Guatemala: IAPA and CPJ mission call on Guatemala to respect journalistic practice. associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A mission from the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) visited the new government of Guatemala to address the defense of freedom of expression and the free practice of journalism without harassment. Did. Criminalization and judicial harassment.

IAPA President Roberto Roque told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the mission came to the country out of concern about the risks to Guatemalan journalists’ profession. They hope that conditions will improve when new officials come to power on January 14.

Rock explained that, unlike other countries such as Mexico, where organized crime and criminals attack and kill journalists, “what happens in Guatemala is that the risk here comes from agents of the state, especially prosecutors and judges. ” He assured that he had a report from at least 23 journalists who had decided to go into exile during the government of Alessandro Giammattei.

The IAPA President also stressed that the environment in the countries of the region is difficult. He said, “There are governments hostile to the press, there are governments that are facing a lot of problems… security, polarization, marginalization, poverty, social conflict and they have either made up their minds for this or for their inability to face these challenges.” Have chosen to blame the press for.” ,

The IAPA mission met with the President of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo, and visited in prison the renowned journalist José Rubén Zamora, who had been imprisoned for more than 18 months after prosecutors accused him of money laundering. His defense alleges that this is revenge for his anti-corruption journalism investigations against government officials.

The delegation also met with Interior Minister Francisco Jiménez and Supreme Court officials.

For the President of IAPA, conditions are changing in Guatemala and he confirmed that there were commitments from Arévalo to improve conditions of transparency of information as well as not to use the State to criminalize freedom of expression .

“The government is not going to use tools to extrajudicially torture and punish journalists,” Rock said, adding that he also stated the new authorities’ desire to create “a mechanism to protect journalists.”

For his part, CPJ’s Carlos Martínez de la Serna said that there has been a long “very difficult” period for journalists in Guatemala, in which they have been persecuted and criminalized, especially those covering conflicts in the regions, organized crime, Let’s report. among others.

He said, “This is a moment of hope for journalism, I think it will change, we must understand the complexity of the situation in Guatemala, change will require time and a lot of skill, but I believe.” He said, freedom of the press has been given priority in the agenda of the new government.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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