Guatemala: Arrest of a journalist critical of the government

Guatemala: arrest of ;a journalist critical of the government

Jose Ruben Zamora, founder and president of the newspaper El Periodico, was detained on charges of money laundering and blackmail by the Guatemalan authorities.

A hundred of journalists demonstrated on Saturday the day after the arrest of José Rubén Zamora, founder of the daily El Periódico, very critical of President Alejandro Giamattei and Attorney General Consuelo Porras.

< p class="e-p">Mr. Zamora had been arrested on Friday at his home in the south of the capital as part of a money laundering investigation, said Juan Luis Pantaleón, spokesman for the Guatemalan prosecutor's office. /p>

He was arrested in connection with a possible money laundering case. This is not related to his work as a journalist, but as a businessman, he assured.

Police and prosecutors raided the newspaper's headquarters as the editorial staff saw it as retaliation for stories accusing the government and Ms. Porras of corruption. Attorney General Consuelo Porras carried out the threats made against the president of El Periódico. They will not silence us, reacted the newspaper on its social networks, after the arrest.

In its Saturday edition, the newspaper accused President Giamattei of x27;initiate the arrest.

A hundred colleagues of Mr. Zamora, to whom he announced to start a hunger strike, demonstrated on Saturday in front of the court, joined by other colleagues. The signs held up in the rally proclaimed Without newspapers no democracy, or We will not be silenced.

The Guatemalan authorities are detaining the journalist on allegations of money laundering and blackmail.

During his transfer to the court, Mr. Zamora had indicated that he would be at the disposal of justice. I imagine that there must be a conspiracy, a persecution and if so, the love of Guatemala must be paid for by prison, he added.

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Last September, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the Guatemalan court's decision to open an investigation into El < em>Periódicofor publishing testimony accusing Ms. Porras of corruption.

We are in a very difficult time. I wouldn't like to think we're becoming Nicaragua 2.0, said Guatemalan mediator Jordan Rodas, referring to the convictions of journalists critical of President Daniel Ortega in the neighboring country in recent years. /p>

In June, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) added Guatemala to the list of countries with serious human rights violations . Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are also listed.

The Office of the Attorney General, under Ms. Porras, has been implicated in arresting and prosecuting several judges and antimafia prosecutors. Ms. Porras has been sanctioned by Washington and her name is now on the Engel List of Corrupt and Undemocratic Figures Identified by the United States.

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