Retired Panamanian journalist released from jail after being arrested for 12-year-old libel lawsuit

After spending 19 days behind bars for defamation charges stemming from an article he wrote more than a decade ago, 71-year-old Panamanian journalist Carlos Nuñez was freed from jail Wednesday, July 14, reported EFE and La Estrella.

Nuñez was accused of libel for a story published 12 years ago about a polluted river in the western province of Chiriqui.

Reporters Without Borders and Panama's National Journalists Guild had called for the immediate release of Nuñez, who didn't know that in the 1990s he had been sentenced in abstentia to a year in prison, reported EFE.

After his release, Nuñez said he will continue writing, and that he will return to prison to "help those whom justice has forgotten," according to Telemetro.

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.