist Iván Núñez sustained injuries after the attack, while cameraman Esteban Sánchez lost vision in his right eye.

Violence in southern Chile continues. A television crew from state-financed TVN was attacked by a group on Route P-72-S, near Tirúa in the Biobío region on Mar. 27. The reporters’ vehicle was riddled with bullets, injuring journalist Iván Núñez and cameraman Esteban Sánchez. Both reporters were traveling to the area to work on an investigation.

Sánchez is in intensive care. The cameraman suffered chest, arm, shoulder and eye injuries, and lost vision in his right eye. Meanwhile, Núñez sustained less serious wounds in his right shoulder.

Núñez Speaks Out

On Mar. 29, the journalist and news anchor talked about the attack in Tirúa on Instagram: “I still can’t forget his [Sánchez’s] screams of pain, the noise of the shootings, the bleeding from his multiple wounds, my pain for my arm injury, the vehicle that was zigzagging because we didn’t know if they’d blown out our wheels, ultimately we didn’t know if we’d make it out alive.”

Government Condemns “Terrorist Attack”

Government spokesperson Jaime Bellolio called the attack in Tirúa “cowardly.” Southern Zone Coordinator Pablo Urquízar said that “what’s happening is intolerable,” and announced the government will be prosecuting whoever is responsible. More mixed military and police patrols were also announced.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado claimed there was a strategy for the area, but “violent incidents are still happening, and these are very complex.”

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