Carlos José Guadamuz

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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.


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