ICFJ Calls on Guatemalan Authorities to Immediately Release José Rubén Zamora

By: 08/01/2022
Guatemalan journalist José Rubén Zamora, after being arrested in Guatemala City, on July 29, 2022. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP)

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) joins press freedom and pro-democracy groups worldwide in strongly condemning the arrest of José Rubén Zamora, an internationally renowned, award-winning journalist and president of elPeriódico newspaper in Guatemala.

On July 29 police arrested Zamora, a 2003 winner of the ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award, at his home and raided his newspaper’s offices in Guatemala City, according to news reports. 

“José Rubén Zamora is an exceptional journalist whose brave reporting has shined a light on corruption in Guatemala for decades,” ICFJ President Sharon Moshavi said. “His arrest and the raid on his newspaper’s offices are deeply troubling attempts to silence journalism. We call on Guatemalan authorities to immediately release him and drop any charges against him.”

Zamora was arrested on charges that include possible money laundering, blackmail and influence peddling, according to news reports. Staff members said the actions were retaliation for reporting on President Alejandro Giammattei, as well as Attorney General Consuelo Porras.

During the raid on the newspaper’s offices on Friday night, police forced some 30 staff members to leave while several others were held all night with their phones taken away, according to news reports. The Association of Guatemalan Journalists said it was an attempt to stop elPeriódico from printing its Saturday edition.

Zamora, who also has been recognized with the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University and the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a video message Saturday that he had begun a hunger strike. 

News Category

Latest News

ICFJ Voices: ‘Kunle Adebajo on the Importance of Covering the Past

For ‘Kunle Adebajo, journalism is about “keeping the important stories in our consciousness, getting justice for those treated unfairly, and setting the records straight for future generations.”

Longtime ICFJ Partner, New York Times Editor James Greenfield, Dies at 99

When the Iron Curtain crumbled in 1991, James “Jimmy” Greenfield seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance press freedom in a region long dominated by Soviet propaganda. He launched the Independent Journalism Foundation (IJF), which helped journalists and media outlets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania provide citizens with uncensored information they could never have gotten during the Cold War.

ICFJ Welcomes Knight Fellows Alan Soon and Rishad Patel

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is pleased to announce Alan Soon and Rishad Patel from Splice Media as new Knight Fellows beginning June 1. Soon and Patel, based in Singapore, will launch an innovative program called Splice Nano during their fellowship year.