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APG expresses concern over president's comments against the media

(APG/IFEX) - 19 November 2009 - The Guatemalan Journalists' Association (APG) has expressed concern over recent comments made by President Álvaro Colom, criticising the national press for what he considers "negative" coverage of the building of the Franja Transversal del Norte highway.

According to the APG, the government's information about the megaproject has not been sufficiently clear and precise. As a result, the national press has been reporting and commenting on concerns about the project that have not been duly addressed by government officials.

The government, via the Presidency's Communications Secretariat, has launched a process to seek further clarification about some of the press's "negative" reports. The APG does not object to this move, as it is being carried out in accordance with the rights enshrined in Article 35 of the Constitution as regards freedom of expression.

However, the APG does object to the allegations that the press has published "false" reports, when in actual fact a lot of questions have been raised about the large amounts of money that are being invested in the megaproject and about how the government's resources are being utilised.

The APG urges the media to continue reporting on the megaproject and other government activities that are of interest to the public interest.

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