The most significant developments in reports to the IAPA during the last 10 years included guilty verdicts against journalists under libel laws covering defamation and insults, arrests without prior notice for allegedly disrespecting authorities, official barriers to freedom of information and the use of government advertising to award or punish the media. Significant progress has been registered during the past six months. The new administration repealed the Law on Transparency regulations in its first day in office. These regulations held that freedom of information petitioners had to be the interested party, and that the government authority receiving the petition had discretionary powers to decide whether the petitioner was in fact the interested party. The latest constitutional amendments repealed the article that served as the basis for "contempt of court" warrants. Article 33 authorized any duly authorized government official to punish, without trial, any person they felt had disrespected them. Articles 42 and 43 of the constitutional amendments also created regulations enabling freedom of information access to personnel information contained in government or private databases, and compel corrections, protection or non-disclosure. The government has promised to repeal other legal statutes restricting press freedoms. A bill, not introduced by the governing party and approved in the first round of legislative debate, would decriminalize libel but only in cases of government or public officials. This bill also aims to regulate government advertising using objective competitive criteria. Meanwhile, there remain largely criminal statutes on the books that seriously undermine freedom of speech. The legislature is also considering a bill which would establish qualifications for journalists and others working in the media, which we hope will fail. José Antonio Sossa, while working as prosecutor, filed an appeal on constitutional grounds to overturn pardons of journalists, which may reinstate dozens of cases and convictions against them. The journalists include a number of plaintiffs sued by Sossa. Statistics provided by the Human Rights Rapporteur for the Ombudsman of Panama indicate that there are at least 30 journalists not covered by the pardons, and whose cases remain pending. That said, the new prosecutor, Ana Matilde Gómez, has stated that the Office of the Prosecutor will drop the charges against the journalists, in order to focus its efforts on street crime and corruption. A ruling by the Office of the Prosecutor holding that public notaries are solely authorized to provide information about net worth statements by high-ranking government figures to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and not to the public, marked a clear setback. The net worth of high-ranking officials will remain secret.