Updated: APRIL 12, 2006
Original Alert: February 6, 2006
Angel Mario Ksheratto, Cuarto Poder
Ksheratto was released on February 22 after posting a 100,000 pesos bail (US$9,000). The columnist spent 18 days at El Amate Prison, a maximum security facility in the city of Cintalapa.
The columnist still faces criminal defamation charges brought by a state official. Ksheratto was detained on February 4 and accused of contempt after missing a court date in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him for reporting on government corruption.
The columnist is required to appear every week before a local judge in connection with a 2003 criminal defamation complaint. Ksheratto must travel 65 miles (120 kilometers) from his base in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state capital, to sign a court record while the defamation charges are pending, the daily La Jornada reported.
The case stems from two articles published by Ksheratto in August 2002 into alleged irregularities in a state-run agency responsible for the construction of schools. The columnist alleged that a local public official had used state money to build her house. The official filed a criminal defamation lawsuit and Ksheratto was arrested on January 9, 2003. He was released on bail the next day.