New York, April 21, 2005
Photographer Julio Augusto García Romero died Tuesday evening, after inhaling tear gas while covering a demonstration in downtown Quito, Ecuador's capital.
The demonstration, organized to protest the now-ousted President Lucio Gutiérrez, was moving toward the Palacio de Carondelet, the seat of the executive branch, when police fired water cannons and tear gas grenades into the crowd. The Chilean-born García Romero, 58, was taking photographs of the incident when he collapsed, the Guayaquil-based daily El Universo
reported. He was then taken to Red Cross headquarters in Quito, where he arrived with symptoms of asphyxia. Later, however, he suffered cardiorespiratory arrest and was transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Jonny Franco, spokesman for the Ecuadoran Red Cross.