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Guatemalan publisher honored for defending freedom of expression

A U.S. publishing group awarded F&G Editores and founder Raúl Figueroa Sarti, who's risked his safety to release books exposing corruption and government sponsored violence.

NEW YORK — A Guatemalan publisher is being honored by the Association of American Publishers for its work in defending freedom of expression.

The association announced Wednesday it was giving its International Freedom to Publish/Jeri Laber Award to F&G Editores and founder Raúl Figueroa Sarti, who has often risked his personal safety to release books alleging racism, corruption and government-sponsored violence.

“Beyond an acknowledgment of my publishing work in Guatemala, it seems very relevant that attention is paid internationally to the risks that freedom of expression and publication are experiencing today, both from central government and from the most powerful economic groups of Guatemala that fear their privileges are at risk,” Sarti, who started F&G Editores in 1993, said in a statement.

Maria A. Pallante, president and CEO of the publishers association, said in a statement that Sarti deserved praise “for his extraordinary commitment to authors and readers despite the serious and numerous threats he has had to endure.”

The International Freedom to Publish Award was established in 2002, and highlights publishers from outside the U.S. Recent winners include the Bangladesh-based Jagriti Publishing House and South Africa’s NB Publishers.

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