Guatemalan Congress blocks press access, holds closed-door sessions

Congressional legislators in Guatemala passed a measure preventing press access to closed door sessions, reported the newspaper elPeriódico.

The current president of Congress, Gudy Rivera, said that 11 of the 15 committee chairpeople agreed to block media access, although some legislators deny that they had discussed the measure, indicating that the president had made the decision himself, explained the newspaper Prensa Libre.

Rivera said that the measure, approved Saturday, Feb. 11, would prevent Congress members from seeking attention and thus would maintain the Congress's prestige, said the newspaper Siglo 21.

The vice president of Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, called the decision to block press access a mistake and asked Rivera to reconsider, explained the Guatemalan Center for Informative Reports.