It is clear that the press is free in Peru because of the many types of coverage and the presence of many media outlets which express, from differing points of view, the climate in which Peru’s restored democracy is developing. On February 4, the executive branch promulgated a regulation modifying the Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information which had sparked IAPA protests when it was implemented initially in August 2002. The amended version of the law now includes almost all the proposals of the Peruvian Press Council and the Ombudsman’s Office concerning national security restrictions and officials’ responsibility. Destruction of state information is prohibited and time limits are set for the government to fulfill citizens’ requests for information. On the other hand, it is worrisome that the executive branch, using its powers to amend anti-terrorist legislation, approved a decree governing the nullification of treason trials and journalistic coverage of them. The decree published in the official gazette, El Peruano, on February 12, provides that since trials must be public, or they will be nullified, “bringing in or using video cameras, audio recorders, camera or other similar technical equipment” is not permitted. This provision violates Article 215 of the Code of Criminal Procedures which says the judge must decide whether journalists’ equipment may be admitted and used at trials. In light of the changes in the shareholders and managements of the broadcast television channels Canal 4, América Televisión, and Canal 5, Panamericana Televisión, sectors critical of the government warned of alleged government intervention to promote a favorable editorial line. In the case of Canal 4, a business group made up of the El Comercio group, República de Perú group and Grupo Caracol of Colombia, merged in the new company Plural TV, acquired most of the debts of the insolvent Canal 4 de Televisión, which were held by private companies, with the intention of directing its financial turnaround. In the case of Canal 5, on February 21, after one year and two months of litigation, a Lima judge approved an order reinstating Genaro Delgado Parker as manager of Panamericana Televisión and Grupo Pantel and suspending the shareholders’ rights of Ernesto Schutz Landázuri, his relatives and other minority shareholders. The congressional oversight committee summoned César Almeyda Tasayco, the ex-president of the National Institute to Defend Competition and Protect Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) and now president of the National Intelligence Center, to answer questions about newspaper stories that linked him to conversations with former executives of Canal 5. Tasayco, a friend and lawyer of President Toledo, was asked whether he had offered protection to the former executives in exchange for favorable press coverage of the government. In October, Congressman Jorge Mufarech filed a lawsuit against the daily El Comercio, alleging that the newspaper had damaged his good name by publishing an investigation of irregularities in the alleged importation of a Jaguar from Chile in March 1997. The $50 million lawsuit, which also names the paper’s editor, Alejandro Miró Quesada Cisneros, was accepted by a criminal court in Lima and is being tried. Mufarech also sued the editor of the daily La Razón, Guillermo Thorndike saying the paper had altered a photograph of him to damage his image. The suit was accepted by a criminal court in Lima. On January 23, publicist Augusto Bresani León, named as the ex-press secretary of Vladimir Montesinos, arrived in Lima after being expelled from the United States. Bresani, who was detained by Peruvian authorities, has been accused of receiving $100,000 from the Intelligence Service to distribute among the so-called chicha newspapers in exchange for the publication of headlines favoring the reelection of Alberto Fujimori and libeling opposition politicians and the independent press. Upon arrival in Lima, Bresani offered to cooperate in the investigation and accused several journalists of receiving money to support the “dirty war” against opponents of the government. On February 10, after four years of litigation, a Lima court decided to overturn the lawsuit the company Alliance S.A.C., owned by the fugitive former executive of ATV Canal 9, Julio Vera Abad, had brought against journalist César Hildebrandt. The company asked for damages of $250,000 for alleged breach of contract between the journalist and the TV channel. Abad appears in one of the notorious videotapes made by Montesinos in 1998 at National Intelligence Service headquarters. It shows a conversation in which he and Montesinos agree to use the courts to harm Hildebrandt. On March 2, an anti-corruption court, headed by Inés Villa Bonilla, authorized the extension of the detention of Samuel and Mendel Winter by 36 months. The shareholders of the television station Frecuencia Latina, Canal 2 are on trial for alleged embezzlement and criminal conspiracy and links to the government of Alberto Fujimori. The businessmen are being held in Miguel Castro Castro and San Jorge jails, respectively. The following is a chronological list of other events concerning press freedom: On November 3, police officers of Trujillo and Tumbes detained Roberto Villacorta Cortina, an alleged terrorist implicated in the murder of Todd Smith, a North American journalist of the Tampa Tribune. Smith was found dead with signs of torture in November 1989 in Uchiza. He had been investigating ties between drug traffickers and the Peruvian armed forces in that area. On December 17, during the 15th birthday party for Zarai Toledo, second daughter of President Alejandro Toledo, in Los Portales Hotel in Piura, Miguel Ciccia, a former congressman, attacked Paola Ugaz and Marcos Sifuentes, journalists of the program Entre Lineas which is broadcast on Canal N television. He smashed their video camera to the floor. On January 29, seven journalists were attacked by members of a construction union federation while covering a protest mach in Lima’s Plaza 2 de Mayo. They are Lan Ortiz and Santiago Bravo of the daily Peru 21, Ismael Tasayco and Iván Ahumada of Red Global de Televisión, Rosario Rengifo of America Televisión, Marcos Rojas of the daily La República and Jaime Razuri of Agence France-Presse. The demonstrators hit the journalists with metal rods and sticks. On January 26, Carlos Iván Degregori, a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said that even 20 years after the killing of eight journalists in Uchuraccay, in Ayacucho province, the statute of limitations has not run out. He said it is still possible to reopen the case if new evidence is found. The commission is analyzing the file of the killings of Jorge Luis Mendivil and Willy Retto of the daily El Observador, Eduardo de la Pinella and Pedro Sánchez of the daily Marka; Jorge Sedano of the daily La República, and Amador García of the magazine Oiga; as well as correspondents Félix Gavilán and Octavio Infante on January 26, 1983. On February 8, Interpol informed Anti-corruption Judge Sara Mayta Dorregaray, that the former president of Andina de Televisión (ATV Canal 9), Julio Vera Abad, who is accused of having benefited illegally from his association with former presidential adviser Vladimiro Montesinos, was in Miami. The judge asked the chief judge of the Lima Court Víctor Raúl Mansilla to request that he be held for extradition as a fugitive from justice in Peru. On February 10, Judge Magali Bascones ordered the preventive attachment of up to 30 million soles of the assets of the owners of the newspaper La Razón, Alex Wolfenson Woloch and former congressman Moisés Wolfenson Woloch to ensure the satisfaction of a judgment. The Wolfensons are under house arrest during their trial for alleged complicity and embezzlement. The prosecutor’s office alleges that the Wolfenson brothers coordinated articles favorable to Fujimori’s election campaign in the newspapers El Chino and El Men, published by the Wolfensons’ company Editora Sport directly with Montesinos.