In Guatemala, freedom of expression is in danger – El Sol de Mazatlán

Monday 6 March, 2023
2 mins read

 

Dozens of journalists from Guatemala denounced that the freedom of expression and they demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court of Justice by a judge’s decision to authorize seven reporters and two columnists are investigated for reporting on the criminal process against the communicator José Rubén Zamora Marroquín, imprisoned since July 2022.

Nearly a hundred communicators rejected the criminal prosecution union and denounced attacks on the freedom of expression. Carrying banners with the slogan “They will not silence us” and “Without journalism, there is no democracy,” the journalists expressed their concern over a prosecutor’s request to a judge to investigate nine journalists and columnists for the newspaper El Periódico, which has published reports on state corruption.

On Tuesday, a judge opened a second criminal proceeding against the founder of that outlet, José Rubén Zamora, for conspiracy to obstruct justice. According to the indictment, the journalist allegedly tried to stop an research against him for money laundering in 2021.

At that hearing, the prosecutor requested to investigate the nine communicators of the newspaper, which caused a wave of rejection at the local and international level. During the protest, editors, photographers and broadcasters of digital, local and international media dressed in black and shared slogans of solidarity with their colleagues who according to them are being “criminalized” for their work journalistic

Zamora Marroquín, main critic of the Government of Alejandro Giammattei has been in prison for seven months and has been accused of two criminal proceedings: the first for money laundering and the second for obstruction of justice.

In addition, the journalists filed a criminal complaint against Judge Bremer Ramírez for acceding to the request of the Public Ministry to investigate the journalists.

On Thursday, the government of President Joe Biden expressed “deep concern” about the investigations against the journalists and estimated that “criminalizing” the work of the press “undermines democratic norms.”

The Public Ministry rejected that assessment on Friday and requested a rapprochement with the US authorities to clarify the situation. The request for the investigation is an “escalation in the issue of authoritarian regression,” said the journalist and member of the No Nos Callarán movement, Marielos Monzón

“The persecution of the press is not an isolated event, it has to do with a general strategy of a group that has its interests and its privileges and that wants to maintain corruption and impunity in the country,” he said.

For Monsoon The actions against journalists are headed by “people linked to the government, Congress, the powerful economic sector and of course criminal groups“.

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In addition, the communicator lamented that the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity created, to “investigate corrupt networks and criminals Now they are using it to persecute journalists.”

Meanwhile, veteran journalist Haroldo Sánchez expressed his “deep concern” about the criminalization. but “no system, even if it issues orders that affect the free expression of all Guatemalans, will silence us.”

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Source: from El Sol de Mazatlán | Noticias Locales, Policiacas, sobre México, Sinaloa y el Mundo – frontpage on 2023-03-05 01:00:00

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