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Response from Journalist Cited in La Página’s Allegations

The journalist cited in recent publications by La Página under the alias “Marta” has asked the Human Rights Institute of the Central American University to release the following message, which she freely and bravely wrote, to the public on her behalf.

Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas Press Release – Human Rights Institute

 
 

I express my condemnation of the series of publications over the past two weeks by the website La Página (lapagina.com.sv) which is currently administered by the National Council for the Administration of Goods (CONAB), an auxiliary of the state currently under the control of the current administration. Each and every criminal accusation made in those publications is false, and I condemn the exploitation of my case, both by the aforementioned website and by various government officials.

La Página has never spoken with me. I have never shared my story with their reporters, nor did they contact me before or after publication. Due to the consequences of the false claims published by the website, I decided to seek legal assistance from the Human Rights Institute of the Central American University. Only that institution and legal representatives have I duly authorized may speak in my name.

I deny having been victim of rape or any other type of abuse or sexual assault at the event La Página indicated. After the event at Lake Coatepeque attended by multiple co-workers from El Faro in 2017, it is true that I reported an instance of inappropriate behavior from a male colleague to the publication’s leadership. I never asked authorities to conduct a criminal investigation, and I expressly asked that the internal sanction not be severe. I did not, nor do I now, consider myself a victim of a crime during that event.

In seeking out the publication’s leadership, my only intention was to improve the relationships between newsroom colleagues, and I am aware of decisions taken after my complaint to that end. It worries me that the exploitation of my story might impede other women from condemning normalized sexist behavior in their newsrooms, or in any other professional context.

If in any way I am a victim, it is in the exploitation of a manipulated version of my case for purposes other than the pursuit of justice and the protection of victims. It saddens me to see the lies and waste of state resources in a political plot apparently aimed at harming journalists and other monitors that make the sitting administration uncomfortable. Meanwhile, grave abuses against women’s rights are ignored and minimized and victims are left without recourse from the relevant authorities.

I express my concern at the possible complicity of the Attorney General’s Office in the exploitation of my case after La Página revealed and contorted parts of my testimony before that institution. I visited a prosecutor’s office on Thursday, July 16, accompanied by my attorney, after the Attorney General launched an investigation based on the publications. Due to these acts, I fear for my personal safety and that of my family.

I would like to inform the public that for my safety I have asked that my identity be withheld and that I asked the Attorney General’s Office to seal my case. Please respect my decisions.

I ask for the support of my colleagues in journalism and communications, so that this exploitation does not hold us back in the continued pursuit of more just working conditions for women.

 

July 18, 2020

 

This letter is unsigned in accordance with the protective measures the author requested from the Attorney General’s Office. 


Access the original release, in Spanish, here.


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