Laws remain on the books that prevent the exercise of freedom of the press and information. In the run-up to elections on October 20 new legislation went into effect, titled the Law on Control of Campaign Expenses and Propaganda, that runs counter to press freedom and imposes financial burdens on the media. The law prohibits publication of opinion polls in the 15 days before elections and exit polls, the only information allowed to be published being whatever the Supreme Electoral Council issues officially. In addition, limits are set on how much candidates may spend in their campaigns. For example, a presidential candidate’s expenses are capped at $1 million. This has an impact on the media, as in practice of all the tools used by candidates they are virtually the only ones that issue receipts and thus are subject to control. In this way, the media are prevented from selling advertising space freely in the market. The law provides for sanctions against the news media, but not non-compliant candidates. On April 22, a request by congressman Fernando Rosero to file both a criminal and a civil libel suit against the managing editor of the Guayaquil newspaper Expreso, Jorge Vivanco was refused. The request arose from publication by Vivanco in 2001 of an article referring to statements alleged to have been made by the legislator. On June 25, the legislature accepted objections by the Ecuadorean Association of Newspaper Publishers and deleted from a bill for a Law on Childhood and Adolescence provisions that the Association had seen as a serious threat to press freedom. On September 23, the Armed Forces asked the media to publish free of charge announcements about the military draft. Some published the announcements, others did not. Despite the fact that under the law media must publish “information” about conscription, the Armed Forces command insists that advertisements must also be published. Manuel Echeverría, a reporter for the Ecuavisa television station, died alongside a police officer friend of his on October 10 after the two drank a glass of poisoned whiskey at the reporter’s home. The origin of the poison remains unknown. On September 30, The Ecuadorean Association of Newspaper Publishers handed the president a bill for a Law on Dissemination and Access to Public Records, which seeks to put into practice the principle of transparency in government. The president pledged to support the bill.