PanamaTimes

Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Guatemala’s elPeriodico shutting due to government ‘persecution’

Guatemala’s elPeriodico shutting due to government ‘persecution’

Closing of elPeriodico underscores regional trend of governments cracking down on independent media, observers say.
One of Guatemala’s oldest and most well-known news organisations has said it will close its doors later this month amid what it described as a campaign of government persecution.

ElPeriodico, a 27-year-old investigative news outlet known for reporting on government corruption, said on Friday that it would cease operations on May 15.

“With deep sadness, we are forced to stop the daily edition of elPeriodico,” the directors said in a statement. “The persecution has intensified, as has the harassment of our advertisers.”

The decision came after Guatemalan authorities arrested the news outlet’s award-winning founder, Jose Ruben Zamora, on charges of money laundering and blackmail in July of last year.

The publication accused the government of President Alejandro Giammattei of trying to discredit critical voices through “criminal persecution and economic pressure”.


News outlets across the Americas region have faced growing difficulties in recent years as governments have sought to clamp down on independent voices.

Last month, the Salvadoran investigative news outlet El Faro announced it would move its administrative and legal operations to Costa Rica, citing harassment from the government of President Nayib Bukele.

This included infiltration of El Faro reporters’ phones with Pegasus, an Israeli-made spyware that also has been used in Mexico and other countries.

In Guatemala, Zamora’s trial could end up being a “breaking point” for press freedom for the country, said Juan Pappier, acting deputy director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch.

The trial, which began this month, has prompted the arrest of four of Zamora’s defence lawyers. In addition, six journalists and three columnists from elPeriodico are being investigated in parallel processes.

In November, elPeriodico cut 80 percent of its staff and put an end to its print publication, focusing exclusively on digital in a bid to continue its work.

Zamora has repeatedly described his arrest as “political persecution” amid the paper’s spotlight on alleged cases of corruption by Giammattei’s government. The prosecutor’s office denies these accusations.

“It has been 10 hard months of resistance. We thought we could adapt, transform and survive with an online version,” added Ramon Zamora, the founder’s son.

“However, the persecution intensified, as did the harassment of our advertisers and maintaining our operations became more and more difficult.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×