El Periódico, one of the principal independent newspapers in Guatemala, published April 8 an extensive and critical portrait of Vice President Roxana Baldetti.
The article, titled “A fairytale without a happy ending,” stressed the corruption scandals related to people close to Baldetti and questioned her luxurious lifestyle during the last decade.
José Rubén Zamora, founder and president of El Periódico, and Ana Arana, director of the promoting press freedom MEPI Foundation, wrote the controversial piece.
According to the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, just days after the publication of the report, El Periódico suffered its sixth cyber attack since October, temporally knocking the newspaper offline.
Zamora is one of Central America’s most recognized journalists and, due to El Periódico’s reporting, has been the target of kidnappings and death threats. He blamed the Guatemalan administration for the attacks.
In an interview with the Knight Center, Zamora also accused President Otto Perez’s administration of taking out official advertisements from the newspaper because of its editorial position and warning private business not to advertise with them. “We could go bankrupt,” he said.
Vice President Baldetti rejected El Periódico’s investigation and declared she would file a complaint with the Guatemalan Public Ministry.
Relating to the cyber attacks, Claudio Paolillo, present of the Inter American Press Association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, said the government should not harass any media outlet for its journalistic content, because that is to attack what freedom of expression is based on.
On its editorial page, El Periódico declared they “will never give up and that they prefer to die rather than to stop to report truthfully, impartially and objectively, or refrain from renouncing the impunity and corruption that are gnawing the structures of the state.”
By Miguel Sola.