At the end of 2004, after intense mobilization by several sectors of Brazilian society, including the National Journalists Association (ANJ), the leaders of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate decided to shelve the government’s bill to establish a Federal Journalism Council. The bill would have instituted methods to control the practice of journalism. It is possible that a new bill may be presented by an isolated legislator. But the reaction in the country to the first attempt last year makes it clear that in Brazil there is a strong awareness that this type of step backward should be avoided. At the initiative of the ANJ, the Network to Defend Press Freedom was established in association with UNESCO to monitor and publicize violations of press freedom. There is concern about the attention that some courts have given to lawsuits against journalists and media outlets. Some judges, basing their decisions on a combination of articles of the Constitution and specific legislation concerning moral damages, have issued preliminary rulings that in practice amount to prior restraint. On the other hand, a hopeful sign in 2005 was the conviction of the murderers of Tim Lopes, who was killed in June of 2002. It had a great impact in Brazil and abroad. The crime occurred when the TV Globo's reporter was searching for information about parties sponsored by drug dealers in a Rio de Janeiro slum. On July 1, radio journalist José Cândido de Amorim Filho, 45, was murdered as he arrived at Radio Alternativa FM in Carpina, a city 64 kilometers from Recife in the Mata Norte region of Pernambuco. Witnesses said four men on two motorcycles fired at Amorim’s car. At least 10 of the 20 bullets fired hit him in the head and chest. The reporter’s son, who was at the radio station at the time, went to his aid, but Amorim died in the hospital. The case is being investigated by the police chief of Carpina, Artur Tito Mendes and by the homicide division of Recife. According to information provided by friends of Amorim, it could be a political crime. In addition to Radio Alternativa FM, a community station where he had been working for eight months, Amorim had worked at other stations for 20 years. He had a police news show that advocated for the community called “This Voice Cannot Be Silenced.” He was also serving his second term in the City Council of Carpina for the Democratic Workers Party (PDT). He had reported on cases of nepotism in city hall and presented in the council a bill that would prohibit that practice. He had been attacked earlier, on May 22, while driving his car. At that time he was shot in the armpit but survived. The Justice Ministry, the public prosecutor’s office and the Pernambuco government were asked to take measures, but nothing was done. On March 15, a team from television station RBS of Porto Alegre, in Rio Grande do Sul, was attacked while covering a demonstration of farmers who were asking the government for help in dealing with the drought. Cameraman Éverton Machado was attacked and his camera was placed in a car which was then burned. On March 15, Paulo de Tarso Venceslau and Alan Brito of the newspaper Contato of Taubaté, São Paulo were attacked by six city hall security guards while reporting about the city’s sanitary landfill. On March 23, 2005 Mauricio Melato Barth, owner of the newspaper Infobairros of Itapema on the Santa Catarina coast was shot in both legs in front of his house. He had been systematically reporting on corruption in the mayor’s office. He said he had received various anonymous telephone threats before the attack. On that day, two men on motorcycles called on him to come out of his house, shot him in both legs and fled. They were not identified. Mauricio will not be able to walk for 15 months. He and his family are in hiding. The newspaper’s circulation was interrupted. André Gobbo, owner of the Jornal Independente, another newspaper that has been reporting corruption in the city government, said he has also been threatened. He said he receives anonymous telephone threats and suspicious vehicles drive near his house. He thinks it is the same people who shot Mauricio. On May 20, 2005 Joacir Gonçalves da Silva, editor of the regional newspaper Enfoque Social of Itaquaquecetuba, said he had received death threats from the mayor, Armando Tavares Filho (PL), better known as “Armando of the drug store.” Joacir had published information showing that the mayor had problems with the Audit Court because of the acquisition of school lunches with a no-bid contract valued at more than $7 million reals. On June 16, 2005 reporter Efrém Ribeiro of the newspaper Meio Norte of Teresina in Piauí was attacked by state legislator Homero Castelo Branco (PFL-PI) in a corridor of the Petrônio Portela site of the state legislature. The reason for the attack was an article published the day before saying that the regional federal prosecutor, Carlos Eduardo Oliveira Vasconcelos had accused the legislator in the regional federal court of fraud, falsifying a public document and a tax offense. On June 21, 2005, a team from TV Globo presented a complaint with the São Paulo police accusing three men of assault. Assistant Marçal Queiroz, reporter Lúcio Sturm and cameraman Gilmário Batista were beaten while filming a report on the crisis in the Workers Party in front of the party’s headquarters in downtown São Paulo. Batista was able to film the faces of the attackers and gave the tape to police chief Mário Jordão, who said it proves the attack and death threat made by the three men. On June 29, legislator Raul Freixes (PTB) attacked Paulo Fernandes, a reporter of the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo during a session of the Legislative Assembly. When Freixes was asked about the proceeding in which he is accused of administrative malfeasance by the state public prosecutor’s office in Aquidauana, the legislator got angry, pushed the reporter, took his tape recorder and threw it on the floor. On April 13, 2005, Judge Jeová Sardinha de Moraes in a state court of Goiás, made a preliminary decision accepting the request of legislator Ronaldo Caiado (PFL-GO) to seize copies of the book In the Lions’ Den by Fernando Morais. The legislator brought the lawsuit because he considers that the book about the advertising agency W Brasil has libelous references to him. In the book Fernando Morais reports that Caiado, while a presidential candidate in 1989, hired the agency to work on his campaign. In a conversation with the two partners of the agency, Washington Olivetto and Gabriel Zellmeister, Caicado reportedly said that as a doctor, he had a solution for the country’s worst problem—residents of the Northeast. He suggested adding to the drinking water a medicine that would sterilize the women. In his preliminary ruling, the judge said that all the copies of the Planeta Publishing book be seized. In addition, he prohibited Fernando Morais and Planet Publishing from “disseminating comments about the text considered libelous in any press organ,” under threat of a fine of 5.000 reals. On June 15, 2005, Justice Gabriel Marques of the Rondônia court prohibited broadcast in the state of a report on the program “Fantástico” of Globo network about corruption. The program had a videotape showing state legislators asking for favors and money from Governor Ivo Cassol. The court ruling was requested by the legislators. On July 26, 2005 Ancelmo Gois of O Globo was prosecuted by the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor for publishing in his column news of the finding for Judge Tereza Cristina Sobral Bittencourt Sampaio, of the 5th Probate Court, in a lawsuit she had brought against Justice Francisco José de Azevedo of the Rio Court. On May 17, 2005, the house of Sandra Miranda, editor of the newspaper Primeira Página of Palmas in Tocantins was burned. A report by the criminal investigation department of Tocantins called it arson. The newspaper recently had been reporting cases of corruption in the state. On September 8, 2005, in São Paulo, arson destroyed 80% of the three-story building, including studios, computers, furniture and documents of Diario de Marília, Radio Diario RM and Dirceu AM¸ as well as the newsroom of the newspaper (Central Marília Noticias). The criminals arrived at the building at about 3 a.m. A woman told the security guard she wanted to leave a letter for one of the radio stations. When the guard opened the door, hooded men tied him up and splashed gasoline around the building and set it on fire. The guard was able to call the firefighters. El Diario de Marília called the attack “one of the worst attacks on press freedom in recent years.”