Two Journalists Killed During Live Broadcast in Dominican Republic

On Tuesday, gunmen burst into the FM 103.5 studio in San Pedro de Marcos during a live news broadcast. They shot and killed the station’s director Leonidas Martinez in his office before doing the same to journalist Luis Manuel Medina, just as he was reading the news on air. The station’s secretary, Dayana Garcia, was also injured. Mr Medina was hosting Milenio Caliente (Hot Millenium), an investigative news show.

Part of the event was livestreamed through Facebook. The video shows Luis Medina attempting to continue his program as shots can be heard in the background. Then a female voice warns “shots, shots!” before the transmission cuts off.

Three men have been arrested in relation to the attack, but no charges have been filed yet, according to Al-Jazeera and the Independant. The motive behind the attack is still unknown.

Reporters Without Borders ranks Dominican Republican as 62nd out of 179 in their 2016 World Press Freedom Index. According to RWB “Journalists who dare to tackle corruption or drug trafficking are often the victims of physical violence or even murder.”

Two years ago, Blas Olivo, the press director of the Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana, a politically active association of agribusinesses, was murdered. The crime was linked to the Latin Kings gang, though some suspected foul-play from the authorities.

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