On 29 July, 2023 José Rubén Zamora, founder and president of the now-closed Guatemalan investigative daily el Periódico, will have been held in jail for one year. On 14 June, he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, silenced for his newspaper’s critical reporting. Aged 66, he has lost 16 kilos since his arrest and spends 23 hours a day alone in his cell.

WAN-IFRA, together with 36 other media, media support organisations, and democracy-supporting foundations, calls on the Guatemalan authorities to immediately release José Rubén Zamora from prison.

Mr. Zamora, one of Guatemala’s fiercest critics of corruption, was detained on 29 July 2022 on politically motivated charges of money laundering, blackmail and influence peddling. With Mr Zamora in jail, nine of the newspaper’s journalists under investigation and four of his lawyers arrested, the investigative daily was forced to close on 15 May.

The jailing of Mr. Zamora is the latest in a decades-long campaign by successive governments to silence him and his newspaper. This includes a mock execution, kidnapping, countless court actions, and near-constant financial intimidation.

If you are interested in joining us and showing support for José Rubén, please sign and share the #ZamoraLibre petition, available here.


The 37 signatory organisations are: Acclaim Nigeria International Magazine (ANIM), Agência Mural de Jornalismo das Periferias, Amnesty International, Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo, Baraza Media Lab, Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, Brazilian National Newspapers Association (AJN), Center for Sustainable Media, Centre for Law and Democracy, Chicas Poderosas, Citurna Producciones, CMSolutions, Daily Nawa-I-AhmedPurSharqia, Daraj, Earth Effect, Emro Associates, Factchequeado, Fundación Gabo, Fundación Maldita.es, Fundacion para el Periodismo, Gazety Taratra, GK Ecuador, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), Index on Censorship, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Media and Journalism Research Center (MJRC), Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mutante, Pakistan Press Foundation, PEN International, Project Syndicate, Raseef22, Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP), The Continuous Innovation Network (CINet), World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)

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