Conviction against Guatemalan journalist Rubén Zamora annulled; they order a new trial

José Rubén Zamora Guatemala

Guatemala’s Second Court of Appeals annulled a six-year sentence for money laundering against José Rubén Zamora, a well-known journalist critical of power, and ordered a new trial, one of his sons told Reuters on Friday.

Zamora, 67, was convicted in mid-June, in a case that he himself classified as a ‘political persecution’ of the president, Alejandro Giammattei, due to publications by his defunct media elPeriódico about alleged cases of corruption of the president and his around.

José Zamora, one of the journalist’s sons, told Reuters.

We had access to the resolution until today. What they are going to do is repeat the entire process. We feel very happy and see it as a victory and a step closer to achieving your freedom.

“By repeating the process we have the opportunity again to make the request for a substitute measure (…) so that this process can be done, at least, under house arrest,” he added.

Zamora was captured in the middle of last year in his home in the Guatemalan capital after a raid that lasted several hours.

In 1996 Zamora founded elPeriódico, one of the country’s main investigative media that could not stay afloat after the capture of its founder.

According to the Public Ministry (Prosecutor’s Office), the journalist allegedly received $38,461 to finance his media, which did not regularly enter the banking system.

The trial against Zamora, which has been classified by human rights organizations as ‘an attack’ on freedom of expression, occurs in the midst of an onslaught battle from the highest levels of power against prosecutors, judges, and human rights activists. and journalists who fight against corruption and impunity.

José Rubén Zamora.

(With information from Reuters )