Guatemala has pursued the author’s lawyers

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemalan authorities arrested a lawyer representing the jailed editor of an investigative newspaper on Thursday and pursued a second lawyer for allegedly obstructing justice.

José Rubén Zamora of El Periodico was ordered to stand trial on money laundering charges in December in connection with a 2013 donation to his newspaper that he asked a friend to deposit to hide the identity of the donor.

Zamora and his paper have been aggressively pursuing allegations of wrongdoing and corruption in the current administration of President Alejando Giammattei. El Periodico stopped publishing a print edition on November 30 due to financial difficulties.

Anti-corruption lawyer Rafael Curruchiche said in a video that Zamora’s lawyers conspired to block the investigation. Mario Castañeda was arrested and authorities sought the arrest of Romeo Montoya.

Free media organizations have denied pursuing Zamora as an attempt to silence a critical voice in the media. Currucchiche was indicted by the US government last year for obstructing bribery investigations.

The United States and international human rights groups have criticized the lack of judicial independence in Guatemala. More than 30 judges, public prosecutors and other members of the law have fled abroad to avoid prosecution.

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