Photographer Shot Dead While Filming Tribe in Ethiopia

Travel photographer Toni Espadas (right) was shot dead on Monday. mursi tribe
Travel photographer Toni Espadas (right) was shot dead on Monday.

A travel photographer was murdered this week while filming a documentary about the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia.

Travel photographer Toni Espadas was killed on Monday following a “complex incident” while filming the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia for well-known documentary series Partners of the World (Socios por el Mundo) for Chilean television station Canal 13.

According to Spanish newspaper Sur, two individuals opened fire on the documentary crew who worked for the MkZeta production company, including the 54-year-old photographer as they returned from filming the Mursi tribe.

While the other members of the filming crew were unharmed, Espadas — who is based in Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain — was shot dead during the attack.

According to reports, the attackers are not believed to have been members of the Mursi tribe.

Sur reports that the Chilean foreign ministry and Canal 13 “Are taking all the steps so that they [the documentary crew] can leave the country as soon as possible, return to Chile, and provide them with all the assistance they need.”

Spanish and Catalan authorities are working together with Ethiopian officials to uncover the cause of Espadas’ death.

“As Canal 13, we deeply regret the death of Toni, and from a distance, we send his family all our support,” a spokesperson for the television station says in a statement.

The Catalan foreign minister Meritzell Serret says that the government would “move forward with the appropriate arrangements,” including providing “psychological support” for the photographer’s family.

Espadas, who worked as a travel photographer and tour guide, was known as an expert on Africa — a continent he had been visiting for over two decades.

According to his website, he opened his first travel agency in Ethiopia in 2010, which he later expanded to countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Gabon, Eritrea, Benin, Angola, and South Sudan.

“For some years now, I have been advising journalists and production companies, working as a fixer for the production of reports, documentaries, and television shows focusing on the study of African peoples and cultures,” Espadas wrote on his website.

Image credits: Header photo via Instagram/Toni Espadas.