The traditional respect for press freedom in Ecuador has stumbled. After the government decreed a state of emergency in Orellana and Sucumbios provinces, it temporarily suspended news programs of four radio stations in the city of Orellana. During this period, press freedom was threatened by censorship of radio broadcasts, a bill about to become law that would require the media to "establish and maintain on a regular basis space for to children and teenagers which advance their rights and responsibilities," and an effort to implement obligatory licensing. On December 14, 2001, the navy refused to allow reporters to cover a military ceremony. This happened during the week that a dispute broke out over a reported overcharge on insurance for Ecuadorean air force airplanes. Five days later the navy commander apologized publicly. In January the navy threatened Capt. Rogelio Viteri, who had reported the alleged overcharge, with drastic punishment if he continued to talk to reporters about the case. Viteri had already been punished with a five-day "disciplinary arrest" for doing so. The information Capt. Viteri has is essential in the insurance case. On January 18, 2002, an example occurred of the use of Article 81 of the Constitution, which says the media must participate in education and in preserving ethical values. Legislator Cecilia Calderón, president of the Committee for Woman, Children, Youth and Family, asked the ombudsman to "use its constitutional and legal authority to make sure that the media abstain from programming that threatens the dignity, respect, identity and personhood of boys, girls and adolescents." She was referring to a television program called "Maritere en Ecuador," and she warned about the availability of "newspapers that show situations of high social, criminal and moral conflict that cause great harm to the judgment of adults, not to mention to the developing minds of children and youth." She did not say what media outlet or outlets she was referring to. Two cases-one criminal and one civil-brought by Fernando Rosero, a legislator of the Ecuadorean Roldoist Party (PRE) against Jorge Vivanco Mendieta, the managing editor of the Guayaquil newspaper Expreso, had two different outcomes. Rosero, a supporter of former president Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz, brought two cases against Vivanco in July, 2001. One was a criminal charge of alleged libel and offense against his good name, and the second was a civil suit asking $1 million in damages. Vivanco had written an article in Expreso, on June 15 of that year with the headline "The generals do not defend themselves." He referred to a statement by the legislator that the military men who had participated in an arms purchase during the fighting with Peru in 1995 were "trash collectors." In the civil case, Judge José Rendón Alvarado ruled in favor of Vivanco, saying the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence. The legislator appealed the ruling. The criminal case is still in the evidence-gathering phase. According to Vivanco, he has presented his evidence against the charge for study. On February 26, the Ecuadorean president declared a state of emergency in Sucumbios and Orellana provinces, on the border with Colombia, because of the war in that country and local anti-government protests. The measure included suspension of press freedom. On February 27, the radio stations La Jungla, Cumaná, Musical and Alegría were ordered to stop broadcasting until the state of emergency ended. The order was enforced by the military, representing the president. The government said the stations were closed for "inciting violence and broadcasting messages against the emergency decree." The owner of radio station La Jungla, however, said it was only reporting what was happening in the streets. That radio station was off the air for three days. The other three just broadcast music. Journalistic organizations of Azuay province presented to the president of the National Congress a bill to defend Ecuadorean journalists and professional communicators. The bill would establish obligatory licensing. It would also create several bureaucratic institutions to regulate journalism. This institution would be "autonomous," because it would be financed by a special 1% tax on advertising. This bill proposes that all journalists sign their work with the number of a license issued by the colegio and that public institutions' press releases and everything published in the media, including Internet pages, be produced solely by those who are licensed. The Congress now has before it the bill on a Children's and Teenagers' Code which was passed in the first stage of the approval process. Among other things, it includes the following requirements for the media. "Establish and provide on a regular basis space for boys, girls and teenagers, which advances their rights and responsibilities and meets their developmental needs and need for information." "In places where the majority of the population is indigenous, include programming in their language. "Establish special space and languages to meet the communication needs of boys, girls and teenagers with disabilities." "Provide space free of charge for the publication of court orders and administrative directives, as well as announcements placed by institutions or individuals to locate boys, girls, teenagers, parents or relatives." "Offer programming that educates, entertains and informs boys, girls and teenagers during family viewing time." This code is about to be approved in its second reading.