Conditions for the free exercise of journalism have improved since Elías Antonio Saca, a radio station owner and past president of the International Association of Broadcasting (IAB, Spanish acronym AIR), became president of the nation. Since June 1, journalists have had easy access to the executive offices of the president and to the President himself. A newly-established Communications Secretariat is an integral part of the new Administration. During this period, several agencies of the legal system brought increased pressures to bear on a number of journalists from La Prensa Gráfica. Investigators from the National Civil Police (PNC), agents of the Attorney General’s Office, defense attorneys and judges all have subpoenaed journalists to appear at trials and off-the-record meetings, or to be deposed as witnesses even though not one of the journalists in question was either an eye-witness or an ear-witness to any crime. Some ten journalists were summoned to appear before legal authorities and reveal the identities of their sources. In September, a reporter covering the judicial affairs beat for La Prensa Gráfica was subpoenaed to testify publicly in the trial of a dangerous gang of kidnappers and assailants known as the Tacoma Cabrera Gang; the gang leader has been sentenced to more than 200 years in prison. The judge for the First Criminal Court for Sentencing of San Salvador, Saúl Ernesto Morales, also issued a summons and threatened to have the reporter arrested and tried on criminal charges if he failed to show up to testify. The judge never gave a reason for the summons, despite repeated news media requests for an explanation. The reporter had to obey and testify in the presence of gang members, without any protection whatsoever. There is a lingering threat of aggression from leaders of the extreme-left party FMLN, who insulted reporters covering their meetings during the recent presidential campaign. FMLN Secretary General Shafick Jorge Handal filed suit against journalist Moisés Urbina of TCS, who had reported the results of a poll that was negative for Handal. Another positive development was that a libel and defamation suit against the editor-in-chief and two main editors of El Diario de Hoy was dropped and the charges shown to be spurious. The suit had been brought by a Canadian company linked in documents from the Canadian Department of Justice to mafia groups that run a solid waste treatment plant in the capital in association with city governments controlled by the FMLN. A court dismissed all charges against the journalists this past April. Several local governments controlled by the FMLN also imposed illegal levies on private radio stations by taxing radio broadcast towers operating on private property. These levies are illegal given that only the Legislative Assembly has authority to impose new taxes. Also, the local authorities did not provide any public service in return. Some political parties want to amend the existing press act, which enables newspapers to charge readers low prices by exempting the newspapers from some taxes on raw materials. The parties in question are opposition parties that see their power to change the law as a way to exert pressure on newspapers.