Press freedom: A promised tide of change in Guatemala

By Jang Kapgen

A new president entered office in Guatemala in January 2024. While former governments were involved in corruption and the persecution of journalists, change is promised. The Luxembourgish politician Tilly Metz is the chair of the EU Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America. Metz as well as Guatemalan journalists are hopeful that, this time, promises will be kept.

Today, May 3, marks the International Day of Press Freedom. As the chair of the EU Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America, Tilly Metz knows of the importance of that day. Since 2018, the Luxembourgish politician has been leading the delegation which covers nine countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Some of these countries rank dangerously low in the international ranking of press freedom by Reporters without Borders, with Guatemala ranking at 127 out of 180. On February 20, Metz posted a picture of her and Guatemala’s president Bernardo Arévalo who entered office in January 2024. The post reads as follows: "I am pleased about your optimism for Guatemala's future and look forward to working closely with you in the coming months." When Metz publicly comments on the newly elected president’s optimism – and maybe even implies a shared optimism for Guatemala, what does this actually mean in the bigger picture?

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