Journalists are still at risk in Guatemala. Death threats, assaults, and attacks on journalists have continued throughout late 2006 and early 2007, as have problems related to freedom of information, especially since Guatemala lacks legislation on the matter. From October 2006 to March 6, 2007, the special unit for crimes against unionists and journalists in the Public Prosecutor’s Office received five complaints from journalists for coercion and threats and one complaint for an assault. Prosecutor Mario Castañeda said that most of these complaints were filed in Guatemala City, and they are currently under investigation. Attempts are under way to silence the press through acts of police intimidation, in the wake of revelations that “social cleansing squads” are operating illegally within the National Civil Police of Guatemala and carrying out extrajudicial executions. On March 15, brothers José Luis and Henry Benítez filed a complaint against elPeriódico president José Rubén Zamora and editor-in-chief Ana Carolina Alpírez, accusing them of masterminding an attempted murder and threats against them. The complaint seeks to have the two newspaper executives sentenced to up to 50 years in prison or given the death penalty. On March 8, elPeriódico conducted an investigation and reported that the Benítez brothers belong to a group of police officers that went into a prison with hoods over their heads and M-16s in their hands and carried out the extrajudicial executions of seven prisoners. The case is being investigated by the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office. The next day, shots were allegedly fired at the Benítez brothers, and the brothers accuse elPeriódico of masterminding the attempted murder. Edwin Sperissen, the director of the National Civil Police, has added his voice to the Benítez brothers’ accusations and has blamed elPeriódico for jeopardizing the lives of his advisers. These illegal squads came to light following the murder of three Salvadoran members of the Central American Parliament at the hands of four police officers from the Organized Crime Unit of the National Civil Police, who were captured and subsequently murdered in prison. On February 28, 2007, the editorial staff at the television channel Cable Guatevisión received death threats after reporting on the February 25 murder of four police officers. Criminal elements are thought to have infiltrated the police. According to Haroldo Sánchez, programming director at Cable Guatevisión, law enforcement officers have videotaped and photographed its journalists who were reporting on the murder of the four Guatemalan police officers executed in jail after being charged with the February 19 murder of three Salvadoran members of the Central American Parliament and their driver. The editorial staff has been receiving death threats since February 25. “We’ve received e-mails warning us that we’re going to be killed,” said Sánchez, who was personally ordered “not to cover this issue anymore.” On February 2, 2007, shots were fired at Winder Jordán Madrid, news director for local radio station Radio Sultana and a correspondent for the Guatemalan newspaper Nuestro Diario. The attack took place in Gualán, in the department of Zacapa. On November 30, 2006, Rogelio Hernández Reyes, a reporter for the newspaper Periódico Tajumulco in San Marcos department, filed criminal complaints in connection with threats he had received. On November 29, 2006, reporter Erick Galindo Mendoza and cameramen David Fernando Asturias of the television news program Telediario Canal 3 were physically assaulted by a group of marketplace vendors after the police seized car stereos of dubious origin. The journalists’ equipment was destroyed, and the police captured seven assailants, who were released later that day after posting bond. Ever since the special prosecutor’s unit for crimes against unionists and journalists was created in 2001, only two cases involving assaulted and murdered journalists have actually gone to trial. One of the two cases is that of José Rubén Zamora, editor of elPeriódico. On June 24, 2003, a group of eleven heavily armed people, including one woman, raided Zamora’s home, assaulted him along with his family and employees, and twice pretended to execute him. Two suspects were captured, both of them former members of the now-defunct Presidential General Staff. One suspect was acquitted, but the other one was sentenced on March 4, 2005, to 15 years in prison without parole. The other case involves journalist Ángel Morales Quiñónez, a member of the National Press Circle who was murdered in 2004. The case went to trial, and two defendants were sentenced in November 2006 to 14 and 21 years in prison, respectively. Most journalists complain that it is difficult for them to gain access to information. Freedom of information is established in Articles 30 and 31 of the Constitution, although it is not regulated by law. Several organizations—including the Asociación Desarrollo, Organización, Servicios y Estudios Socioculturales—reviewed the bill on freedom of information submitted by legislator Nineth Montenegro in the latter half of last year. The bill is still on hold, however. Lastly, Oscar Rodolfo Castañeda, the station director of Radio 10, reported to the IAPA that the Guatemalan government has not complied with the interim relief ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Lastly, police beat reporter Ángel Sas was attacked on the evening of Sunday, March 18. As he was leaving the offices of elPeriódico to go home, four armed men fired at him. Sas escaped unharmed. This attack comes after elPeriódico reported that illegal groups are operating within the Guatemalan police.