Two journalists shot dead during live Facebook broadcast in Dominican Republic - Press Gazette

Two journalists shot dead during live Facebook broadcast in Dominican Republic

A radio presenter and a producer were shot dead in the Dominican Republic as they broadcast the news live on Facebook yesterday.

Police said the shooting occurred at the radio station, which is based inside a shopping mall in the town of San Pedro de Macoris, just east of the capital of Santo Domingo.

The victims have been identified as presenter Luis Manuel Medina and producer and director Leo Martinez at radio station 103.5 HICC.

During the Facebook Live video gunfire is heard, along with a woman yelling “shots, shots, shots” before the transmission cuts off.

Posted by Luis Manuel Medina on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Police said the station secretary, named as Dayaba Garcia, was also injured in the attack and is undergoing surgery.

Medina presented Milenio Caliente (Hot Millennium), a local news programme that included political analysis and social campaigning, and was also the official announcer of the Estrellas Orientales baseball team

He had been using the programme to highlight the issue of pollution in Laguna Mallen, a protected lake in San Pedro, according to the Guardian.

Three men have been detained, but no one has been charged and a motive has yet to be establish for the attack.

The intimidation of journalists reporting on organised crime and corruption is said to be fairly common in the Dominican Republic, although murder is rare.

Olivo de Leon, from the College of Journalism who knew both men, told the Guardian: “For gunmen to open fire in a media outlet like this is unprecedented.

“The authorities must investigate to determine not just the killers but also the intellectual authors so that we know why they were murdered.

“Impunity in this case will generate fear among journalists, making them scared to speak out and do their jobs. The government must guarantee freedom of expression.”

Tributes have been paid to Medina on his Facebook page.

One read: “There is no word to describe the sadness that overwhelms the family and the people of San Pedro de Macoris for the murder of the voices of our people.”