List of journalists killed in Guatemala

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Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists and media workers in Latin America.[1][2] At least 342 journalists were murdered and 126 were disappeared or illegally arrested during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–1996).[2][3] On average, that would calculate to one attack each month for 36 years.[3] When fighting broke out between the leftist guerrilla movements and the right-wing government, journalism became a dangerous profession in the country.[4] Hundreds of media workers were beaten, imprisoned, kidnapped, or even killed for writing about corruption, repression, organized crime, and human right violations committed by the regime.[5] As the intensity of the civil war increased in the 1970s, Guatemalan journalism polarized and journalists became involved in politics. If a citizen wanted to report a crime, they went to the press, not to law enforcement; people who wanted to voice their political opposition sent their work for publication to newspapers, not to the Guatemalan government. By 1985, when Guatemala readopted its constitutional rule, press freedom began to improve.[6] When a peace treaty was signed in 1996, the atmosphere improved for journalists in Guatemala and the killings of media workers dropped significantly.[7] However, attacks against the press and targeted killings continued under the form of organized crime.[8]

The end of the civil war made the Guatemalan press "free" in several aspects; newspapers began to publish articles about government corruption, a topic that was frequently avoided during the war-time era, in increasing numbers. Despite these improvements, journalists in Guatemala learned to adopt a culture of self-censorship that dates back to the civil war.[9] Negative attitudes from the government towards the Guatemalan press continue to exist, and the press lacks the economic independence to break away from the government and its advertisements and become fully autonomous.[10] Most of the media outlets in the country are centered in Guatemala City, the capital.[4] Journalists who work in the capital have better working conditions and are better protected from attacks than those living in the provinces,[11] where they are easily pressured by local officials for their direct reporting.[12] Since the mid-2000s, drug-related violence and the presence of Mexican organized crime, in particular of Los Zetas, has increased the number of homicides in Guatemala and attacks against the press.[13][14]

During the Guatemalan Civil War[edit]

Date Name Location Media outlet Status Refs
1948 Alejandro Córdova Guatemala El Imparcial Killed [15]
20 August 1960 Manuel Ávila Ayala
(pen name): Meme Ayala
Guatemala Diario de Centroamérica Killed [16]
12 July 1967 José Arnoldo Guilló Martínez Escuintla, Escuintla Department Radio Sur
Radio Palmeras
Disappeared [17]
4 September 1967 José Torón Barrios Guatemala Voz de la Liberación Killed [16]
1968 Gonzalo Acevedo Guatemala City, Guatemala Department La Hora Killed [18]
1970s Luis Díaz Pérez Guatemala N/A Killed [18]
1970s Enrique Salazar Guatemala N/A Killed [18]
29 April 1970 Julio César de la Roca Guatemala La Nación Killed [18][19]
20 November 1970 Enrique Salazar Solórzano Guatemala El Debate
Guatemala Flash
Disappeared [20]
20 November 1970 Luis Díaz Pérez Guatemala Guatemala Flash Disappeared [20]
10 December 1970 Humberto González Juárez Guatemala N/A Killed [18][21]
15 May 1974 Werner Roswald Trejo Álvarez Guatemala N/A Disappeared [22]
19 July 1975 Julio Roberto Pensamiento San Agustín Acasaguastlán, El Progreso La Nación Killed [23]
22 July 1975 José María López Valdizón Guatemala Alero
Presencia
Revista de Guatemala
Disappeared [23]
28 July 1975 Carlos Humberto Oliveros Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Nuevo Diario del Aire Disappeared [24]
15 December 1976 Manuel de Jesús Mendizábal Guatemala N/A Disappeared [24]
19 May 1979 Carlos Gilberto Aquino Cruz Jalapa, Jalapa Oriental Killed [24]
22 September 1978 Héctor Augusto Vásquez Huehuetenango, Huehuetenango Radio Poderosa Disappeared [24]
6 November 1978 Antonio Estuardo Ciani García Guatemala Asociación de Periodistas Escolares Disappeared [25]
11 December 1978 José Héctor Sosa Villeda Guatemala Guate Cosas Killed [26]
19 November 1979 José León Castañeda Guatemala SIMCOS Killed [27]
1980 Baltasar Toy Medrano Guatemala Radio Quiché Killed [28]
1980 Víctor Galeano Rodríguez Guatemala N/A Killed [29]
March 1980 Hugo Rolando Melgar Guatemala 7 Días Killed [30]
17 April 1980 Oscar Enrique Ovalle Barrillas Guatemala City, Guatemala Department N/A Disappeared [31]
21 June 1980 Manuel René Polanco Guatemala Prensa Libre Disappeared [29]
24 June 1980 Belte Elvidio Villatoro Guatemala Nuevo Diario Killed [32]
5 July 1980 Marco Antonio Cacao Muñoz Guatemala Radio Sensación Killed [33]
5 July 1980 Eliot Hernández Retalhuleu, Retalhuleu La Nación Killed [29]
16 July 1980 Samuel González Romero Guatemala Prensa en Acción Killed [34]
17 July 1980 Manuel de Jesús Marroquín Castañeda Guatemala City, Guatemala Department N/A Killed [35]
26 July 1980 Julio César Coronado Espinoza Escuintla, Escuintla Department El Estudiante Killed [36]
1 August 1980 José Alfredo González Escuintla, Escuintla Department Clarín
Radio Tropicana
Killed [37]
1 August 1980 Julio Cojón Tecún Escuintla, Escuintla Department Radio Tropicana Killed [38]
1 August 1980 Alberto Santisteban Escuintla, Escuintla Department Radio Tropicana Killed [37]
1 August 1980 Julio Solórzano Beltetón Escuintla, Escuintla Department Radio Tropicana Killed [37]
5 August 1980 Mario Ribas Montes Guatemala La Hora
El Imparcial
Diario de Centroamérica
Killed [39]
5 September 1980 Luis Alberto Romero
(pen name): Timoteo Curruchiche
Guatemala Radio Sonora Killed [40]
15 September 1980 Ramiro Antonio García Jiménez Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Nuevo Diario Disappeared [41]
6 October 1980 Felipe Zepeda y Zepeda Guatemala Radio Quiche Killed [26]
14 October 1980 Víctor Hugo Pensamiento El Progreso Department La Nación
Tele Prensa
Radio Nuevo Mundo
Killed [41]
16 October 1980 Irma Flaquer Azurdia Guatemala City, Guatemala Department La Hora Disappeared [42][43]
24 October 1980 Gaspar Culán Yataz Santiago Atitlan, Sololá Radio Voz de Atitlán Killed [44][45]
19 December 1980 Alaíde Foppa Guatemala El Imparcial
El Nacional
Disappeared [46]
19 December 1980 José Guilló Martínez Guatemala N/A Disappeared [47]
19 December 1980 Sergio Sánchez Retalhuleu, Retalhuleu Teleprensa Killed [47]
19 December 1980 Carlos Siliézar Escuintla, Escuintla N/A Killed [47]
1981 Francisco Par Guatemala N/A Killed [48]
1981 Paredes Quiñónez Guatemala N/A Killed [48]
30 January 1981 Oscar Rolando Figueroa Guatemala N/A Killed [45]
4–15 February 1981 Simón Estansilao Cabrera Guatemala Radio Musical Killed [49]
6 February 1981 Jorge Marroquín Mejía Guatemala Mundo Nuevo
El Independiente
Killed [50]
21 February 1981 Simón Leonidas Cabrera Rivera Guatemala Radio Jutiapa Killed [51]
24 February 1981 Óscar Arturo Palencia Pineda Guatemala Siete Días en la USAC Killed [52]
10 March 1981 Oscar Leonel Mujía Córdoba Huehuetenango, Huehuetenango Department Nuevo Mundo Disappeared [31]
31 March 1981 Luis Alfredo López Guatemala N/A Killed [53]
21 April 1981 Isidro Mirando López Guatemala Radio Tropical Killed [53]
21 May 1981 Fulvio Alirio Mejía Milián Cuilapa, Santa Rosa La Nación
El Independiente
Killed [54][53]
21 May 1981 Edgar Rolando Castillo Rivera Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango Radioperiódico América Killed [55][45]
16 June 1981 Rodrigo Ramírez Morales Guatemala Consejo Nacional de la Publicidad Disappeared [56]
23 July 1981 Sonia Calderón de Martell Guatemala El Gráfico Disappeared [57][58]
9 August 1981 Mario Solórzano Foppa Guatemala Infopress
Nuevo Diario
Killed [59]
11 August 1981 Abner Daniel Recinos Alfaro Guatemala Seis Disappeared [60]
16 September 1981 Didier Juvenal Martell González Chiquimulilla, Santa Rosa El Gráfico Killed [61]
1982 Agustín Tzaloj Tuist Sololá, Sololá Department Radio Quicoté Killed [62]
21 January 1982 Carmen Jax Say Guatemala Radio Utatlán Killed [63]
2 February 1982 Roberto Girón Lemus Guatemala City, Guatemala Department La Nación Killed [45]
1989 Danilo Barillas Guatemala ¿Por Qué? Killed [57]
29 March 1989 Griffith Davis Quiché, Guatemala Freelance journalist Killed [64][65]
29 March 1989 Nicholas Chapman Blake Quiché, Guatemala Freelance journalist Killed [64][65]
15 October 1990 Humberto González Gamarra Guatemala City, Guatemala Department N/A Killed [66][67]
15 October 1990 Miguel Ángel Cortín Guatemala City, Guatemala Department N/A Killed [67]
3 July 1993 Jorge Carpio Nicolle Chichicastenango, Quiché El Gráfico Killed [68][69]
24 December 1993 Víctor Manuel de la Cruz Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Radio Sonora Killed [70]
12 September 1994 Victor Hugo López Escobar Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Radio Progreso Killed [71]
29 January 1995 Alberto Antoniotti Monge Guatemala City, Guatemala Department El Gráfico Killed [72]
11 November 1995 Edwin Estuardo Mansilla De León Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Radio Progreso Killed [33][73]
11 April 1996 Juan José Yantuche Mixco, Guatemala Department TV Noticias Killed [74]
10 December 1996 Israel Hernández Marroquín Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Infopress Centroamericano Killed [75]

After the Guatemalan Civil War[edit]

Date Name Location Media outlet Status Refs
5 June 1997 Jorge Luis Marroquín Sagastume Jocotán, Chiquimula Sol Chortí Killed [76]
16 July 1997 Norman Homero Hernández Pérez Tiquisate, Escuintla Radio Campesina Killed [77]
14 November 1997 Luis Ronaldo de Leon Godoy Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Prensa Libre Killed [78]
27 December 1999 Larry Lee Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Bridge Financial News Killed [79]
28 April 2000 Roberto Martínez Castañeda Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Prensa Libre Killed [80]
25 June 2000 Francisco Antonio Castillo Gálvez Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Avances Killed [81]
5 September 2001 Jorge Mynor Alegría Armendáriz Puente Barrios, Izabal Radio Amatique Killed [82]
24 July 2003 Héctor Ramírez Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Noti-7
Radio Sonora
Killed [83][84]
11 September 2006 Eduardo Heriberto Maas Bol Cobán, Alta Verapaz Radio Punto Killed [85]
3 May 2007 Mario Rolando López Sánchez Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Radio Sonora Killed [86]
23 January 2008 Hugo Arce Guatemala ¿Y Qué? Killed [87]
12 April 2008 Rubén Bozarreyes Luna Gualán, Zacapa Radio Gualán Killed [87]
10 May 2008 Jorge Mérida Pérez Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango Prensa Libre Killed [88]
22 October 2008 Abel Girón Morales Guatemala City, Guatemala Department El Periódico Killed [89]
2009 Luis Alberto Oliva Orellana Chiquimula, Zacapa N/A Killed [90]
1 April 2009 Rolando Santiz de León Guatemala City, Guatemala Department Telecentro Trece Killed [91]
5 June 2009 Marco Antonio Estrada Chiquimula, Zacapa Telediario Killed [92]
18–19 May 2011 Yensi Roberto Ordoñez Galdámez Nueva Concepción, Escuintla Channel 14 Killed [93]
20 March 2013 Jaime Napoleón Jarquín Duarte Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado, Jutiapa Nuestro Diario Killed [94]
7 April 2013 Luis Alberto Lemus Ruano Jalpatagua, Jutiapa Café TV
Radio Stereo Café
Killed [95]
7 August 2013 Luis de Jesús Lima Zacapa, Zacapa La Sultana Killed [96]
20 August 2013 Carlos Alberto Orellana Chávez Suchitepéquez Department Canal Óptimo 23 Killed [97]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]