Guadamuz, the outspoken host of “Dardos al centro” (Darts to the
Bull’s-Eye) on Canal 23 television, was killed when he arrived at
work in the capital, Managua. William Hurtado García, a street
vendor and one-time agent with state security services under the Frente
Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government, shot the
journalist several times at point-blank range before being subdued
by Guadamuz’s son and Canal 23 employees, authorities said.
Hurtado, who pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 21 years
in prison, said in court that he killed Guadamuz because of the commentator’s
frequent criticism of the FSLN. Guadamuz was once a senior member
of the FSLN–now the leading opposition party–and was a friend of FSLN
leader and three-time presidential candidate Daniel Ortega until the
two parted ways in the 1990s. Since 1996, he had been a fierce critic
of Ortega and FSLN party leaders, whom he often denounced as corrupt.
In May, two people charged as accomplices were acquitted. Prosecutors
have appealed the acquittals, but the Managua Appeals Court has yet
to schedule a hearing. Prosecutor Luden Montenegro told CPJ that the
case remains open, and police continue to investigate.