The Guatemalan government managed to shut down the outlet that denounced its corruption

The media most critical of the current government of the Central American country could not resist judicial persecution and financial sinking. The Guatemalan company ‘elPeriódico’ has officially announced the end of operations as of next Monday, May 15th. The newspaper’s management said through a statement released early Friday via social media: “Wasila has two months left to live, but we have resisted for 287 days.” The outlet has withstood nearly a year of political and economic persecution and pressure from the regime of Alejandro Giamatti, a president whose government rejected 75%, the worst rating for a Guatemalan president since the past three decades, according to the latest publication. ProDatos survey company.

287 days have passed since July 29, 2022, when the president of ‘elPeriódico’ Jose Ruben Zamora He was arrested, and his aides forced to stay in the newspaper’s offices for 16 hours without contact, food or access to medication, during the raids orchestrated by the National Civil Police and the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity (FECI) of the Public Prosecution Office, which he directs Rafael Korocchithe attorney general who is on Engel’s list of corrupt actors in the US State Department.

Zamora had expected to be arrested, ten months after he was found guilty of fabricating cases against him by the current regime, and after he published more than 100 investigations into multiple corruption networks operating under government tutelage. Finally, the journalist was arrested because of a case he spoke about in less than 72 hours that triggered all the alarms of the international community and human rights and freedom of expression organizations that have repeatedly called for his immediate release. In addition to Zamora, who faces trial for alleged money laundering, the outlet he has run for more than two decades is also under harassment. The government is putting pressure on its advertisers to remove the advertisement from the outlet and threatening its collaborators to avoid covering the judicial case and any matter related to the presidential number.

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He added, “The attacks have not stopped. To date, four lawyers have been arrested, two remain in pretrial detention, six journalists and three columnists are being investigated by the FBI in Kuroshichi, and Zamora has filed four criminal cases against him,” they explained. in the statement.

Six lawyers

And it is that there is no one to defend Zamora. The journalist was the victim of questionable maneuvers by the prosecution to dismiss, one by one, all the lawyers who offered their services in court. By the time the criminal proceedings lapsed, since July 29, 2022, six defense attorneys had resigned for various reasons and were then linked to the process by the prosecution. Such as Mario Castaneda, Romeo Montoya, Juan Francisco Solorzano Foba and Justino Brito Torrez Zamora who are now in pretrial detention or have been convicted of attempting to obstruct justice. A fifth lawyer, Ricardo Sérgio Zegner Orchik, left Zamora’s defense due to heart problems, and the sixth and final lawyer, Emma Patricia Guillermo de Chia, was fired by journalist a few days after taking over. Zamora requested that a lawyer from the Public Criminal Defense Institute, which the state provides for those without the resources to choose a private defense, handle his defense.

Zamora was the victim of dubious maneuvers by the prosecution to dismiss, one by one, all the lawyers who offered their services in court.

The defense attorney’s most high-profile case was that of Juan Francisco Solorzano Fopa, who in addition to serving as a third party to the journalist, was also running for mayor in Guatemala City. Solórzano Foppa was arrested on April 20 for obstruction of criminal proceedings in the case of racketeering, impunity and money laundering, with which Zamora is linked. His arrest came days after a public opinion poll put him in Second place of voting preference for the general election scheduled for June 25.

“The only thing left for us to do is to thank all our readers and customers for their unwavering faith in ‘elPeriódico’ and for the solidarity they have shown us.” And so, 27 years later, the award-winning newspaper published Investigations that brought down governments He exposed many networks of corruption linked to drug trafficking, organized crime and abuse of power within the circles of power.

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