IAPA reiterates request for guarantees of due process and safety for José Rubén Zamora


Miami (August 11, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) reiterated its request for guarantees of due process and security conditions for journalist José Rubén Zamora, editor of Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper elPeriódico, detained since July 29.

Zamora is being held in precarious and unsafe conditions in a small cell in the Mariscal Zavala barracks in Guatemala City. Also imprisoned are military personnel, drug traffickers, and former officials prosecuted for corruption and other crimes, many of which have been the subject of investigative reporting by elPeriódico. According to family members, Zamora's cell was searched a few days ago at 3:00 in the morning.

IAPA authorities recalled that José Rubén Zamora had had protection measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2003, which are still in force.

"The safety of José Rubén is an unavoidable responsibility of the government of President Alejandro Giammattei," said Jorge Canahuati, IAPA president, and Carlos Jornet, chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.

Jorge Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa, of Honduras, expressed "concern for his physical safety" and insisted on the request that Zamora "enjoy the due process, an expeditious procedure, as well as that he be guaranteed dignified and safe conditions during his detention."

Carlos Jornet, the editor of the Argentine daily La Voz del Interior, insists that the actions taken against Zamora "appear to be a further attack on his well-known denunciation of acts of corruption during different governments and a message of direct warning to independent journalism in Guatemala."

Zamora was arrested on July 29 in a large-scale operation. The newspaper's headquarters were raided, and its bank accounts seized. The Public Prosecutor's Office charges him money laundering, conspiracy, influence peddling, and blackmail. He could be remanded in custody for several months.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere, based in Miami, Florida, United States.