World Association of News Publishers

World’s Press Calls for Thorough Investigation into Killing of Two Journalists in Guatemala

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World’s Press Calls for Thorough Investigation into Killing of Two Journalists in Guatemala

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WAN-IFRA and the World Editors Forum have condemned an attack on three journalists in Guatemala that left two dead and one hospitalised in a serious condition.

“We call on the Guatemalan authorities to launch thorough investigations into this apparent direct attack against freedom of expression and to better ensure the safety and protection of all journalists working in the country,” said WAN-IFRA Secretary General, Larry Kilman.  

“The perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions and the authorities must be seen to act strongly to quash any suggestion of impunity for those who target journalists and to ensure a free press is not silenced by this attack.”

Danilo Lopez, the local correspondent for Prensa Libre daily, and Federico Salazar, of Radio Nuevo Mundo, were shot and killed in a park in Mazatenango municipality in the south west of the country. According to a statement from Centro Civitas, a non-profit organisation dedicated to journalists' rights, the men were the vice-president and secretary, respectively, of the recently created Suchitepequez Press Association.

Mr. Lopez had worked at Prensa Libre for more than a decade and had recently filed a complaint against a local mayor for making death threats against him. His investigations into transparency surrounding the use of public funds had led, according to his editor at the paper, to a number of threats from other prominent public figures.

“If this attack is found to be in relation to the journalistic work of any of the victims, the Guatemalan government has an urgent responsibility to bring the perpetrators to justice in order to send a clear message that violence against the press will not be tolerated,” said Mr. Kilman.

According to statistics from the Committee to Protest Journalists, five journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work in Guatemala since 1992, while in another 14 deaths the motive remains unclear. Threats and violent attacks against the press have been on the increase over recent years, with the number of judicial cases and incidences of direct censorship also on the rise.


For more information on WAN-IFRA’s press freedom work, visit

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Inquiries to: Andrew Heslop, Director, Press Freedom, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 29. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Email:


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Andrew Heslop


2015-03-11 17:59

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...

WAN-IFRA's activities in Latin America focus in promoting innovation amongst the region's news media industry, in helping media companies lead a successful digital transition and in advocating for a free and independent press. Read more ...