IACHR correspondent meets journalist imprisoned for 563 days

Pedro Vaca, Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), This Monday, February 12, he met journalist José Rubén Zamora Marroquín in a prison in Guatemala, where he has been detained since July 29, 2022.

According to the IACHR, Rapporteur Vaca is in Guatemala at the invitation of the Government. of President Bernardo Arévalo de Leon, To verify the status of freedom of expression in the country.

This Monday, Vaca entered the prison located in the Mariscal Zavala barracks, north of the Guatemalan capital, to confirm the condition in which Zamora Marroquín is found. Who benefited from IACHR precautionary measures in July 2023.

The IACHR mission entering the press room is led by Executive Secretary, Tania Reneum, And during his stay in Guatemala he will hold separate meetings with government officials.

On July 29, 2022, 67-year-old Zamora Marroquín was arrested five days after making strong allegations of corruption in his media outlet, Elperiodico, against the then-president’s closest circle. Alessandro Giammattei (2020–2024).

The journalist is waiting for a criminal court in Guatemala City to re-open a trial against him for money laundering, after a court annulled a six-year prison sentence imposed on him in 2023. Recognizing that errors were made in the previous process.

During his time in jail, zamora marroquin He has denounced various violations of his rights, among them he highlighted that he was prevented from presenting exculpatory documents, as well as witnesses, in the trial in which he was prosecuted.

Last week, Zamora Marroquín assured journalists that, since the arrival of the new government on January 14, their conditions in prison have improved with minimal guarantees. Such as access to hot water and being outside for longer periods of time.

The journalist’s family informed this in 2023 Government of former President Alessandro Giammattei Approval of a permit to enable visits by international observers to Zamora Marroquín in prison was delayed.

A source in the Executive confirmed to EFE that Envoy Vaca and Secretary Reneaume will be received by Arévalo de León this afternoon. In a meeting at the National Palace of Culture.

Additionally, during the day the IACHR delegation met with the Chancellor, Carlos Ramiro Martínez, To discuss cooperation on issues related to human rights.

another tour

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America Eric Jacobstein also visited Zamora in prison, saying the meeting was part of Washington’s commitment to independent journalism and freedom of expression.

“I am honored to meet respected journalist José Rubén Zamora, who has been in prison for 563 days. An important moment that reaffirms “The #USA’s commitment to independent journalism and freedom of expression in #GUA”, “X,” Jacobstein, formerly of Twitter, wrote in a message posted by the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.

While the government said through a statement that President Bernardo Arévalo met with IACHR envoy Pedro Vaca and executive secretary Tania Reneum.

In its account on the social network it said that they discussed the follow-up visit to the current precautionary visit of journalist José Rubén Zamora and the outline of the IACHR’s next visit to the country.

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