The independent press constantly defends freedom of information because of the attitudes of a government that does not tolerate criticism, and especially newspaper reports of corruption. During this period the most notable event has been the effort to control the press with a bill proposing obligatory licensing for all professionals, including journalists. The Association of Guatemalan Journalists (APG) and the newspapers' lawyers have challenged it in the Constitutional Court. The appeals emphasize that the law, which is backed by a wide majority in the ruling party, contradicts Article 35 of the Constitution, which guarantees the practice of journalism "without permission or a license." The court has ruled temporarily in favor of the journalists, but a final decision has not yet been handed down. The independent press has said it will not accept obligatory licensing of journalists and is ready to fight it in the courts both in the country and abroad. This effort to control the press comes on top of a continuous effort to limit information from government agencies, particularly with respect to cases of corruption involving high-level government officials including President Alfonso Portillo and Vice President Francisco Reyes López. Another legislative issue of concern is a bill sponsored by the ruling party's congressional delegation to change the Criminal Code to provide punishment for any publication, newspaper, book or broadcast outlet that include "obscene content." This not only violates Article 35 of the Constitution, but is an obvious effort to begin to interfere in the content of the media. A typical case of a crime against a journalist is the murder of Jorge Mynor Alegría Almendáriz, who was shot to death on September 6, 2001, in Puerto Barrios, 300 kilometers north of Guatemala City. The human rights prosecutor, Julio Arango, issued a decision saying that the murder was politically motivated to silence the journalist. The official versions try to treat the case as an ordinary crime, but despite that, there have been reports of pressure and threats against key witnesses, which confirms that Alegría was killed for reports about corruption on his radio program "Linea Directa." The program ended after his death. The APG also reported attacks and efforts to intimidate several journalists, including photographer José Pelicó Pérez of the news agency Cerigua; Deccio Serrano of Nuestro Diario; and Nery de la Cruz of Radio Sonora. All were attacked in public. In the case of Prensa Libre, columnist Enrique Sam Colop, who defends the rights of indigenous people, has received strong racist threats by e-mail, at his home and by telephone. The government of President Alfonso Portillo made a commitment in September to an IAPA mission to end the television monopoly which had attacked the written press last year. Portillo announced that the two channels held by the state would be put up for sale in December, but one would have to carry cultural broadcasts. So far this commitment has not been fulfilled. It appears that only Canal 5 will be offered for sale, but not as a commercial channel that will compete with the four that make up the monopoly. It is to be handed over to a nongovernmental organization. On a positive note, another IAPA mission met on December 7 with the national prosecutor Adolfo Rodas, who at the request of the IAPA-and after more than 20 years-reopened the case of journalist Irma Flaquer, naming a special prosecutor.