GUATEMALA Relations between the government of President Alfonso Portillo and the media continue to be uncertain and tense, with some difficult moments, such as the effort in February to force a television channel to cancel the opposition program “T-Mas de Noche,” of José Eduardo Zarco. After this incident, four television stations―3, 7, 11 and 13―that are controlled by a Mexican businessman who supported Portillo’s presidential campaign with millions in advertising, took on the job of discrediting the media and independent journalists. They also used their news programs to promote the image of the president and his government. Since then relations between the media and the president have deteriorated. Public officials limit the information they provide to reporters, the president has reduced the number of news conferences to the minimum and both he and his vice president Francisco Reyes López criticize the media as “irresponsible” for “attacking” them. The independent print media have reported corruption in the government, and Prensa Libre set off a national scandal when it released an audio tape showing that congressmen of the ruling party had changed a law illegally. Because of this, steps are being taken to strip 21 congressmen, including the president of the Congress, Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, of their immunity. The ruling party has said publicly that it plans to change the Constitution next year, although it seems unlikely that it could do so, since there is so much opposition. If it were to happen, the party would certainly try to modify Article 35 which gives a full guarantee of freedom of expression and the right of the people to receive information. There also is at least one bill that the ruling party intends to present in the coming weeks that could affect freedom of information. It is an Official Secrets Act that would give public officials wide authority to decide what should be made public and what should be considered secret.