Regulatory authorities

Digital and print media are not regulated by any governmental authority. By law, they are only required to register with the IPSP (to which they must pay a small percentage of their earnings); they must also register with the Ministry of Interior and, in the case of for-profit organisations, to the Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria (Superintendence of Tax Administration - SAT). Media wanting to buy a .gt web domain must purchase it from the Universidad del Valle, which holds the registry for the country-code domain name.

Radios and television stations, on the other hand, are regulated by specific government entities. The General Law of Radio Telecommunications establishes the procedures to acquire a radio frequency. The SIT is the governmental entity delegated to administer the frequencies of Guatemala, which are considered property of the State and are granted to private companies only as usufruct. All frequencies can be purchased only through an open auction and the best offer is granted. This procedure harms community radio stations that usually operate on unauthorised radio frequencies. In case the State decides to auction the frequency in which they operate, they will not be able to compete with a large media corporation such as Albavisión or Emisoras Unidas.

In 2016, the Congress approved a reform to the Electoral Law of Political Parties that directly affects all kinds of media. The electoral campaigns were a period in which the media increased their profits because candidates invested large amounts of funds in advertising. With this modification of the law, the government is the only one that can pay the price of political campaigns, at a price lower than the market price, and only to the media registered before the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (Supreme Electoral Tribunal – TSE). The law also prohibits advertising media disguised as reports. The aforementioned CGP filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court on the grounds that this regulation is illegal.