Guatemalan public official sentenced to jail for threatening journalist

A Guatemalan judge sentenced the vice-president of the Safety Commission of Panajachel, in the department of Sololá in southern Guatemala to three years and eight months in jail for discriminating against and threatening a journalist, according to the Center for Informative Reports of Guatemala (Cerigua).

The incident happened on Oct. 27, 2011, after Juan Manuel Ralón made comments and threats against journalist Lucía Escobar. Days before the incident, the journalist reported about complaints against the safety committee, such as abuse of authority, torture, kidnapping, and others.

According to the newspaper elPeriodico, the Attorney General for the Crimes Against Journalists Unit proved that Ralón committed the crimes for which he was sentenced when saying to the journalist: “That lake (Atitlán) doesn't deserve slags like you. You deserve to go where this piece of paper is going, to the trash."

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.

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