Guatemala’s March Toward Authoritarianism

By Stephen McFarland

Newspaper director José Rubén Zamora’s jailing reflects the international community’s failures.

Masked police officers emerged from an unmarked convoy to arrest José Rubén Zamora, the director of the El Periódico newspaper, at his home in Guatemala City on the night of July 29. An internationally acclaimed journalist best described as a die-hard centrist, Zamora has been a thorn in the side of Guatemalan governments for over 30 years, enduring lawsuits, threats and physical assaults. Now, he is in prison. Zamora’s unprecedented arrest has exposed Guatemala’s march toward autocracy and kleptocracy, as well as the costs of excessive U.S. and international caution in Central...

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