Guatemalan journalism increasingly threatened by organized crime

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  • December 1, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Drug trafficking and transnational organized crime are the among the new threats that Guatemalan journalists are facing, according to study on freedom of expression in the country, EFE reports.

The “State of press freedom in Guatemala” report was released by the Journalist Monitor, a private organization formed in 2004 that is supported by the Presidential Human Rights Commission.

According to the document, in the first half of 2010 there were 20 episodes of attacks and intimidation of journalists and media outlets. The vast majority remain unpunished, Notimex explains.

In a Prensa Libre column, Ileana Alamilla, director of the Cerigua news agency, said that Guatemalan journalists have suffered abuse and attacks in the past. However, the new threats are not coming from the authorities – as was the case during the civil war – but from groups “that have overwhelmed the capacity of the state, which is responsible for guaranteeing safety.”

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.