The Organization appointed Juan Lorenzo Holmann and José Rubén Zamora as part of its representatives, in an attempt to protect them from political persecution and keep their names in the public agenda
The IAPA elected two journalists imprisoned in Nicaragua and Guatemala as members of its board of directors. (EFE)
The Inter-American Press Association(IAPA) celebrated this Wednesday the election of two imprisoned journalists to form its Board of Directors: the Nicaraguan Juan Lorenzo Holmann and the Guatemalan José Rubén Zamora.
< p class="paragraph">In a statement, the IAPA highlighted that the election of imprisoned journalists in their respective countries occurs for the first time in the organization's 80-year history.
Holmann, general manager of the newspaper La Prensa, of Nicaragua, has been in prison since August 14, 2021 and was sentenced to 9 years in prison for the alleged crime of money laundering, according to the statement.
Holmann is also regional vice president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information of the IAPA.
Juan Lorenzo Holmann, general manager of the newspaper La Prensa in Nicaragua. (Photo from La Prensa)
His daughter, Renata Holmann, presented at the recent SIP General Assembly, held in Madrid between October 27 and 30, a “moving testimony about the serious deterioration of his health and the precarious conditions suffered by his father and the other journalists imprisoned in the country.”
As for Zamora, director of the newspaper El Periódico, from Guatemala, has been imprisoned since July 29 after a “large-scale” police operation that included the search of the newspaper's headquarters and the seizure of its bank accounts.
According to the hemispheric organization, which is headquartered in Miami (USA), Zamora is accused of the alleged crimes of money laundering, conspiracy, trafficking of influences and blackmaile.
José Rubén Zamora, director of the newspaper El Periódico in Guatemala
“We are very excited that our membership has chosen our colleagues Juan Lorenzo Holmann and José Rubén Zamora, because it is a way of shielding them and keeping their names on the public agenda”, Michael Greenspon, president of the IAPA
said in the statement. Greenspon, global director of Printing Licensing and Innovation at The New York Times Company, New York (USA), added that the election “commits the IAPA to continue insisting on the release of both”.
“They must be able to follow their judicial processes from their homes under guarantees of due process,” the manager pointed out.
IAPA President Michael Greenspon. (EFE/Borja Sánchez-Trillo)
The secret ballot election process ended on October 4 and the results were announced on October 30 at the General Assembly.
< p class="paragraph">“To the surprise of those present in Madrid, Juan Lorenzo Holmann and José Rubén Zamora were elected,” reads the statement.
The IAPA announced in its Assembly that< b> will send an international delegation to Guatemala, on December 8 and 9, to investigate his case and other violations of press freedom.
(With information from EFE)