MARCH 5, 2008
Posted March 24, 2008
Original Case: February 10, 2004
Carlos José Guadamuz, Canal 23
William Hurtado García, who confessed to the 2004 murder of Canal 23 television host Guadamuz, was conditionally released from prison, the Nicaraguan press reported on March 5. Hurtado had been sentenced to a 21-year prison sentence for the journalist’s murder.
Bayardo Izabá, director of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, told CPJ that Hurtado, who only served four years of his sentence, was conditionally released from prison in mid-February because of deteriorating health conditions, including hypertension and heart disease. Authorities did not specify the exact date of Hurtado’s release.
Guadamuz, the outspoken host of the television program “Dardos al Centro” (Darts to the Bull’s-Eye) aired on Canal 23, was shot to death outside the station’s Managua offices on February 10, 2004. Canal 23 employees identified Hurtado, a one-time state security agent for the government of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), as the killer. In April 2004, Hurtado pleaded guilty and said that he killed Guadamuz because of his frequent criticism of the FSLN.