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Journalists under threat from crime groups

Drug traffickers are on the hunt for journalists in Guatemala for reporting on the killing of three people, presumably by members of crime groups, reports Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala (CERIGUA).

"Nuestro Diario" journalist Ronald López told CERIGUA that on 19 October several journalists covered the murders in the community of Los Tarayes, in the municipality of La Democracia. One of the victims was the bodyguard of Eduardo Cano, who is thought to be the leader of the Las Zetas crime group in Huehuetenango.

After the story was published the next day, a man known by the alias of "Tripas" threatened a newspaper vendor, demanding to know the names of the reporters. He confiscated copies of "Prensa Libre" and "Nuestro Diario" to stop them from being distributed, according to CERIGUA.

After being warned by a vendor, López now fears for his own safety and his family's, reports CERIGUA.

Journalist Mynor Mérida told CERIGUA that, two days after covering the story, a man in a red Hummer asked him if he had been to the municipality of La Democracia. Mérida is now afraid to leave his home.

Guatemalan journalists have been especially under threat in the Huehuetenango region since the "narcokilling" of 17 people in 2008, reports CERIGUA.

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