Guatemalan soldiers fly the national flag at Constitution Square in Guatemala City, in September 2019. With a new president in office, the country has the opportunity to change the media environment for the better. (AP/Oliver de Ros)

Trust deficit: About This Report

With a new president in office, Guatemala has the opportunity to reverse years of declining press freedom after the country’s journalists endured obstruction, legal harassment, orchestrated online attacks, and threats of violence. To win back trust, the administration will need to make a strong commitment to transparency and provide enough resources to combat impunity in attacks on the press. The country reaches this crossroads as the coronavirus pandemic raises the stakes for free-flowing information. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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This report was written by CPJ South and Central Americas Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick. CPJ Central America Correspondent Dánae Vílchez contributed reporting.

Prior to joining CPJ, Southwick was based in Bogotá, Colombia, where she was a member of Witness for Peace’s international accompaniment team, a reporting specialist with ACDI/VOCA’s Afro-Colombian and Indigenous program, and the editor of a website focused on Latin American news. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Chicago Reporter, InSight Crime, RioOnWatch, and elsewhere.

Vílchez is a Nicaraguan multimedia journalist who previously worked at the Nicaraguan independent news outlet Confidencial. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, New Internationalist, and Aj+, among others.

This report is available in English and Español.