Tags: Guatemala | Newspaper

Guatemala's El Periodico Newspaper Stops Print Edition

Wednesday, 30 November 2022 02:00 PM EST

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The prominent Guatemalan investigative newspaper “El Periodico” announced Wednesday that it is stopping its print edition, after the government arrested the paper’s president.

José Rubén Zamora was arrested in July and charged with money laundering and extortion. Zamora has overseen dozens of investigations into corruption during his leadership at El Periodico since the paper was founded in 1996.

All of the paper’s reporters have been let go, and it is not clear how it can continue with digital editions only. The government has withdrawn advertising and has allegedly pressured businesses to do the same.

“It has been 30 years of struggle against corruption and impunity, against governmental abuses and terrorism, in favor of freedom transparency and accountability,” Zamora wrote in a final editorial, datelined from the prison cell where he is now being held.

The closure of the print edition came on Guatemala’s “Day of the Journalist.” Guatemala’s chief prosecutor has been criticized by the United States government for blocking corruption investigations and instead pursuing the prosecutors and judges who carried them out.

Mario Recinos, president of the Guatemalan Association of Journalists, said reporters have to operate “amid limits on the freedom of expression, harassment, criminalization of journalism and judicial persecution.”

Recinos said five Guatemalan journalists have been forced into exile under the administration of President Alejandro Giammattei because of legal persecution.

The U.S. government has sharply criticized the weakening of anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala and last year cancelled the U.S. visa of Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras, who had been pursuing former prosecutors who conducted corruption investigations.

Around 30 former anti-corruption officials have fled the country, and the persecution appears to have extended to journalists.

Giammattei has been dismissive of U.S. officials’ criticism of his attorney general and what they see as Guatemala backsliding on battling corruption. The country’s new special prosecutor against impunity has been placed on a U.S. list of people suspected of corruption or undermining democracy. He is accused of obstructing corruption investigations.

Zamora has said the case against him “is a set-up effectively designed and mounted by the president, attorney general and other people.”

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
The prominent Guatemalan investigative newspaper "El Periodico" announced Wednesday that it is stopping its print edition, after the government arrested the paper's president. José Rubén Zamora was arrested in July and charged with money laundering and extortion. Zamora has...
Guatemala,Newspaper
352
2022-00-30
Wednesday, 30 November 2022 02:00 PM
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