The Law to Establish the Journalists' Colegio of Nicaragua (obligatory licensing), a violation of Principle 8 of the Declaration of Chapultepec, was promulgated on April 16, 2001, but has not yet been implemented because of disagreement between the two journalists' organizations. Under the law, they must agree on naming the leaders of the colegio. The appeal of the constitutionality of this law, brought before the Supreme Court on June 6, 2001, has not yet been decided. Under Law 49 (On Appeals), which regulates constitutional appeals, the court should have ruled definitively within 60 days of receiving the case. More than 200 days have now passed. Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolaños, who took office January 10, signed the Declaration of Chapultepec when he was a candidate. Bolaños, nominated by the same Liberal Party as his predecessor, Arnoldo Alemán, announced that his policies on the media and placement of government advertising would be fair and nothing like those of the former president. The new government announced that it will end the policies of "awards and punishments" that earlier administrations had used in placement of government advertising, and advertising will be placed according to readership surveys and circulation. The government-owned television and radio stations will be used for cultural purposes and not partisan political programs. President Bolaños will not be accessible to reporters everywhere, but he will hold a formal news conference every month. Communication between the office of the president and journalists will be handled by the Press Office which will also coordinate all government communication. It was announced that Bolaños will support the Access to Information Law. The government press secretary, Alejandro Fiallos, said the newspaper La Noticia, is not property of the government. He disclosed that he is a stockholder in the newspaper and, as such, he believes that La Noticia should be closed because its circulation is low and it is not profitable. The newspaper and other media outlets that support the Liberal Constitutionalist Party of former President Arnoldo Alemán reacted to his statements by accusing the Bolaños government of threatening press freedom. On Nicaraguan Journalists Day (March 1), President Bolaños reiterated that government advertising will be distributed fairly. He added and that the government is evaluating placement of advertising, because, "we have had many pleasant surprises and other unpleasant ones when we saw some management disarray, not just in advertising accounts, but in other things." Bolaños added that one agency had $250,000 in monthly advertising expenses and when all the irregularities have been uncovered, they will be made public. After the elections on November 4, 2001, Alemán announced that as a legislator he would sponsor a series of laws, one of which would be intended to prevent, in his words, "monopolies in the media." On November 12, Alemán said he favored this "anti-monopoly" law and would propose changes to eliminate constitutional exemptions for the media. Liberal legislator Eliseo Núñez said he had prepared a bill to prevent "mega communication" companies from absorbing Nicaraguan media outlets and "controlling thought." Most media representatives reacted negatively to this proposal, and finally the Liberal Party's executive committee, ordered Núñez not to present it. On December 3, several Liberal legislators presented a proposed Law of Restrictions on Pornographic Publications. Although a law against pornography would not violate press freedom, the proposed law would give a Government Ministry committee authority to restrict and punish publication of what it considers pornographic or violent, giving that committee too much discretion. The law also authorizes the closing of a written publication's pornography sections if an offense recurs. This law has not yet been presented to the full National Assembly Radio commentator Emilio Núñez was dismissed from a program he ran on Radio Corporación by the stockholder and manger Fabio Gadea Mantilla after Núñez reported an alleged government plan to force the company's journalists into submission with an economic stranglehold. President Bolaños said he had nothing to do with the case and said he would adhere to the Declaration of Chapultepec in placement of government advertising. With respect to this case, government spokesman Joel Gutiérrez said plans for placement of government advertising are being drawn up. During one of his customary weekly news conferences, former president Alemán verbally attacked Claudia Sirias of Canal Dos de TV, and told journalist Vilma Areas, who questioned his disrespectful treatment of Sirias, to "go to hell." Most of the journalists left the news conference, but, ironically, Alemán called a special session of the National Assembly to celebrate Journalists Day, March 1. The Journalists Union deplored and condemned Alemán's attitude and urged journalists not to attend. On February 28, the day of the special session, journalists protested with banners and T-shirts carrying slogans alluding to Alemán's mistreatment of several journalists. A new Criminal Code is being debated and, according to jurist Sergio Cuaresma, it could threaten press freedom. He referred specifically to the fact that the new code would retain the crime of libel while in reality these legal concepts should be civil matters. The new code also has provisions to punish those who obtain and publicize documents directed to others, which would be a fundamental limitation on press freedom, and especially investigative journalism. The new code excludes the concept of co authorship in media that publish libelous material, and establishes that "criticism" of officials and their actions in office will not be considered libelous. However, it is not clear what "criticism" means. The newspaper La Nación reported on Tuesday, March 5, 2002, alleged discrimination against it in the placement of government advertising. The newspaper alleged that on Journalists' Day, La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario received ads congratulating journalists of 90 column inches each, while La Noticia received the same ad reduced to 30 column inches. Surveys by the Nicaraguan Advertising Agency Organization also show that La Noticia's circulation is less than 3% of that of the other publications. The newspaper said that in February the trend was for La Prensa to receive two pages of government ads each day and El Nuevo Diario received one page, but La Noticia received just half a page. President Bolaños said advertising would be granted according to readership studies and circulation. On March 13 Octavio Sacasa, news director and general manger of Canal 2 de Televisión, was summoned by the national police to make a statement concerning a charge by former president Arnoldo Alemán that Sacasa allegedly had threatened him with death. Alemán routinely accuses media outlets that published reports on corruption in his administration of being part of an alleged plot against him. Octavio Sacasa emphatically denied Alemán's charge and, in turn, accused the former president of trying to intimidate the media to prevent further reporting on corruption. This case is still pending, and it is up to the police to decide whether to dismiss Alemán's charge as frivolous and unsubstantiated, or to pass it on to the courts.