The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission covering 20 years of political violence was presented on August 29. It will have great impact on the press, The chapter on the media examines how the press did its work, defined its editorial line and investigated violent events. The report also recognizes that journalists, especially in conflict zones, worked in a violent atmosphere, with intimidation campaigns and constant threats both from the terrorist groups Shining Path and the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) as well as paramilitary groups and the armed forces. The commission adds that in Ayacucho province, the hardest hit by terror, journalists suffered persecution, disappearances, kidnappings and death. Sixteen journalists were murdered. Most of them had been threatened and detained several times. The report’s conclusions about the murders of two journalists are of special interest for the Inter American Press Association’s campaign against impunity. Members of the security forces murdered Jaime Ayala Sulca, correspondent of the daily La República, and Hugo Bustíos Saavedra, correspondent of the magazine Caretas in Ayacucho. Jaime Ayala was kidnapped, then disappeared, on August 2, 1984, when he went to the Marine quarters in the stadium of Huanta, Ayacucho, on a reporting assignment. Hugo Bustíos was murdered in an ambush on November 24, 1988, after identifying himself as a journalist while traveling to cover a murder in a zone guarded by security forces near Huanta. In these cases, the commission has asked the Ombudsman’s Office to investigate and bring criminal charges in individual cases if it is appropriate and to decide on the evidence of individuals’ responsibilities that the commission has documented. During this period the press has operated freely with a wide variety of news sources and balanced reporting on events, but the oversight exercised by the many media outlets in the country has bought questions and protests from the president and various sectors of the government, which have tried to blame the press for a series of political crises. President Alejandro Toledo threatened to take legal action against the person who taped a telephone conversation he had with an adviser as well as those who broadcast it, in this case César Hildebrandt, of the television program “En la Boca del Lobo.” Toledo said this “shows that television is an exaggeration of democracy.” Congressman Jorge Mufarech, introduced a bill that would have provided for a jail term for anyone who publicized private conversations. He later withdrew it when it got little support. Finally, the report on the wiretapping of presidential communications was declared a “state secret.” This action was based on the controversial 2002 Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information, which many consider wrong. Another cause for concern was the report by Cecilia Valenzuela that journalists of the television program “La Ventana Indiscreta” had been followed. The report was based on a preliminary report of the National Intelligence Council whose director, retired admiral Alfonso Panizo, said it was part of an investigation into repeated intelligence leaks. Panizo set an important precedent when he requested a meeting with members of the Peruvian Press Council to clarify that there was no intelligence agency policy of following journalists. But a few days later the Executive Branch accepted his resignation. Another problem is the apparent inability of the judicial branch to provide the guarantees necessary for press freedom, in large part because of the high level of corruption in the system. The reorganization initiatives undertaken under the leadership of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Hugo Sivina, have not eliminated this problem. Also, the extremely slow judicial processes involving, among others, some owners of media companies who are in jail or under house arrest on charges of participating or being accomplices in corruption crimes during the Alberto Fujimori regime, are reaching the point of violating their right to due process. A case that illustrates the erratic procedures of the Judicial Branch is the conflict between two shareholders of Panamericana Televisión, Canal 5 (PANTEL), Genaro Delgado Parker and Ernesto Schutz, who are disputing the use of frequencies to broadcast their programs in Lima and the provinces. It is worth mentioning that the journalists who work or worked at Panamericana Televisión have been harmed by the instability caused when the executives pressure them to take one side or other of the dispute. In the lawsuit brought by government congressman, Jorge Muparech against the newspaper El Comerico for alleged defamation demanding arbitrary damages of $50 million, the court decided to levy a preventive attachment on the defendants’ assets without setting an amount. This unusual procedure threatens the press because it puts the paper’s survival at risk. The PANTEL case and the confusing actions of the courts and regulatory agencies in the case of América Televisión Canal 4 also brought increased requests from various sides for Congress to renew the debate over a new Radio and Television Law to regulate the work of the broadcast media. The Transportation and Communications Committee of Congress is considering the bill and is currently receiving proposals. Finally, isolated reports of threats against journalists in Cuzco and the kidnapping of a relative of a radio journalist in Huancayo could be an indication of growing intolerance of the press by authorities and interest groups in the interior of the country. The most important events follow: -On June 19, the Peruvian government asked the Chilean government for the fourth time to extradite Argentine publicist Daniel Borobio, because of his participation in the campaign to discredit journalists and opposition politicians in several media outlets during the Fujimori regime. Borobio is sought by Peruvian authorities in five cases for the crimes of embezzlement, influence peddling and illicit association. -On June 25, radio reporter Néstor Puicón Ramos, director and anchor of the program “Foro Radial” of Radio Señorial, in Huancayo, requested personal protection from the provincial office of the National Police after reporting that his 23-year-old daughter, Ana Raquel Puicón González, had been kidnapped on June 20. Three unknown people intercepted Ana Puicón as she was going home from the university and took her away in a vehicle, warning her that her life would be in danger because of her father’s journalistic work. -Luis Mamani Huilca and Gluder Valdez Manrique, of Radio Sicuani of Cuzco, reported that they have been receiving anonymous threats since February because of their journalistic reports about the management of Sicuani Mayor Ricardo Cornejo Sánchez. -On August 4, former foreign minister Diego García Sayán filed a $1 million defamation lawsuit in Lima against executives of the daily La Razón. García Sayán said he was the target of a journalistic campaign because he had “called a meeting with terrorist leaders detained in the Callao naval base and promoted a more flexible prison system.” -On August 10, the anti-corruption prosecutor, Ronald Gamarra said that publicist Augusto Bresani León could be charged with embezzlement if it were proved that he had used state funds to finance a campaign to discredit opposition politicians and journalists in coordination with Vladimiro Montesinos. He also formally asked the United States to extradite Bresani’s son, Giancarlo Bresani Mier y Terán, who is in custody in California. An arrest warrant has been issued for him for complicity in embezzlement as the link between his father and the owners of sensationalistic newspapers. -On August 14, a criminal court in Lima overruled the injunction requested by a member of the terrorist group Shining Path against executives of the dailies Correo and Ojo, Juan Carlos Tafur and Carlos Manrique Negrón, respectively. The injunction was to prevent Correo from reporting on the group’s activities. -On August 28, the former owners of América Televisión, Canal 4, Enrique and Francisco Crousillat, on trial for accepting bribes, influence peddling and illicit association, appeared at a court in Buenos Aires for a hearing on Peru’s extradition request. -On August 28, the congressional Transportation and Communications Committee began to debate the proposed Radio and Television Law. The committee chairman, Congressman Mario Ochoa, said they would request proposals from citizens, civic organizations and business. -The special criminal anti-corruption court ordered the release of Vicente Silva Checa, former executive of Cable Canal de Noticias, who is on trial for paying two secretaries of CCN-Canal 10 with funds from the now disbanded National Intelligence Service. However, Silva is still in custody in San Jorge prison because of an existing detention order in his trial for participation in the sale of the cable channel. This trial also involves the former editor of the daily Expreso, Eduardo Calmell del Solar, and the former president of the military justice system, retired general Luis Delgado Arenas. -On September 12, anti-corruption Judge Sara Mayta denied a preliminary plea bargain agreement presented by Mendel and Samuel Winter, who had been accused of embezzlement and illicit association. The judge said that shares of Frecuencia Latina cannot be considered a guarantee of payment of reparations and that the two businessmen’s statements were neither useful nor relevant. Anti-corruption prosecutor Oscar Cevallo had asked a five-year prison sentence for the Witners and payment of $4 million in reparations to the state. -On September 13, the criminal branch of the Supreme Court upheld the nationwide arrest warrant against writer and journalist Álvaro Vargas Llosa. At the beginning of 2002 Judge Guido Vera of a Lima court ordered that Álvaro Vargas Llosa be detained by force if necessary because he had not responded to earlier subpoenas in a lawsuit for defamation and insult brought by Adam Pollack, a businessman who is a close friend of President Alejandro Toledo. Vargas Llosa had reported alleged irregularities in the Peruvian government’s negotiations for a military procurement contract. On July 25, 2002, an arrest warrant was issued for Álvaro Vargas Llosa, who was declared in contempt. Vargas Llosa, who lives abroad, said in his defense that he is being persecuted for his political beliefs and denounced what he called irregularities in the judicial actions against him. -On September 18, Congressman Jorge Mero reported that journalists covering Congress were being followed on orders of Carlos Chuiman, press officer of the legislature, and John Steinman, chief of internal security. The legislator said he had information that the two officials had asked for the files of journalists accredited to Congress to look into their criminal and judicial records. -On October 7, as part of an investigative report by El Comercio of Lima published in 2002, serious questions were raised about the possible undervaluation of a luxury vehicle imported to Peru from Chile by government party Congressman Jorge Mufarech Nemy. Instead of denying testimony and evidence gathered during the investigation, the congressman chose to threaten the newspaper and sue its editors (Alejandro Miró Quesada Garland and Alejandro Miró Quesada Cisneros) and the journalists responsible for the investigation for defamation demanding an arbitrary damages award of $50 million. The case was reported to the IAPA at the General Assembly in San Salvador in March. In a decision that has caused concern, the court hearing the case chose to levy an attachment on the defendants’ assets without setting an exact amount, which is a serious threat to press freedom because it puts the newspaper’s survival at risk.