There has been a series of serious attacks against journalists and news companies, including the murder of reporter Gregorio Rodríguez Hernández. This brings to four the number of attacks against Mexican journalists in the past year. Rodríguez Hernández, a correspondent of the newspaper chain El Debate, was killed November 28 in the port Mazatlán, Sinaloa, in the northwestern part of the country. He was shot to death while dining with his wife and two children. A few weeks later the police arrested Ulises and Ernesto Sedano Ornelas on charges of having participated in the attack. However, a local judge declined to issue an arrest warrant for Antonio Ocampo, the alleged mastermind. Ocampo is considered the head of a group of drug traffickers in that region. The Sinaloa prosecutor's office indicated that the journalist, who usually worked as a photographer, had published photographs showing Antonio Ocampo at a social event with police chiefs from the region in the city of Escuinapa in the same state. In Acapulco, Guerrero, editor Leodegario Aguilera Lucas was kidnapped on May 22, 2004, and has not been seen since. The local police claimed they had found the journalist's remains, but this could not be proved by DNA testing. The investigation into Aguilera's kidnapping is effectively at a standstill. On December 15, three people arrived at the home of Juan Torres, a correspondent for the daily Noroeste in Secuinapa, Sinaloa, and made death threats against him. The newspaper reported that the authorities had given protection to Torres. Oscar Fidel González, the state prosecutor, said he suspected that the death threats were related to the murder of photographer Gregorio Rodríguez Hernández. Drug trafficking is still a major factor threatening the rule of law and practice of journalism. In Sinaloa close to 500 people are shot to death each year. According to official estimates, 80 percent of these deaths are executions ordered by drug traffickers. There are frequent reports of threats?in person and by telephone?against journalists, especially in the northern part of the country. They are attributed to drug trafficking gangs. There have been reports recently that journalists in the northern state Tamaulipas have been kidnapped briefly by drug traffickers who warn them not to publish news about their activities or send threats to their publishers. Two of the four journalists murdered in the past year worked in Tamaulipas state. The IAPA is participating in efforts to review the court files in the cases of journalists Victor Manuel Oropeza and Héctor Félix Miranda. On November 28, executives of the daily Noticias of Oaxaca reported an attack on press freedom. A group of alleged farmers invaded the site of the newspaper's warehouses and a 19-year-old was killed. The state prosecutor intervened in the case. On December 1, merchants under the protection of the Crime Prevention Police invaded the site. On January 12, the IAPA asked the Government Affairs Ministry to investigate promptly the report by the daily Noticias of Oaxaca regarding alleged pressure from state officials in reprisals for its editorial position. On November 29, 2004, IAPA expressed its concern about proposed amendments to the Law of Radio and Television that, in the IAPA's view, contained precepts that threatened press freedom. In response, the legislators who sponsored the amendment removed the parts the IAPA objected to. Jorge Cardona of the Televisa chain in Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, was attacked on February 7, but was not injured. At the beginning of this year, representatives of the San Antonio Express News distributed posters in the state of Jalisco with photographs of two Indians, Miguel Hernández de la Cruz and Juan Chivarra de la Cruz , who were accused of killing the U.S. journalist Philip True in 1998. In April of 2004, a state judge found them guilty and sentenced them to 20 years in prison, but they are still at large. Last November 2, Víctor Ulín Fernández, a reporter and columnist for the newspaper La Verdad del Sureste , was attacked. His car was stolen and he was threatened with death at gunpoint in front of his residence. The attackers forced him into his car and tortured him physically and psychologically, then dropped him off. Ulín Fernández writes a column called ?Sender Unknown? and is known for his opposition to Governor Manuel Andrade. On November 17 the newly elected local legislator Saúl Rubio Ayala incited his sympathizers to physically and verbally attack the journalists Resina Ávila and Alonso Sánchez of the newspaper El Debate of Guasave, Sinaloa. They needed protection to leave the place. Rubio Ayala criticized articles in the newspaper, insulted the two journalists and burned copes of the paper.