Prosecutors searched Zamora’s home, accusing him of money laundering and related offences, charges frequently confected to prosecute critics.
On Monday, 1 August, Zamora’s initial appearance before a judge was cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday, 3 August (the case file was apparently unavailable and the car in which Zamora was to be taken to the court allegedly broke down). On Wednesday, his preliminary court hearing was suspended and rescheduled again for the following Monday.
Zamora remains at the Mariscal Zavala prison in Guatemala City. His lawyers received access to documents detailing the exact charges against him only five days after the arrest.
Zamora’s arrest sparked an outpouring of condemnation, including from local press groups and international press freedom organisations, who have described the arrest as a blatant attempt to punish Zamora for his newspaper’s exposure of corruption at the heart of the government of President Alejandro Giammattei.
Scores of anti-corruption prosecutors, judges and activists are currently under police investigation or have fled the country, as the government seeks to crack down on transparency.
Fears are growing that the government may now be turning it’s sights on silencing independent media.
Zamora has been at the forefront of exposing human rights abuses and corruption in Guatemala for more than two decades and has won multiple national and international awards for his work.
Read more here:
- The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/30/world/americas/guatemala-journalist-zamora-arrest.html
- The Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ap-guatemala-city-journalism-twitter-massachusetts-b2134833.html
- The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/31/guatemala-zamora-arrest-corruption-crackdown/
- Reuters https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/guatemala-detains-renowned-journalist-money-laundering-blackmail-allegations-2022-07-30
- IJNet https://ijnet.org/en/story/arrest-award-winning-journalist-puts-guatemalan-press-freedom-line
- CPJ https://cpj.org/2022/07/cpj-calls-for-immediate-release-of-guatemalan-journalist-jose-ruben-zamora
- ICFJ https://www.icfj.org/news/icfj-calls-guatemalan-authorities-immediately-release-jose-ruben-zamora
- IPI https://ipi.media/ipi-demands-immediate-release-of-guatemalan-journalist-jose-ruben-zamora
- RSF https://rsf.org/en/newspaper-director-jailed-guatemala-s-increasingly-authoritarian-government