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Journalist robbed, threatened

(CERIGUA/IFEX) - The home belonging to journalist Marvin Del Cid Acevedo was robbed twice in the past several months. Del Cid is an investigative reporter for the daily newspaper "elPeriódico" in Guatemala City.

Del Cid told CERIGUA that on 28 September 2010, several unknown assailants entered his apartment and asked for him. A laptop computer that held his work and teaching documents was stolen. Earlier this year on 24 June, his apartment was broken into; the assailants stole two computers and left a message in his bathroom warning him that he was going to die.

Del Cid expressed his frustration over the incidents and the lack of support that he was receiving from media organisations and official channels responsible for investigating his case, such as the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists and Labour Union Members. He said that he fears for his safety and is staying at a friend's house.

Del Cid did not say who he thought was responsible for the break-in, but he indicated that he has recently covered sensitive topics such as a call for tender for an arms deal by an unlicensed company, a corruption case at a government agency, and a report on the capture of a businessman with alleged connections to drug trafficking. All of the articles were signed by the newspaper's investigative team.

The journalist estimated the cost of the two robberies to be GTQ 20,000 (approx. US$2,500).


RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Send appeals to the authorities:
- calling on them to investigate the case, guarantee the journalist's safety and to safeguard freedom of expression, in line with national regulations and international agreements to which Guatemala is a party


APPEALS TO:

Ruth del Valle
Comisionada Presidencial de los Derechos Humanos
(Presidential Human Rights Commissioner)
2a Avenida 10-50, zona 9
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Fax: +502 2334 0119

Sergio Morales Alvarado
Procurador de los Derechos Humanos
(Human Rights Ombudsman)
12 Avenida 12-72, zona 1
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Fax: +502 2424 1717
Correo electrónico: [email protected]

Fiscalía Especial de Delitos contra Periodistas y Sindicalistas
Ministerio Público
(Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists and Labour Union Members)
7a Avenida 11-20 zona 1, segundo nivel
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Fax: +502 2220 6873

Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas Sobre Derechos Humanos para Guatemala
(Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala)
13 calle 3-40 zona 10, Edifico Atlantils, oficina 803
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Fax: +502 2382 3410
Email: [email protected]

Carlos Menocal
Ministro de Gobernación
(Interior Minister)
6a Avenida 4-64, zona 1
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Fax: +502 2362 0237 / 2339 4474
Email: [email protected]

Jaime Leonel Otzin Diaz
Director de la Policía Nacional Civil
(Director, National Police)
Dirección General de la Policía Nacional Civil
6a Avenida 13-71, zona 1
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Fax: +502 2238 1474

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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