Guatemalan journalist criticizes investigators' negligence in his arrest for alleged kidnapping

Journalist Vasni Vásquez, who was held for two months for alleged involvement in a kidnapping, denounced the authorities’ negligence and failure to thoroughly investigate the case, Cerigua reports.

Vásquez, the host of an internet TV program, was arrested April 9 and was arrested at the scene where a kidnapped media worker was freed. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the journalist, who was held until May 18 and whose trial starts June 9, rushed to the scene after reading on Facebook that the raid was taking place.

El Deber reports that the other arrested individuals said he was not involved with the kidnapping.

The Network of Social Communicators of Chiquimula department, of which Vásquez is an accredited member, alleged that the journalist was punched during his arrest and asked the authorities to guarantee that journalists “can exercise their profession without any intimidation, coercion, or violation of their physical integrity,” miChiquimula.com explains.

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.