Newspaper El Periódico closes due to government harassment in Guatemala | News

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The Guatemalan media outlet, El Periódico, announced its closure this Friday after 10 months of imprisonment of its founder and president José Rubén Zamora Marroquín for denouncing the corruption surrounding Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.


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With almost 30 years of work, El Periódico said in a statement released on various platforms that May 15 will be its last edition, after "287 days of resistance, it's time to say see you later," referring to the context of repression of the freedom of expression.

A highly regarded journalist in his country and abroad, where he has received countless awards, Zamora Marroquín was arrested on July 29 on alleged charges of blackmail and money laundering, five days after launching strong accusations of corruption against President Alejandro Giammattei.

According to the statement, the case against Zamora Marroquín was created "in less than 72 hours" like the investigations against six communicators and three columnists for the newspaper. At least four of the seven lawyers defending the journalist were also accused by the Justice.

Several international organizations and NGOs denounced the arrest of Zamora Marroquín as a political case. The organization Reporters Without Borders denounced that El Periódico faces all kinds of economic pressure and malicious persecution."

According to the informational entity, the persecution and censorship of journalists, through judicial sentences, has been increasing in recent years. One of the most alarming cases was the murder of the director of the Noticias del Puerto website, Orlando Villanueva, in March 2022.

"With deep sadness, we are forced to interrupt the daily edition of El Periódico, as the persecution has intensified. We will continue to believe in a fair Guatemala with freedom of expression, a Guatemala where democracy can flourish. Goodbye!" said goodbye

El Periódico opened its doors in 1996 and published information on thousands of corruption cases against the government, including the scandals that led to the end of Otto Pérez Molina's term in 2015.

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