People and Power: Frontline Nicaragua
Filmed in Nicaragua
Commissioned by Al Jazeera English
In April 2018, protests against pension reform plans in Nicaragua quickly mushroomed into a widespread anti-government movement. The country’s Sandinista regime under President Daniel Ortega cracked down hard. According to international and domestic NGOs, over the following year hundreds were killed, thousands more were exiled or detained and independent media voices were suppressed. As negotiations to resolve the crisis were getting underway in early 2019, Al Jazeera’s People & Power sent filmmaker Rodrigo Vazquez to investigate its causes and aftermath.
As a freelance producer, director, cameraman, Rodrigo has worked with most of the main international broadcasters since 1998, making investigative and observational documentaries in war zones and conflict areas, particularly in the Middle East. He previously won the Rory Peck Award for News Features (2003) and was nominated again four years later. For almost 15 years, Rodrigo’s Bethnal Films has produced work for Al Jazeera, BBC, Channel 4, NHK and others.
“Rodrigo is the perfect person to cover this film. His extensive experience in South America, his massive network, his knowledge of how to operate on the ground – what’s safe, what’s not – made him the right person to cover the story. What he produced was shocking and revolutionary.”