Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina signed the document establishing the Program to Protect Journalists, which will be preventative in nature and follows similar examples in Mexico and Colombia, according to the Guatemalan Research Center, CERIGUA. Journalists also established the Federation of Departmental Journalists' Association, which will be the main interlocuter with the federal government during the creation and implementation of the the protection program.
The program in Guatemala aims to address the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of impunity, along with Resolution A/HRC/21/L.6 of the Human Rights Council, which deals with journalists' security and urges governments to establish protection programs adapted to local conditions, according to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.
Guatemala is a high risk country for the press and from 2007 to 2013 there were 13 journalists killed in the Central American country, of which only one of the crimes has been solved, according to the Agence France-Presse. So far in 2013, there have been reports of 15 attacks and threats against the press, among them the killings of journalist Luis Alberto Lemus Ruano and Jaime Napoleón Jarquin Duarte. Both killings took place in the department of Jutiapa, according to the newspaper Prensa Libre.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.