Congress approved the Freedom of Information Law. However, there were also acts of violence against journalists, including one killing. On September 23, legislators unanimously approved the law, which goes into effect in January, 2009 and will allow citizens to request and receive information about public institutions. On April 1 and after signing the Declaration of Chapultepec, President Alvaro Colom committed to the passage of a freedom of information law during his term. Attacks against journalists continued and peaked with the killing of Jorge Mérida Pérez, a correspondent of Prensa Libre in Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango province (or department) on May 10. The journalist, who was 40, was killed in his home in the El Rosario neighbourhood by a person who came into his house and shot him four times in the face. Mérida Pérez fell in front of his computer while writing a news story. For now it is believed that he was killed because of his work. On August 21, two employees of elPeriódico were attacked in less than 24 hours. José Rubén Zamora, the publisher, was kidnapped early in the morning. He was beaten and his credit cards and cell phone were stolen. Eight hours later he was dropped off, with almost no vital signs, in Chimaltenango province. A medical examination showed a high dose of barbiturates in his system. Reporter Óscar Ismatul, a member of the investigative team at elPeriódico, was trailed after he left the paper by a vehicle with three heavily armed men inside. Ismatul got on a bus to escape, but when he got off, the unknown people beat him, pointed a gun at him, and stole his telephone and documents related to his work. On July 18 and 19, Oscar Perdomo, correspondent of Emisoras Unidas in Suchitepéquez province, was threatened three times. Anonymous messages warned him that he should stop reporting about the management of the municipality of Mazatenango. Danilo López, a correspondent of Prensa Libre was also threatened in Suchitepéquez. According to López, the former governor Leonor Toledo called his cell phone to complain about a July 18 news story about the reasons for her dismissal from her public position. She told him that if he continued following the story she would take actions against him. On June 27, Byron Barrera of Siglo XXI was attacked by agents of the Administrative and Security Agency as he tried to take photographs of the armored car of Vice President Rafael Espada. The journalist said he was insulted, beaten and his recorder and camera were taken. In August, the Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against Journalists said that so far this year it had received 60 reports of attacks and threats against journalists ranging from death threats, anonymous telephone calls and direct attacks to conflicts with security forces. It stressed that the most serious attacks occurred outside the capital. The mayor, and former president, Álvaro Arzú, whose party opposed the freedom of information law, is conducting a public campaign to discredit the newspapers elPeriódico and Prensa Libre. In the case of elPeriódico, he is asking ambassadors and officials to cut funds for the newspaper’s programs promoting citizens´ participation in journalism. In the case of Prensa Libre, municipal employees distribute flyers with the newspaper’s logo containing false information. Recently a bill was introduced in Congress to increase the criminal penalties for defamation, injuria (insult) and calumnia (false accusation of a crime).