On Friday, Guatemalan Indigenous leader Rosalina Tuyuc assured that her country is under «political terror» and denounced the arrest of journalist Jose Ruben Zamora as a very serious attack on freedom of expression.
«In any democracy, free expression of thought is the greatest banner of truth,» she stressed, referring to Zamora’s arrest a week ago.
The leader of the National Coordinator of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA), an institution that emerged during the civil war (1960-1996), pointed out that the Zamora’s arrest closes any possibility of free journalism in this Central American country.
«We have seen the degree of violence and tension that this entails,» Tuyuc said, implicitly recalling the State terrorism that left over 200,000 victims during the 20th century.
The Guatemalan government crusade to silence anyone who exposes corruption is growing more brazen.
Authorities arrested top journalist Jos? Rub?n Zamora and raided his newsroom Friday.
Zamora’s paper has been a leading voice exposing corruption for decades.
— Tyler Mattiace (@TMattiaceHRW)
July 30, 2022
Zamora, the main critic of the government headed by President Alejandro Giammattei, was arrested by Guatemalan security forces on July 29 at his residence. He was charged with money laundering, intent to launder money, influence peddling, and racketeering.
His arrest came five days after local outlets published strong criticism of various Giammattei administration officials involved in corruption.
The Guatemalan jornalists is also an engineer who received the Ibero-American Outstanding Media Award in 2021, which is granted by the Spanish Crown.