Guatemalan court rejects vice president's defamation claim against columnist

The vice president of Guatemala, Rafael Espada, tried to sue Marta Yolanda Díaz-Durán for libel, insult and defamation after she wrote a column published a year ago in the newspaper Siglo Veintiuno, but the Constitutional Court this week dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the journalist only expressed her opinion in the media, reported Cerigua.

According to the newspaper Prensa Libre, the columnist had presented her own complaint against Espada for trying to block her from exercising freedom of expression. This, too, was rejected at the beginning of August, and was characterized in an editorial in La Hora as a "legal aberration" and a "twisted interpretation of constitutional law."

However, Cerigua explained, this latest decision from the Constitutional Court recognizes that the columnist's right to freedom of expression is protected.

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.