During the past six months the nation has enjoyed a new climate regarding freedom of the press. This is not to say, however, that the attacks and threats against journalists have ceased, but at least it does not appear that there is an institutional policy of confrontation and repression aimed at the independent media. Nonetheless, two recent incidents are cause for serious concern, particularly since they involve attacks on journalists by officers with the National Civil Police (PNC). The first and more serious of the incidents took place on August 31 during an eviction on the Nueva Linda ranch, located in the southwestern Department of Retalhuleu. Two journalists, Mario Morales, with Nuestro Diario, and Edward Morales, with Guatevisión, were brutally assaulted and their respective photographic and video cameras were seized. Seven peasants and four police officers died in the incident. The journalists were apparently witnesses to illegal executions, which have been reported to the Human Rights Prosecutor. The court with jurisdiction over the case ordered the arrest of three officers indicated as the perpetrators. They remain in custody while maintaining their innocence. The second attack was directed against a group of journalists after they had covered a soccer match in the capital. One journalist was beaten and his camera was taken and then destroyed by an officer when he attempted to photograph the assault. The Human Rights Prosecutor, Sergio Morales, has expressed his concern regarding the aggressive stance of security forces towards journalists. The Minister of Government Affairs, Carlos Vielman, has affirmed that he respects journalists' work and will assist the court investigation into the Nueva Linda ranch case. Ileana Alamilla, director of the local news agency Cerigua, condemned the theft of computer equipment belonging to the agency as "an act of intimidation." The equipment contained files with important data. Alamilla is the president of the Free Press Commission of the Journalists Association of Guatemala (APG), which has denounced attacks and threats against colleagues. There has been an increase in reports of threats against journalists working on a departmental level or in the countryside. A bill pending before the Guatemalan Congress to amend the Election Law and political parties seeks to restrict or limit the use of polls for election campaigns. This constrains freedom of the press and contravenes Article 35 of the Constitution, which holds that no law may infringe upon the right to freedom of speech. Although the case is progressing slowly, formal charges were finally filed after former Attorney General Carlos León had kept the investigation at a standstill for more than seven months. The Office of the Prosecutor is now looking into a case involving an attack against the family of José Rubén Zamora, a journalist with the newspaper elPeriódico. A number of law enforcement personnel have been implicated in the attack. These individuals are linked to state security forces led by high officials of the prior administration, the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG). Progress in the case has been slow, although criminal charges are now pending before the courts, following a more than seven-month suspension of the investigation by order of former Attorney General Carlos de León. Finally, special mention should be made of the commendable position of administration of President Oscar Berger toward the case of Journalist Jorge Carpio. In July 2004, the Guatemalan government admitted its responsibility before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights following the efforts of the IAPA, in a case that sets a precedent in inter-American jurisprudence for the fight against impunity.