Guatemalan Prosecutor's Office requests 40 years in prison for José Rubén Zamora, founder of elPeriódico

"On Tuesday [May 30], the Special Prosecutor's Office Against Impunity (FECI, by its acronym in Spanish) of Guatemala's Public Prosecutor's Office asked for 40 years in prison for journalist José Rubén Zamora, founder of Guatemalan newspaper elPeriódico, for alleged crimes of money laundering, influence peddling and blackmail.

The prosecution's request is for 20 years in prison and the payment of 300,000 Guatemalan quetzales [about US$38,000] for money laundering, 12 years for influence peddling - for allegedly obtaining information from members of the Attorney General's Office in high-impact cases - and eight years for blackmail.


Zamora has assured that he will go to international entities to prove his innocence, since he believes that in Guatemala he will be convicted, as he denounced that people do not have the right to defend themselves. [...] The Guatemalan newspaper elPeriódico announced its closure in mid-May after denouncing 'persecution' and 'political pressure' by the government after its director, José Rubén Zamora, was arrested in July for an alleged crime of money laundering.


The United Nations Human Rights office expressed concern after the opening an investigation against the newspaper's workers, while the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) asked authorities to halt the case."

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