We are deeply concerned by reports of a court order to investigate nine Guatemalan journalists for obstruction of justice. These individuals include journalists from El Periódico and an independent media organization founder, José Rubén Zamora, who has been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in July 2022.
Peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive societies depend on the free flow of information and ideas, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information both online and offline. Criminalizing the work of journalists and civil society undermines democratic norms and respect for freedom of expression. We urge the Guatemalan justice system to reject the criminalization of independent journalists and support independent journalism as one of the foundations of a secure and prosperous democratic society.