A Guatemalan court recently dropped criminal charges filed against Anastasia Mejía, founder of Xolobaj Radio and Xolabaj TV. (Xolobaj TV)

CPJ welcomes decision to drop criminal charges against Guatemalan journalist Anastasia Mejía

Miami, September 10, 2021 – The Committee to Protect Journalists today welcomed a Guatemala court decision dismissing all criminal charges against journalist Anastasia Mejía.

“While we are delighted that Guatemalan journalist Anastasia Mejía’s legal ordeal has come to an end, she never should have been detained, charged, and subjected to such harassment over her reporting,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York. “Guatemalan authorities need to send a clear signal that journalists can cover any topic, including political protests, without fear of retaliation.”

In September 2020, police arrested Mejía on charges of sedition and arson, connected to her coverage of a demonstration against the mayor of the town of Joyabaj the previous month. She was held in pretrial detention for five weeks before being released on house arrest, she told CPJ.

On September 3, 2021, the Nebaj Criminal Court of First Instance ruled that there was insufficient evidence to pursue the charges against her, according to news reports.

In November, Mejía will receive CPJ’s 2021 International Press Freedom Award in recognition of her work.