Artículos / Articles in English

Plaza (Plaza Pública en papel) Lo que no sabías que querías saber, pero ahora te es urgente preguntarlo

PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES

¿Qué es Plaza?

Plaza es el periodismo de Plaza Pública en papel. ¿Un libro? ¿Una revista? Plaza es un objeto hermoso para leer y coleccionar. Una revista de gran formato –tamaño carta, de aproximadamente 200 páginas cada número-, con el cuidado diseño de Workaholic People, que se publicará tres veces al año. Cada edición tendrá su propia personalidad: podrán ser números monográficos o ecléctico, se reproducirán temas publicados en la plataforma digital, y se buscará lanzar temas aún inéditos en la web que aporten nuevas miradas sobre las líneas temáticas de PzP. En Plaza se busca rescatar textos que por su calidad narrativa merecen ser leídos apaciblemente, o que por su impacto y trascendencia es importante que encuentren la permanencia del papel. Plaza busca satisfacer al sibarita de la lectura pausada, alejada del ruido del internet, brindar la satisfacción al coleccionista –de fotos, de textos, de libros-, saciar al que se interesa por tener explicaciones profundas sobre Guatemala. Plaza es una coquetería para la mesa del café y una bella compañía para las tardes de sillón o de hamaca.

¿Qué es Plaza Pública?

Plaza Pública (PzP) es un medio en internet de periodismo de profundidad, análisis, investigaciones y debates, radicado en la capital de Guatemala. Fue fundado el 22 de febrero de 2011 por la Universidad Rafael Landívar y reivindica los derechos humanos, la democracia, la justicia social y la búsqueda de la verdad. Se enfoca en las causas y efectos de la desigualdad, la inequidad y las dinámicas que atentan contra la dignidad de las personas. Es un medio sin ánimo de lucro, nos financiamos principalmente con presupuesto de la universidad, y somos apoyados por organizaciones (como Open Society Foundation e Hivos) Apostamos por la innovación, por el periodismo narrativo, y creemos en el papel de la comunidad de lectores como garantes de la independencia y la calidad del medio.

¿Por qué Plaza Pública comete la locura de hacer el salto mortal al papel?

La misma naturaleza digital nos hace continuar en la busca de nuevas formas para llegar a los lectores, y hacer que los temas que interesan al medio y que consideramos esenciales para el debate nacional, lleguen a más ciudadanos y que desaparezcan de las agendas de los líderes de opinión y permanezcan en el debate público. Buscamos todos los medios y plataformas para trasladar nuestro periodismo. En ese sentido, no somos ortodoxos del Internet, y creemos que el papel tiene un aún enorme potencial, especialmente para los temas de profundidad, textos con la narrativa que es ya un sello de PzP, y con imágenes que van retratando el país, estén presentes, físicamente, como objeto cercano a los lectores, para la lectura pausada. Además, claro, adoramos los libros y el papel, somos unos nostálgicos, y qué gozo el olor del libro nuevo, el fetiche, y qué delicia leer en papel.

¿Cómo me suscribo?

Hay cuatro formas para suscribirte:

1) Depósito monetario:

  • Paso 1.

    Revisa en la hoja de suscripción las modalidades de pago, para conocer cuál es la que te conviene y saber cuánto debes depositar. (Para toda Guatemala:
  • Paso 2.

    Realiza la transferencia o depósito en:

    Banco Industrial.

    Asociación de Amigos de Plaza Pública

    Cta #185003731-6

  • Paso 3.

    Llena la hoja de suscripción y ¡voilá! Recibirás el número inmediato a tu suscripción (si quieres que tu suscripción sea en retroactivo, recibiendo números pasados, acláralo en los comentarios de la hoja. No habrá ningún problema si todavía quedan ejemplares).

2) Con nuestros aliados suscriptores:

En librería Sophos (Plaza Fontabella, zona 10) o en librería y café Watson (Paseo Cayalá, zona 16).

  • Paso 1.

    Vas a la caja y dices que te quieres suscribir a Plaza.
  • Paso 2.

    Realizas tu pago con tarjeta o en efectivo.
  • Paso 3.

    Llenas la hoja de suscripción y ¡listo!

Si tienes cualquier duda, escribe a suscripcionesLAP@gmail.com

3) Tienda online Kemik:

Entra a la https://kemik.gt/ y en el buscador escribe “suscripción” allí te desplegará las diversas opciones de suscripción (1 o 2 años) y varias según el país donde vivas. Aquí el enlace para un año en toda Guatemala: https://www.kemik.gt/suscripcion-anual-a-plaza-1-a-o-guatemala.html Si vives fuera de Guatemala, vean la respuesta siguiente:

¿Si vivo fuera de Guatemala, puedo suscribirme?

¡Claro! Plaza llega a cualquier parte del mundo. Los costos de envío varían entre Centro América, el resto de América (Norte, Sur y el Caribe), y el resto del mundo. Estamos puliendo el método, pero ya lo puedes hacer:

Puedes hacerlo en tienda online https://www.kemik.gt/ , busca la suscripción de acuerdo a la región en donde vives. Parecerá que sólo puedes hacer pedidos en Guatemala, ¡pero no! Introduce toda la dirección, (incluido, municipio, departamento o estado; y muy importante: el país en donde quieres tu suscripción). No hay ningún costo por el envío. Si tienes algún problema con la compra escríbenos un mensaje en el perfil de fb de Los Amigos de la Plaza o directamente en la tienda en línea.

También hacerlo a través de una transferencia bancaria:

  • Paso 1:

    Revisa en la hoja de suscripción el costo a tu región:
  • Paso 2:

    Realiza la transferencia bancaria:

    Bank: The Bank of New York Mellon

    SWIFT/BIC: IRVTUS3N

    Fedwire (ABA): 021000018

    Account name: Banco Industrial, S.A.

    Account No.: 8033141875

    SWIFT/BIC: INDLGTGC

    USD amount to send:

    Final beneficiary name : Asociación de Amigos de Plaza Pública

    Account No. at Banco Industrial, S.A.: 185-003731-9

    Final beneficiary Address: 7a. avenida 5-10 zona 4, Centro Financiero, Apartado

    Postal 744, Guatemala, Guatemala, C.A.

  • Paso 3:

    Llena la ficha de suscripción. (Si quieres que tu suscripción sea en retroactivo, recibiendo números pasados, acláralo en los comentarios de la hoja).

Si tienes cualquier duda, escribe a suscripcionesLAP@gmail.com

Si no me he suscrito, ¿cómo la consigo?

Plaza nace el 28 de abril de 2016 y a partir de allí la podrás encontrar cada cuatro meses en diversos puntos de distribución (recuerda los meses clave: abril, agosto, diciembre).

La puedes encontrar en:

Librería Sophos, Watson Books & Coffee, La Casa del Libro en La Casa de Cervantes.

En estos tiempos en que es cada vez más complicado sostener las iniciativas en papel. ¿Cómo se sostendrá Plaza?

El plan es que Plaza sea autosostenible. La Asociación de Amigos de Plaza Pública respalda y gestiona el proyecto, y ha buscado diversas maneras de que pueda subsistir:

1) La apuesta más importante es confiar en los lectores, en quienes creen en el periodismo de Plaza Pública y quienes disfrutan la lectura y aman el papel. Entonces, la confianza máxima es creer que una buena base de suscriptores amigos nos permitirá la estabilidad, y la distribución en librerías, centros culturales, cafés, etc. nos permita seguir imprimiendo.

2) El patrocinio: de empresas, organizaciones, instituciones que confíen en nuestro trabajo, que apuesten por la necesidad de una ciudadanía informada, que crean en la cultura y que quieran aliar su marca con Plaza. Los patrocinios nos dan un margen de respiro y si en algún momento hubiese excedentes en los ingresos, éstos servirán para que la Asociación de Amigos de Plaza Pública apoyen investigaciones y proyectos de Plaza Pública para seguir trabajando.

Papel, la edición #1 de Plaza: es patrocinada por Instituto de Investigación y Proyección sobre Ambiente Natural y Sociedad (Iarna), L’Aperó, Sophos, Watson Books & Coffee. ¡Gracias totales por la confianza y el apoyo!

3) El financiamiento: un espaldarazo considerable. Una institución, organización o empresa, apoya con una donación para la impresión de más ejemplares, que serán distribuidos en bibliotecas públicas, escuelas y organizaciones.

¿Y si quiero ser patrocinador o financista de Plaza?

¡Fantástico! Escribe a amigosdelaplazapzp@gmail.com y te contactaremos.

¿Quiénes son los Amigos de Plaza?

La Asociación de Amigos de Plaza Pública (LAP), es una asociación civil, sin ánimo de lucro, conformada por lectores, amigos, ciudadanos, y equipo de Plaza Pública para apoyar los proyectos e iniciativas del medio. Entre sus objetivos, además de constituirse en apoyo para proteger y defender el derecho a la información y a la libre expresión, está el de generar fondos y gestionar proyectos directamente relacionados con el medio. Desde su conformación, una de las iniciativas propuestas y apoyadas por sus miembros fue el de la publicación en papel de material de Plaza Pública.

La Asociación administrará y velará por generar los fondos que permitan la sostenibilidad y continuidad del proyecto. Para esto, considera indispensable la alianza con instituciones, empresas, organizaciones y ciudadanos que compartan el interés por el periodismo de profundidad y calidad que produce Plaza Pública.

Para más información: amigosdelaplazapzp@gmail.com

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Genocide trial

Still waiting on Guatemala’s high court

Despite contradicting reports by local and international press outlets, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has not rule on the fate of the genocide trial against retired General Efrain Rios Montt and his former security chief Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez. Last week a pre-trial judge ordered the trial go back to its evidentiary phase. However, the three-justice panel, presided by Judge Yasmin Barrios rejected the order and placed the fate of Latin America’s first genocide trial in the hands of the country’s top court.

Adapted by: Romina Ruiz-Goiriena

The ruling is still out for Guatemala’s Constitutional Court (CC). The country’s supreme judicial authority must still decide the fate of Latin America’s first genocide trial after pre-trial Judge Carol Patricia Flores ordered proceeding to start at square one.

The court has been meeting since Saturday to try to rule on a series of motions proposed by both the prosecution and defense. On Tuesday, the court resolved a series of motions—none of them addressed Flores’ ruling.

Flores was taken off the case in February 2012 by an appeals court after a defense attorney filed a complaint alleging she was in favor of the prosecution.  She was reinstated last week by the CC, but by now the case against Rios Montt and Rodriguez was days away from hearing closing arguments. In what was supposed to be a procedural evidence hearing, Flores went a step further and attempted to nullify the trial. The move surprised prosecutors, defense lawyers and the international community.

By midday Tuesday, rumors spiraled out of control. Various outlets continued to report that the high court annulled the trial. According to CC magistrate, Martin Guzman, the court started first with procedural motions and still “needs more time before addressing Flores” ruling.”

Guzman said the court is expected to rule on the remaining seven motions as early as next week. But the court’s agenda is still up in the air.

The attorney general’s office accused Rios Montt knew and was aware of the killing of 1,771 Indigenous Ixils in 15 massacres that took place between March 1982 and August 1983, when he was de facto head of state.

“Flores’ ruling was a total surprise for us. It was something we didn’t expect,” Guzman reiterated.

What the CC actually ruled on

The first of the court’s resolution goes back to March 19, the first day of the trial. For the period of over a year, Rios Montt had a team of defense attorneys that have represented him in court. But on that day, he wanted only one lawyer: Francisco Garcia Gudiel.

Similar to the pre-trial process the defense strategy weaned on blocking the trial indefinitely. To do so, they would appoint Gudiel and at the very last minute he would motion against the judge impartiality. Gudiel and sentencing judge Yasmin Barrios have a raucous history in court. If Barrios and her team were obliged to step down, a new sentencing tribunal would be appointed. The defense hoped, they could influence the trial judges to rule in their favor.

“You are correct,” judge Barrios said to Gudiel. “This tribunal has had problems with you in the past. But, we have also accepted your apologies. It has been our mission to contribute to the transparency and objectivity of this court…knowingly you want to create a situation of animosity so that this impedes the trial from taking place. I cannot accept your motion and ask that you now exit the court.”

Barrios ordered Sanchez’s attorneys, Cesar Calderon and Moises Galindo to represent Rios Montt while he hired new counsel.

Gudiel filed a motion to the CC alleging that his client’s constitutional right to choose his defense attorney was violated. On Tueday, the CC ruled in favor of Gudiel. It would now be up to Barrios if to repeat the entire trial or just the hours of the trial Rios Montt did not have an attorney of his choosing.

To bring Gudiel back to the trial could complicate and already murky trial that has been riddled with procedural motions to derail a verdict. Magistrate Mauro Chacon, warned of this when he reasoned his vote for Tuesday’s resolution, “One of the obligations of defense attorneys consists of adhering to the court’s rules and regulation.” Chacon goes on to explain, “it is his responsibility to recuse himself if he knows that he has been in disagreement with the sentencing court where the case will be heard.”

But the other justices; Hector Hugo Perez, Roberto Molina, Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre and Gloria Porras voted otherwise.

Gudiel will return to the trial, if and when the CC decides that the trial will move forward. The defense will additionally be backed by a second resolution in favor of Galindo who protested taking on Rios Montt when his colleague was expelled.

One thing is for certain; these resolutions seem to create more problems for the trial process than offer solutions. These motions seem to resolve legal minutia without taking into account the larger context of the trial. And as more questions arise, their silence persists.

Tribunal wars

Judge Barrios rejected Flores’ ruling and deemed it illegal.  Barrios said that only the CC could order her to return the case file to Flores.

 The second resolution, ordered Barrios to return the file so that Flores could do exactly as she had been instructed to do. According to CC documents, the high court ordered Flores to schedule a hearing to admit evidence previously deemed inadmissible and later return the file to Barrios.

Chacon believes that Flores may have misinterpreted the high court’s order. Now, this evidence hearing is to take place in the next 24 to 48 hours.

We must also wait to hear what Flores decides.

Victims’ lawyers

When the prosecutor’s office heard Flores’ ruling they lodged an appeal citing she had ruled outside of her jurisdiction.  That motion has not been resolved by the CC.

The Reconciliation and Justice Association (known by its Spanish acronym AJR) also appealed Flores’ ruling.  This motion has not been resolved by the high court.

On the other hand, the Center for Legal Action in Human Rights (CALDH) appealed the ruling on similar grounds. This one was struck down by the CC because of a procedural error in its submission.

A question of time

Rios Montt and Rodriguez Sanchez’s lawyers have protested the CC’s expedited rulings.

Calderon has insisted that if evidence needs to be readmitted in a pre-trial phase, the trial must be nullified. A notion the high court has rejected.  The court expects Flores to readmit the evidence and return the file while magistrates decide where the trial stands.

Another of Rios Montt’s lawyers, Danilo Rodriguez, appealed that the trial was supposed to begin in August and was moved up. The CC denied the motion

Dos Erres and genocide charge

Another case is still pending against Rios Montt. Flores lodged a second genocide charge against the retired general for  his involvement in the massacre of more than 200 people in the village of Dos Erres in Peten state.

Although prosecutors have asked he be charged with extrajudicial assassination, Flores ruled the public ministry to warrant a trial on the new charge. 

The prosecutor’s office appealed and defense attorney Francisco Palomo motioned the charge be upheld. The CC ruled in favor of the defense.

Future unknown

With over have a dozen motions, appeals and complaints backlogged in the nation’s highest court, it is still uncertain which way the trial could move forward.

The court has been meeting since Saturday to try to rule on a series of motions proposed by both the prosecution and defense. On Tuesday, the court resolved a series of motions—none of them addressed Flores’ ruling.

Flores was taken off the case in February 2012 by an appeals court after a defense attorney filed a complaint alleging she was in favor of the prosecution.  She was reinstated last week by the CC, but by now the case against Rios Montt and Rodriguez was days away from hearing closing arguments. In what was supposed to be a procedural evidence hearing, Flores went a step further and attempted to nullify the trial. The move surprised prosecutors, defense lawyers and the international community.

By midday Tuesday, rumors spiraled out of control. Various outlets continued to report that the high court annulled the trial. According to CC magistrate, Martin Guzman, the court started first with procedural motions and still “needs more time before addressing Flores” ruling.”

Guzman said the court is expected to rule on the remaining seven motions as early as next week. But the court’s agenda is still up in the air.

The attorney general’s office accused Rios Montt knew and was aware of the killing of 1,771 Indigenous Ixils in 15 massacres that took place between March 1982 and August 1983, when he was de facto head of state.

“Flores’ ruling was a total surprise for us. It was something we didn’t expect,” Guzman reiterated.

What the CC actually ruled on

The first of the court’s resolution goes back to March 19, the first day of the trial. For the period of over a year, Rios Montt had a team of defense attorneys that have represented him in court. But on that day, he wanted only one lawyer: Francisco Garcia Gudiel.

Similar to the pre-trial process the defense strategy weaned on blocking the trial indefinitely. To do so, they would appoint Gudiel and at the very last minute he would motion against the judge impartiality. Gudiel and sentencing judge Yasmin Barrios have a raucous history in court. If Barrios and her team were obliged to step down, a new sentencing tribunal would be appointed. The defense hoped, they could influence the trial judges to rule in their favor.

“You are correct,” judge Barrios said to Gudiel. “This tribunal has had problems with you in the past. But, we have also accepted your apologies. It has been our mission to contribute to the transparency and objectivity of this court…knowingly you want to create a situation of animosity so that this impedes the trial from taking place. I cannot accept your motion and ask that you now exit the court.”

Barrios ordered Sanchez’s attorneys, Cesar Calderon and Moises Galindo to represent Rios Montt while he hired new counsel.

Gudiel filed a motion to the CC alleging that his client’s constitutional right to choose his defense attorney was violated. On Tueday, the CC ruled in favor of Gudiel. It would now be up to Barrios if to repeat the entire trial or just the hours of the trial Rios Montt did not have an attorney of his choosing.

To bring Gudiel back to the trial could complicate and already murky trial that has been riddled with procedural motions to derail a verdict. Magistrate Mauro Chacon, warned of this when he reasoned his vote for Tuesday’s resolution, “One of the obligations of defense attorneys consists of adhering to the court’s rules and regulation.” Chacon goes on to explain, “it is his responsibility to recuse himself if he knows that he has been in disagreement with the sentencing court where the case will be heard.”

But the other justices; Hector Hugo Perez, Roberto Molina, Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre and Gloria Porras voted otherwise.

Gudiel will return to the trial, if and when the CC decides that the trial will move forward. The defense will additionally be backed by a second resolution in favor of Galindo who protested taking on Rios Montt when his colleague was expelled.

One thing is for certain; these resolutions seem to create more problems for the trial process than offer solutions. These motions seem to resolve legal minutia without taking into account the larger context of the trial. And as more questions arise, their silence persists.

Tribunal wars

Judge Barrios rejected Flores’ ruling and deemed it illegal.  Barrios said that only the CC could order her to return the case file to Flores.

The second resolution, ordered Barrios to return the file so that Flores could do exactly as she had been instructed to do. According to CC documents, the high court ordered Flores to schedule a hearing to admit evidence previously deemed inadmissible and later return the file to Barrios.

Chacon believes that Flores may have misinterpreted the high court’s order. Now, this evidence hearing is to take place in the next 24 to 48 hours.

We must also wait to hear what Flores decides.

Victims’ lawyers

When the prosecutor’s office heard Flores’ ruling they lodged an appeal citing she had ruled outside of her jurisdiction.  That motion has not been resolved by the CC.

The Reconciliation and Justice Association (known by its Spanish acronym AJR) also appealed Flores’ ruling.  This motion has not been resolved by the high court.

On the other hand, the Center for Legal Action in Human Rights (CALDH) appealed the ruling on similar grounds. This one was struck down by the CC because of a procedural error in its submission.

A question of time

Rios Montt and Rodriguez Sanchez’s lawyers have protested the CC’s expedited rulings.

Calderon has insisted that if evidence needs to be readmitted in a pre-trial phase, the trial must be nullified. A notion the high court has rejected.  The court expects Flores to readmit the evidence and return the file while magistrates decide where the trial stands.

Another of Rios Montt’s lawyers, Danilo Rodriguez, appealed that the trial was supposed to begin in August and was moved up. The CC denied the motion

Dos Erres and genocide charge

Another case is still pending against Rios Montt. Flores lodged a second genocide charge against the retired general for  his involvement in the massacre of more than 200 people in the village of Dos Erres in Peten state.

Although prosecutors have asked he be charged with extrajudicial assassination, Flores ruled the public ministry to warrant a trial on the new charge. 

The prosecutor’s office appealed and defense attorney Francisco Palomo motioned the charge be upheld. The CC ruled in favor of the defense.

Future unknown

With over have a dozen motions, appeals and complaints backlogged in the nation’s highest court, it is still uncertain which way the trial could move forward.

One thing is for certain; these resolutions seem to create more problems for the trial process than offer solutions. These motions seem to resolve legal minutia without taking into account the larger context of the trial. And as more questions arise, their silence persists.
The court has been meeting since Saturday to try to rule on a series of motions proposed by both the prosecution and defense. On Tuesday, the court resolved a series of motions—none of them addressed Flores’ ruling.