Indigenous Guatemalan Journalist Faces Charges after Reporting on Protest

Iñigo Alexander writes in the NACLA Report website.

The arrest of Maya K’iche’ journalist Anastasia Mejía exposes the Central American country’s ongoing assault on press freedom.

On 22nd September, Maya K’iche’ journalist, Anastasia Mejía was detained by the National Police and charged with sedition, aggravated assault, arson, and aggravated robbery. Mejía is the Director of local media outlets, Xol Abaj Radio and Xol Abaj TV.

She was held in detention for 37 days and her case is the latest in a series of Indigenous journalists being criminalised by the state for their work.

The criminalisation of human rights, and environmental, defenders is not new and the Guatemalan state is using whatever means possible in operationalising it.

UDEFEGUA (The Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) registered 104 attacks against journalists in 2019, and so far this year, the Association of Journalists of Guatemala (APG) has recorded 110.

While journalists are being periodically targeted in Guatemala, Indigenous journalists, like Anastasia Mejía, have to suffer increased levels of threat due to racism and discrimination. Their isolation in remote communities adds another layer of risk.

You can read the full piece, with links and photos, here, in the NACLA Report website.

Categories: Corruption, Criminalisation, Environment, Gender, Guatemala, Human Rights, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Legal, Solidarity in Action

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