Photographer Leonardo Henrichsen filming his death. (Chile, 1973)
June 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
SVT enlisted Henrichsen, who had covered 14 violent coups for their current events program, Rapport, to their bureau in Santiago, Chile. Working with chief correspondent Jan Sandquist, his first assignment there was during a massive, October 1972 truckers’ strike in protest over the program of expropriations being advanced by Chile’s Socialist President, Salvador Allende.On the morning of June 29, 1973, the day of the attempted military coup known as the Tanquetazo, as Henrichsen had breakfast at the café in the Hotel Crillón (across La Moneda Presidential Palace in downtown Santiago), the sound of gunfire erupted outside, leading him and Sandquist to rush to cover the event. As he began filming, a detachment in a mutineering army regiment attempting to storm La Moneda Palace attacked protesters and bystanders nearby and, noticing him and his camera, the ranking officer, Corporal Héctor Bustamante Gómez shot his pistol at Henrichsen, prompting his men to fire, as well. Appealing to them that they cease firing at two journalists, Henrichsen was struck by the third shot (from an as yet unidentified conscript), causing him to collapse in Sandquist’s arms while still filming. He was 33.