In this period there have been several incidents that have restricted journalistic activity. Among the most significant events are the following: the newspaper El Vocero reported that the Puerto Rican Police Chief was “checking” telephone calls from reporters covering the police department to senior officers who might be “leaking” information to the press; a federal judge ordered local television stations to provide the defendants with copies of videotapes of a riot that occurred on May 1, 2003, during the transfer of land used by the U.S. Navy on the island of Vieques to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service; the Organization of Independent Communicators and Journalists (OCPI) drafted a resolution requesting that the Puerto Rican government discontinue its practice of certifying journalists through the State Department and that it leave this task to news companies and journalists’ organizations. The producers of the theater revue show “Naked Guys Singing” won a court battle to present the show in the historical Tapia Theater in Old San Juan, after the municipality of San Juan cancelled the show in spite of a contract between the parties. There are still lawsuits pending against the municipality in state and federal court. The Organization of Independent Communicators and Journalists of Puerto Rico Inc. (OCPI) drafted a resolution asking the Puerto Rican government to end the practice of certifying journalists through the State Department and to leave that responsibility to news companies and journalists’ organizations in the country. The resolution states that the government frequently accredits people outside the profession and that this practice lends itself to many irregularities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the purchase of Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., which owns WKAQ-Radio Reloj and KQ-105 in Puerto Rico, by Univision Communications Inc., which owns Canal 11 in Puerto Rico. The merger has caused a great deal of controversy due to the size of the two companies, with some fearing that it would create a news monopoly and limit the options of the Hispanic community. A federal judge ordered local television stations to provide the 12 defendants with copies of the videotapes taken at a riot on the morning of May 1, 2003, at which U.S. government property was destroyed during the transfer of lands used by the U.S. Navy on the island of Vieques to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency. Miguel Pomales and Denise Rivera Bello, photojournalists with Univisión Puerto Rico, were subpoenaed by the judge to authenticate the videotapes. Other photojournalists at the Telemundo network, as well as one who works for Univisión in New York, were subpoenaed but did not appear in court. Judge Carlos Cabán García set for trial on January 14, 2004 the case of a protest outside the Office for the Protection of Women (OPM) that degenerated into a riot, involving four leaders of the New Progressive Party (PNP). The Telemundo (Canal 2), Univisión Puerto Rico (Canal 11) and Televicentro (Canal 4) networks were forced to turn over the raw video footage of the incident. Federal Judge José A. Fusté set aside a lawsuit against journalist Francisco Ojeda and El Mundo Broadcasting, former owners of WKAQ Radio Reloj, filed by Bernardo Vázquez Santos, the ex-attorney of former Governor Pedro Rosselló. Vázquez Santos had filed the lawsuit because Ojeda had recorded a conversation without notifying him. In early April, Puerto Rican police officers guarding the perimeter around Navy lands on Vieques assaulted Javier Freytes, a photojournalist with El Vocero, and Papulín Mullet, a reporter for Cadena Radio Puerto Rico 740 AM, who were covering an incident between opponents of the Navy and members of the pro-statehood group Renacer Estadista. The Navy videotaped photojournalists Javier Araujo of El Nuevo Día and Dennis Jones of El Vocero and threw tear gas canisters at the protesters, which also affected the reporters and forced some of them to seek medical attention. Federal District Judge Carmen Vargas de Cerezo denied the petition filed by the newspaper The San Juan Star — on behalf of its reporters Martin Gerard Delfin y Douglas Zher — seeking access to the transcripts and recordings sealed by the Federal Court in relation to the case of the former speaker of the Puerto Rican House of Representatives, Edison Misla Aldarondo. The former representative is charged with money laundering, influence peddling and interfering with the proceedings for the appointment of a federal prosecutor. Currently under consideration in the Puerto Rican legislature are the following bills, which should they become law might affect press freedom and accessibility of information: - Senate Bill 1599 – Public Information Accessibility Act (a Puerto Rican FOIA), submitted by Senator José Ortiz Daliot of the Popular Democratic Party, awaits public hearings in the Government Committee. The bill contains sections that might allow government agencies to drag their feet in providing access to public documents, and that might establish an inappropriate distinction between access for the press and for the average citizen. - A bill that would restore the access of the press to court records on divorces and other family matters is still stalled in the Puerto Rican Senate. - A series of anti-pornography measures are under consideration in the Puerto Rican Senate regarding television broadcasts and movie theater screenings of pornographic films or suggestive dances called “perreo,” some of which have involved the use of minors.