Mexican journalist Daniel Lizárraga leaves El Salvador after being expelled by the Government, according to the newspaper El Faro

(CNN Spanish) – Mexican journalist Daniel Lizárraga left El Salvador after being expelled by the Government, reported the digital newspaper El Faro.

In an interview with the Casa América Catalunya platform, Carlos Dada, director of the digital newspaper El Faro, explained on Wednesday that several members of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners notified Lizárraga that his stay in El Salvador had been revoked and that he had five days from Tuesday to leave the country. According to the director of the digital media, the authorities also denied the work permit they were processing for Lizárraga, who had been invited to join El Faro as editor since January.

Daniel Lizárraga. (Credit: Gabo Foundation Archive)

CNN has tried to confirm what Dada denounces with the Communications Secretariat of the Presidency of El Salvador and learn of the reasons that apparently led the Government to deny the journalist a work permit and temporary residence, but so far there is no answer.

Lizárraga is a teacher at the Gabriel García Marquez Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism and the Center for Economic Research and Teaching of Mexico. In addition, he has been a member of the Aristegui Noticias research team, among other media.

“It is one more form of harassment and an attempt to weaken us,” Dada said.

Countries with less freedom of expression in Latin America 1:23

The tense relationship between the Government and El Faro

El Faro and the government of President Nayib Bukele have a tense relationship. The digital newspaper has published investigations into alleged irregularities in the management of public resources in the purchase of medical supplies during the pandemic, as well as alleged agreements between the government and the Mara Salvatrucha gang to reduce homicides. In these cases, the government has denied the facts reported in the complaints.

The Salvadoran president, for his part, accuses El Faro of being part of an opposition strategy to discredit his administration.

In September 2019, staff from the Presidential House prevented journalists from El Faro and Factum Magazine from entering a conference in which the Government announced the implementation of the Pacific Train.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance is investigating El Faro for possible tax evasion. The digital newspaper has rejected the accusations.

In October 2020, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) warned of the risk that, in its opinion, democracy and freedom of the press run in El Salvador during the administration of President Nayib Bukele.

According to the IAPA report, the Bukele government has been characterized by a “frontal attack” to stigmatize and corner independent media and journalists who have revealed possible acts of corruption of public officials. Although at the time the Bukele administration did not reacted to this report, has said in the past that freedom of expression is not exclusive to journalists and the media.

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