The director of the Salvadoran newspaper The lighthouseCarlos Dada has denounced that government agents from the Central American country notified the editor of the medium, the Mexican journalist Daniel Lizárraga, that he must leave the country in the next few days. Dada assures that on Tuesday “Salvadoran government agents” appeared at Lizárraga’s house to “notify her that she has five days to leave El Salvador and that her work permit and temporary residence have been denied because she has not been able to prove that she is a journalist.” .
“We consider it, without a doubt, one more form of harassment and attack against us (The lighthouse), and one more attempt to weaken us, “Dada denounced this Wednesday in an online broadcast with Casa América Catalunya, which awarded the media the XIV Antoni Traveria Prize for Freedom of Expression. He added that he is” very concerned about the country. ” because “he is running out of journalism, he is also running out of democracy” and qualifies the decision as the “last chapter of this escalation” of “harassment”.
The Nayib Bukele Executive has not made any statements about Dada’s complaint.
The Salvadoran press union: “It’s absurd”
Lizárraga joined The lighthouse as editor last January and in the past he was a member of the research team of Aristegui News. He also worked in the media Reforma, El Universal Y Process Magazine.
The president of the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES), Angélica Cárcamo, told Efe on Wednesday that the government’s decision to expel Daniel Lizárraga is “absurd.” “It is an absurd act, which is not valid, because those of us who practice journalism know about Daniel’s trajectory.”
The lighthouse He denounced in mid-April through an editorial that the Salvadoran government supposedly “fabricates another case” against him after an audit in which the Ministry of Finance accuses the investigative media of evading taxes.
José Luis Sanz, former director of The lighthouse and a correspondent for the media in Washington, told Efe in an interview in October 2020 that he fears that the Bukele Executive will seek the arrest of the directors of this newspaper and stop its operation in retaliation for its investigations. He pointed out that, in a national chain of media, Bukele said that the outlet was subject to an investigation for alleged money laundering, which he considered as “a clear threat.”
In early February, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary protection measures in favor of 34 members of the The lighthouse that, he warned, “they would be being harassed, threatened, intimidated and stigmatized.”
At the beginning of March, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador admitted an amparo claim against the Treasury for allegedly using an audit to try to obtain information on the “editorial line, journalistic methodology, sources and ongoing investigations” of The lighthouse.
“These types of acts add to this lack of tolerance by the Government towards guaranteeing freedom of the press,” said the president of APES and underlines that since the arrival of Nayib Bukele to the Presidency, violations of the press “have increased” . It adds that this can be considered a “very serious precedent” to “deny permission to other foreign journalists to fully exercise their right.” Cárcamo called on the international community to pay attention to El Salvador, because “not only is the expulsion of journalists and human rights defenders happening in Nicaragua.”