Since my last entry as I foretold things got really bad for us in the streets.
Our friends Miguel Alvarez from AFP was hit with a rock on the head as he arrived to Leon to cover the opposition march on November 15. Oswaldo Rivas of REUTERS was hit by a black gunpowder home made mortar. It hit in the ankle and took him out for a week.
Both Miguel and Oswaldo are ok.
Ivan Olivares of CONFIDENCIAL was hit with the flat side of a machete and then these thugs tried to stab him in the chest. He managed to move out of the way just in time. He recieved a superficial cut in the chest as the bayonet sliced by.
Our Photojournalist German Miranda of LA PRENSA was detained illegaly by a large group. Five vehicles blocked our truck as it drove by and they dragged him out of the truck. They held him and the driver for an hour. Interogated him and them took pictures of him and his id papers. Then they made him erase his cards. Then they told him that if any images where published they now knew his name and where he lived and that they would come looking for him.
We recovered the images but at his request did not publish the images out of fear for his life. German Miranda is one of the bravest photojournalist that I have ever met. He is also the most respected photojournalist in Nicaragua, renouned for his integrity and sense of justice. He has been in combat, hurricanes, earthquakes and has never shied away form getting the image. This is a first for him. A first for all of us.
Also a car carrying a crew for TV Channel 2 was attacked. Tha car was destroyed as police watched close by.
Our Photojournalist Julissa Morales of LA PRENSA was also threatened with bodily harm as she took pictures during the march. She was escorted along with an independent cameraman and then they tried, first to steal her camera and then they wanted her cards. Julissa told them in no uncertain terms that if they wanted her gear they would to come and get it themselves, or at least try. They backed off. The Cameraman was forced to surrender his tape to these thugs.
Oswaldo Rivas of Reuters is hit by a home made mortar shell. He recieved a nastry cut in the ankle and was concussed by the explosion. Photo HOY/Oscar Navarrete - Copyright DIARIO HOY
Oswaldo Rivas of Reuters is hit by a home made mortar shell. He recieved a nastry cut in the ankle and was concussed. He is helped by Esteban Felix of AP (wearing the helmet and several others who tried to get his wallet and his gear.) Photo DIARIO HOY/Oscar Navarrete - Copyright DIARIO HOY
Miguel Alvarez of AFP nurses his head after being by a rock in the head in the city of Leon. Photo LA PRENSA German Miranda - Copyright LA PRENSA
A TV cameraman is forced to surrender his tape as LA PRENSA photojournalist Julissa Morales holds her ground against party thugs sent to intimidate the press. Photo DIARIO HOY Nelson Marenco - Copyright Diario HOY
A TV Channel 2 vehicle is destroyed in plain sight of police. Photo LA PRENSA Bismarck Picado - Copyright LA PRENSA