Independent journalists, judges, and human rights defenders in Guatemala are under assault by government and pro-government actors, amid one of the worst democratic backslides in the region. Under the current administration of President Alejandro Giammattei, more than 750 attacks against journalists have taken place, including harassment, imprisonment, restrictions, and assaults of various kinds. Dozens of judges, prosecutors, and journalists have been forced to flee the country and now live in exile while others face legal attacks and/or jail.
To support the independent media covering this political crisis while holding government officials accountable, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), in partnership with the recently created Central American Network of Journalists, is announcing a new initiative to provide emergency assistance to journalists, including editorial mentorship, training and reporting grants.
The Emergency Reporting Grants: Democracy Reporting will support independent journalists and news organizations with grants of $1,000 to $5,000 each. They will help cover journalists' salary and reporting expenses covering the country’s democratic crisis. The grants will be given to journalists and news organizations who have submitted the best proposals. An ICFJ advisory team will work on the selection process. The selected teams will have an editor to support the investigation.
- A Guatemalan journalist or a group of journalists working in Guatemala or outside the country (individual or group proposals).
- A Guatemalan news organization or an organization working in collaboration with other regional media organizations.
- Selected journalists should be committed to attending a series of workshops.
- Stories should be published by December 15, 2023.
A strong proposal should focus on the coverage of the political crisis and issues affecting democracy, such as efforts by the political elite to affect the peaceful transition of power, the weaponization of the justice system, the connections between the political and economic elites connected to corruption, and the people behind the attacks against journalists, judges, and human right activists.
The deadline to apply is August 11, 2023