WHEREAS, journalists and media outlets that do not bow to the interests of the government of President Alejandro Giammattei are being systematically attacked, and such practices are employed, endorsed or incited by public officials
WHEREAS, the Public Prosecutor's Office has joined the strategy of legal attacks against journalists and independent media, promoting actions that, in addition to being questionable, are kept secret - thus preventing those involved from being able to properly defend themselves
WHEREAS, journalist José Rubén Zamora Marroquín - of elPeriódico - is being held in the Mariscal Zavala prison in deplorable sanitary conditions and visits by his lawyers and friends have been limited, thus implementing a strategy of psychological and physical harm; whereas Flora Silva - financial manager of elPeriódico - is also being held as part of the proceedings against Zamora
WHEREAS, Zamora Marroquín's right to a legitimate defense has been obstructed by procedural delays, spurious appeals and illegal pressures on lawyers to abandon the defense of the journalist
WHEREAS, Zamora Marroquín has denounced dozens of cases of corruption involving the State, including the crimes of embezzlement, bribery, influence peddling and anomalous adjudications, among others, for which various governments and State powers have sought to silence him and financially stifle the media outlet elPeriódico by threatening advertisers
WHEREAS, the media outlet La Hora and its executives Óscar Clemente Marroquín and Pedro Pablo Marroquín are being accused of femicide crimes against female public officials, as a strategy so that they do not have to answer for their actions in public office
WHEREAS, journalist Juan Luis Font is being subjected to a strategy of unclear legal attacks, thereby obstructing his right to counsel as established in the Constitution
WHEREAS, the proven existence of "netcenters" set up and financed with public and private resources that are used to attack and threaten - even with death - critical journalists, opposition politicians and citizens who question the State
WHEREAS, Principle 10 of the Chapultepec Declaration states: "No media outlet or journalist should be punished for disseminating the truth or formulating criticisms or denunciations against the public authorities."
THE 78TH IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES
To condemn the strategies of censorship and intimidation employed by the Government and the Public Prosecutor's Office of Guatemala against journalists and independent media - which put at serious risk the freedom of expression enshrined in Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic
To demand the immediate cease of these actions of legal intimidation against journalists and independent media
To demand the immediate release of José Rubén Zamora Marroquín and Flora Silva, so that they may face the charges brought against them by the Public Prosecutor's Office under house arrest - guaranteeing that the judicial cases comply with due process, time and proportionality
To request the government to dismantle the "netcenters" used as tools for propaganda, hate speech and smear campaigns against journalists, opponents and citizens
To request the IAPA to send a delegation to the country to follow up and learn first-hand about the situation of the press, and the deterioration of the guarantees and of freedom of expression and the press.