Arrest of distinguished Guatemalan journalist draws condemnation

GUATEMALA City (AP) — A distinguished Guatemalan newspaper editor who has overseen investigations into corruption has been arrested, prompting denunciations Saturday by politicians, anticorruption activists and civic groups.

Prosecution agents arrested José Ruben Zamora Marroquín at his residence on Friday night, looking his dwelling, seizing telephones and accusing him of cash laundering. Zamora Marroquín is a prize-successful journalist who heads the newspaper El Periodico.

“This is an orchestrated strategy, wherever the goal now is not to go after those people who are corrupt, but somewhat opponents,” reported human rights activist Eleonora Muralles. “The system is to coopt the full method and have judges — with really serious doubts about their impartiality — place with each other cases and evidence versus opponents.”

Journalists protested Saturday outdoors a courthouse in which the scenario is remaining read.

U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote that he was “deeply concerned” by the detention.

McGovern wrote in his Twitter account, “The judiciary is by now decimated, is the No cost Press up coming? Journalism is not a criminal offense!”

Zamora Marroquín has declared a hunger strike. Speaking in advance of a court hearing, he explained, “I haven’t eaten everything nor drunk any drinking water in 36 hours.”

The U.S. govt has sharply criticized the weakening of anti-corruption attempts in Guatemala and final yr cancelled the U.S. visa of Guatemalan Lawyer Common Consuelo Porras, who has been pursuing former prosecutors who experienced been conducting corruption investigations against officers..

Far more than former anti-corruption officers have fled the region. Now that work seems to have prolonged to journalists.

Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei has been dismissive of U.S. officials’ criticism of his legal professional common and what they see as a backsliding in Guatemala on battling corruption. The country’s new distinctive prosecutor in opposition to impunity has been positioned on a U.S. listing of people suspected of corruption or undermining democracy. He is accused of obstructing corruption investigations.

Giammattei’s federal government and prosecutors accelerated endeavours started by his predecessor to undo a U.N.-backed anti-corruption marketing campaign that place numerous major officers, which include former presidents, powering bars. They say those prosecutions on their own had been irregular.

Additionally, a amount of the Guatemalans, like two Supreme Courtroom magistrates, ended up allegedly involved in a plan to stack the Supreme and Appellate Courts with corrupt judges, according to the State Office report.

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