In general terms, freedom of expression operates without restrictions in the Dominican Republic, although it cannot be said that this is the Dominican press’s finest hour. In recent months, two important weekly publications, the magazines Rumbo and Ahora, both of them IAPA members, were forced to close down due to the country’s economic crisis that had already caused three other newspapers to shut down: El Expreso, Última Hora and El Financiero, thus reducing the space left for pluralism of ideas and opinions. In enforcing the law on assets laundering, the authorities took over newspapers as well as television and radio stations belonging to the bankrupted Banco Intercontinental, among other properties of the bank. The long-running newspaper Listín Diario continues to be published under new management and a new editor, both appointed by the government. As in the case of the two main television stations that were taken over and the many radio stations that have met a similar fate, Listín Diario shows an evident editorial and reporting line favorable to the official policies of President Hipólito Mejía, who is seeking re-election to a second four-year term under the constitution that would start on May 16 of this year. The journalistic community has alleged that Listín Diario is able to maintain very low advertising rates only because of the financial support it receives from the government and the Central Bank. This type of bankrolling amounts to a type of “dumping that runs contrary to the independence of the print media and the economic health of the independent media and the overall freedom of the press.” In February 2004, “El Poder de la Tarde” (Afternoon Power), a political program, was cancelled from Cielo F.M., one of the radio stations that had been taken over by the government, due to its criticism of the authorities. The station manager stated that the cancellation of the program had been ordered by the President’s Press Director. In the face of widespread protests against this measure, the Vice President ordered the program reinstated, but its producers decided to move the program to an independent radio station.