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"Prensa Libre" correspondent in Suchitepéquez threatened with murder by ex-governor

(CERIGUA/IFEX) - Journalist Danilo López, "Prensa Libre" newspaper's correspondent in the department of Suchitepéquez in southwestern Guatemala, 158 kilometres from Guatemala City, the capital, has recently been threatened with murder by the department's ex-governor, Leonor Toledo, who warned him to stop publishing information about her administration.

According to information published in "Prensa Libre", López received a call on his cell phone during which Toledo said that she had not taken action against him about previous articles because she considered him young, with a lot of his life ahead of him. However, she warned him that if the articles continued, she would "take action against him."

Toledo referred to an 18 July 2008 article in which López reported that she had been removed from office by the national government for abuse of authority, failure to fulfill her functions, lack of knowledge concerning the duties of her position, and for stealing 12 blank cheques from the Treasury.

CERIGUA's Journalists' Observatory has documented seven cases of violations of journalists working outside the capital in 2008. The worst of the cases involved the murder of Jorge Mérida, "Prensa Libre" correspondent in Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango department, gunned down on 10 May while working on a story.

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