Reporting on corruption proves deadly in Guatemala

Louisa Reynolds writes in Al Jazeera America of the recent murderous attacks on journalists in Guatemala which left three dead.

At the beginning of March, Danilo López, a correspondent for Guatemala’s largest national newspaper, Prensa Libre, and Federico Salazar, a correspondent for Radio Nuevo Mundo, had been shot dead. Investigators believe that this attack was aimed at López, who had repeatedly reported death threats from the mayor of the nearby municipality of San Lorenzo, José Linares.

López had published a series of investigations into how the Linares administration, which belongs to the Partido Patriota (PP), had spent $361,000 on nonexistent public works.

The PP, the party of President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice-president Roxana Baldetti, is embroiled in massive corruption and illegality, which has drawn thousands of Guatemalans into the streets in the last week. You can read more about that here.

Three days after López and Salazar were killed, 20-year-old cameraman Armando Villatoro, who worked for Servicable, a local cable TV station owned by mayoral candidate Uri Maldonado, was shot dead.

The number of journalists reporting threats, according to the attorney general’s office, jumped from 25 in 2010 to 74 in 2014. Observers fear that the violence will intensify during the run-up to this year’s September elections as local drug trafficking cartels seek to infiltrate the parties leading the electoral race.

You can you read the full article here.

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Categories: Violence

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