Guatemala arrests journalist who published denunciations of president

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Guatemala arrests journalist who published denunciations of president

Guatemalan police arrested journalist José Rubén Zamora, president of the newspaper El Periódico, who denounced alleged acts of corruption involving President Alejandro Giammattei and the country’s attorney general, Consuelo Porras.

Zamora was arrested on Friday (29) at his residence in southern Guatemala City as part of a money laundering investigation. The newspaper’s headquarters was also invaded, in an operation that the vehicle attributed to retaliation for its publications.

According to Rafael Curruchiche, head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity (Feci) of the Public Ministry, Zamora’s arrest “has nothing to do with his status as a journalist, but for a possible act of money laundering in his capacity as a businessman.” .

Curruchiche was recently added by the United States to the Engel List of “corrupt and undemocratic”. According to the US, the official led investigations with spurious accusations against former anti-mafia prosecutors.

El Periódico is internationally recognized for its investigative work. The publication’s ombudsman, Jordán Rodas, regretted Zamora’s arrest and recalled that the journalist has precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

“We are in a very difficult moment. I would not like to think that we are becoming Nicaragua 2.0,” said Rodas, referring to the arrests and convictions of journalists critical of Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega in recent years.

Guatemalan journalists protested against Zamora’s arrest. “You can’t shut up the truth by shutting up journalists!”, shouted on Saturday employees of El Periódico and other media in front of the courts in the center of the capital, where Zamora was taken around 00:00.

In Saturday’s edition, El Periódico blames the country’s president for the arrest of Zamora, who began a hunger strike in protest at his detention.

Pedro Vaca, the IACHR’s Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, tweeted that he is following the arrest and the searches carried out by police and prosecutors in the newspaper. “I appeal to the authorities to ensure compliance with judicial rights and guarantees.”

In June, the IACHR added Guatemala to its list of countries where it observes serious human rights violations, a charge that Giammattei rejects.

The Public Ministry, under the leadership of Consuelo Porras, was questioned for arresting and prosecuting several anti-mafia judges and prosecutors, although the entity assures that they all failed to fulfill their functions.

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