Guatemalan journalist José Rubén Zamora, president of the newspaper elPeriódico, is seen after being arrested in Guatemala City, on July 29, 2022. (Photo by Johan Ordonez / AFP)

CPJ to hold press conference on José Rubén Zamora and Guatemala’s criminalization of journalists

Washington, D.C., July 21, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, July 26, to mark the one-year anniversary of Guatemalan journalist José Rubén Zamora’s imprisonment. Speakers will include Zamora’s son and a Guatemalan journalist in exile.

Zamora, founder of the independent investigative newspaper elPeriódico, was arrested on July 29, 2022, at his home in Guatemala City. He was held in pre-trial detention for nearly a year before being convicted of money laundering and sentenced to six years in prison on June 14, 2023. Zamora’s lawyers, colleagues, and family have also faced ongoing intimidation and harassment. On May 15, 2023, elPeriódico, known for its reporting on alleged official corruption, shut down all publication. 

Zamora’s arrest has been widely criticized by international watchdogs and rights organizations as retaliatory, raising deep concerns about press freedom, the safety of journalists, and the erosion of democracy in the country and the region. His case is an egregious example of how officials have abused Guatemalan laws to censor the press and undermine public accountability.

Speakers will provide an update on Zamora’s wellbeing, his case, and its impact on his family. The press conference will also address the growing challenges faced by journalists in Guatemala in recent years, ongoing advocacy efforts, and the need for governments to support press freedom as an essential pillar of democracy.


WHAT:           Press conference ahead of one-year anniversary of Guatemalan journalist José Rubén Zamora’s imprisonment

WHEN:           July 26, 2023, 9:30 a.m. EDT

WHERE:         National Press Club (Fourth Estate Room), 529 14th St NW, Washington, D.C.

RSVP:             Please register here by July 25 to attend.

To arrange an interview, contact [email protected].


About the Committee to Protect Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

Media contact: [email protected]