The social, political and economic crisis has worsened during this period, as seen in demonstrations, highway blockades in rural western areas, mobilizations and other forms of social protest, which have resulted in confrontations between campesinos and police-military forces. Given these conditions, news coverage has been at risk. Reporters have suffered physical assaults from both protesters and law enforcement officers. In the legal arena, proposals are being floated to regulate media through oversight by governmental bodies. President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada has made statements on the need for a mechanism to regulate the media through the creation of an administrative agency under government control. This proposal, which was made in a seminar on ethics in journalism, has been rejected by journalists’ unions and professional organizations, on the grounds that liberties should not be regulated by any government, since this could lead to control and censorship of the news. The authorities did not press this issue, and the administration stated that it respects and safeguards the freedom of the press. The courts have also acted in a manner suggesting the need for self censorship by the media, thereby chilling freedom of the press. A court in the city of El Alto warned the newspaper El Diario on two occasions about an allegedly biased report, and cautioned it not to conduct a parallel trial in its pages during the trial of the newspaper’s former editor, Jorge Carrasco Jahnsen, for the murder of his wife, Teresa Guzmán de Carrasco. The trial ended on October 1 in the conviction of Carrasco Jahnsen, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison with no possibility of commutation. The defense will appeal the decision to higher courts in the Bolivian justice system. The trial court, referring to El Diario in the verdict, stated that the newspaper printed misinformation on the proceedings. The newspaper denies this allegation, claiming that the information it published was objective since it presented the defense’s version of the events as well as that of the prosecution. The Court noted the following in its verdict: “… it is unquestionable that the publicity of trials through the news media is central to ensuring the rights of the parties, since it prevents secrecy from becoming the norm, it allows the public to see how the justice system functions, and it educates by example on the consequences of obeying or disobeying the law. However, this publicity should be consistent with true, transparent and unbiased information, and should not constitute a parallel trial through the assessment of evidence, for which only judges and courts are qualified. “As a result, in accordance with the order issued on July 8 of this year, the court clerk shall attach to the transcript the daily coverage of the trial published in El Diario, so that higher authorities or any citizen involved in monitoring public affairs may have access to the trial proceedings and the information published in El Diario.” The inclusion of this reference to a news outlet in a criminal trial verdict is harmful to freedom of the press and information, since the trial was conducted against the owner and not the news outlet.