Journalists continue to be very concerned about the situation in Guatemala, as public officials constantly discredit their activity and discriminate in the placement of government advertising. Violence against journalists is related to the general situation of danger and increase in organized crime. Fighting among alleged drug trafficking groups has increased, which causes fear within the media and self-censorship. President Álvaro Colom continues to criticize and express intolerance of public opinion. On January 9 he said journalistic criticisms of his program were “stupid and ridiculous.” In a positive development, the Freedom of Information Law (Decree 57-2008) will take effect on April 21. Discrimination in the placement of government advertising in the written press, which had shifted toward the television monopoly, came to an end on March 13, when President Colom reversed an administrative order. The president said on February 12 that he “remembered” that he had supported television executive Ángel González in the 66% income tax cut for the importation of radio and television supplies. The bill was considered immediately with the support of legislators of UNE, the ruling party. Some legislators, such as Mario Taracena, have called González the “angel of democracy” — despite the fact that his four broadcast television stations and his Central de Radio family of radio stations are all subordinated to the interests of groups in the legislative and executive branches, based on momentary political convenience. Since the end of February and the first week of March, groups connected to González have been conducting a campaign to discredit the daily Prensa Libre and the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), saying that they were established by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. The campaign appears to be a reprisal for a public report by IAPA accusing the government of discriminating against the written media in the placement of advertising in favor of television and electronic media outlets. This policy appears to be intended to punish the most important newspapers for their reporting. Three people who seized José Rubén Zamora, editor of elPeriódico, on August 21, 2008, were put on trial for kidnapping, robbery, fraud and conspiracy on March 3. On February 27, reporters Danny Castillo of El Quetzalteco, Ronald López of Nuestro Diario and Mynor Mérida of Al Día were threatened by the mayor of Malacatancito for their coverage of the theft of motorcycles. A mob aroused by the mayor’s diatribe attacked the reporters. Congress passed a law banning the sale of the television frequency for Channel 5, which was awarded to the Guatemalan Academy of Mayan Languages. This was Congress’s response to a request from González himself, as was publicly acknowledged by several legislators. Under pressure from the press and other civil society organizations, President Colom vetoed the law, and the case is now pending before the Constitutional Court.