The state of freedom of expression has shown no improvement due to the climate of general violence against journalists and the mantle of impunity surrounding it, particularly when government bodies constantly repeat the refrain that journalists “get paid or get beaten.” In this period two journalists were murdered – Marco Antonio Estrada Oria, correspondent of the newscast “Telediario” of Canal 3 television in Chiquimula, killed on June 5, 2009, and Rolando Santis of Telecentro 13 television in Guatemala City, on April 1, 2009. The cases remain under investigation by government officials, but indications are that they are linked to organized crime and its infiltration into the country’s security and legal apparatus. Estrada worked in Guatemala’s eastern region, where drug cartels operate with impunity, while Santis was winding up a news report that included interviews with some leaders of gangs operating in the Guatemalan capital. The two journalists died in the course of their work, but there are many more under threat from other sectors of organized crime, forcing them to increase their means of protection. On the other hand it is important to point out the growing atmosphere of insecurity and threats that reporters in the interior of the country have to live with. These threats come from two sources: drug traffickers in several departments where organized crime is operating and local officials who have been named in reports of corruption. The press and the government in Guatemala have a tense relationship, without serious conflicts so far. The government has a tendency to grant or withhold official advertising to media outlets according to their editorial line. Any report of corruption in the government brings comments from high officials who try to discredit the press, implying that the information is based on political and/or ideological interests. Regarding the brief abduction of José Rubén Zamora, president of the newspaper elPeriódico, on October 7, one of his abductors was sentenced to 14 years in prison and another to eight years on charges of aggravated robbery, unlawful detention, fraud and causing minor injuries. The mastermind and motive have not been determined. In another notable development – arising from statements made by attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg aired in a posthumous video, in which he accused President Alvaro Colom and some of his officials of being responsible for his death should anything happen to him – a person was accused of causing panic through the Internet network Twitter. Jean Anleu Fernández had commented on Twitter, “the first real action – go after Banrural, smash the bank of the corrupt ones,” a reference to the statements by attorney Rosenberg in which he linked that bank to the murder of Khalid Mussa and his daughter Marjorie. This led to Anleu Fernández being accused of causing financial panic and being arrested on May 14. Bail was set at 50,000 quetzales and he was ordered to remain under house arrest for one year. However, on July 10 a judge ruled that the case be shelved temporarily. Another case, linked to this issue, was that of Marta Yolanda Díaz-Durán, a columnist for Siglo XXI who accused Guatemalan Vice-President Rafael Espada of having met with Rosenberg some days before his death, which Espada categorically denied. Espada sued the journalist even though there is a specific law concerning press freedom, which requires that cases of this type be tried by a press court.