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Guatemalan Police Arrest Muckraking Journalist José Rubén Zamora

HeadlineAug 01, 2022

In Guatemala, press freedom and human rights groups are condemning the arrest of veteran award-winning journalist José Rubén Zamora. On Friday, police raided his home and the office of his newspaper, elPeriódico. Zamora has been accused — without evidence — of money laundering and blackmail. But Zamora and supporters say his arrest is in retaliation for the newspaper’s probes into corruption by Guatemala’s right-wing President Alejandro Giammattei and other officials. Zamora spoke to reporters after being taken into custody.

José Rubén Zamora: “They chased me and my children in the streets in a very dangerous way. My family had to exile. My home was illegally raided. But they haven’t gone as far as now, with them formally arresting me. I don’t know how long the process will take. … We keep facing a narco-klepto dictatorship. Four years ago, our apparent democracy was transformed, electing a president that is a thief who has been assaulting us for the past four years. Us, as Guatemalans, we don’t have the capacity to defend ourselves.”

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