Chilean Journalist Francisca Sandoval Dies After Shooting at Workers’ Day Protest

Chilean journalist Francisca Sandoval died on May 12, days after she was shot in the head while reporting the Workers’ Day protest.

The television station Sandoval had been working for and the hospital where she was taken after the shooting confirmed that she succumbed to her injuries after being shot.

“She underwent surgery and was later kept on advanced life support for 12 days, without neurological improvements and evolving to multi-organ failure that caused her death,” the hospital said in a statement.

“Francisca did not leave us. They murdered her. Through these words, we confirm the death of our beloved Fran,” Chilean broadcaster Señal 3 La Victoria said on Twitter.

Sandoval, 29, was covering the May 1 protest when a group of men opened fire after a standoff with the protesters, striking Sandoval in the head and injuring two other journalists.

Two days after the shooting, authorities arrested Marcelo Naranjo, 41, on suspicion of attempted murder, illegally carrying a firearm, and unjustified discharge of a firearm in public.

A Colombian and a Venezuelan citizen were also placed under house arrest in connection with the incident.

Sandoval is the first journalist to be killed in the line of duty in Chile since the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric pledged to “not allow impunity.”

“Violence harms democracy and irreparably damages families. Our commitment is to security and justice, and we will not rest in that desire,” Boric said on Twitter, sending condolences to Sandoval’s family.

In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based nonprofit organization, condemned Sandoval’s killing and urged authorities to hold the perpetrators responsible and to allow media workers “to work without risking their lives.”


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