A Chilean journalist who was shot during a protest on May 1st in Santiago has passed away from her injuries. Reports of her death come merely a week after Chile’s record low rating on the World Press Freedom Index released earlier this month. The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a statement expressing their condolences and thoughts on the situation.
On May 1st, during a Chilean Workers Day demonstration being held in Santiago, gunmen opened fire at protestors, which led to three journalists being injured. One of the three journalists, Francisca Sandoval, was left in critical conditions and rushed to the hospital. Thursday, May 13th 2022, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement confirming the passing of Francisca Sandoval from her injuries.
“We are saddened by the news of the death today of Chilean journalist Francisca Sandoval, who was shot while covering a demonstration on May 1, and express our condolences to her family and colleagues,” said Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s Latin America and the Caribbean program coordinator, in New York.
Sandoval was 29 years of age, and a reporter from a local radio station Señal 3 La Victoria. She was covering the demonstrations occurring in Santiago when she was shot in the head upon the gunfire beginning. According to an article written by The Guardian, Sandoval is the first journalist to be killed in the line of duty in Chile since the Pinochet dictatorship. “Francisca did not leave us. They murdered her,” tweeted Señal 3 La Victoria after her passing.
Francisca no se nos fue. La asesinaron. A través de estas palabras confirmamos el fallecimiento de nuestra querida Fran. Te extrañaremos y haremos todo lo posible para encontrar la verdad.
— Señal 3 La Victoria (@tv_piola) May 12, 2022
The news of Santiago’s death comes merely a few days after Chile dropped 28 positions on the World Press Freedom Index, issued by Reporters Without Borders earlier this month. The report highlighted that “investigative journalism is losing ground and attacks on reporters are on the rise” within Chile.
Chile’s President, Gabriel Boric, condemned the violent outbreak that occurred during the demonstrations in Santiago. It is reported that Boric visited Sandoval’s family at hospital earlier in the week, and assured that justice will be served to those responsible for these events.
Ishaan Cheema is an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary, studying Kinesiology, with a focus on Exercise and Health Physiology. He always had a passion for globalism and political journalism, which he explored through Model UN conferences, debate teams, and several other extracurriculars.