CHILE . Metro S.A., the state enterprise charged with managing the Santiago subway system, announced in late July 1999 that it would offer free distribution in the train stations of a newspaper published by the Swedish firm, Modern Times Group (MTG). In the contract signed July 23, Metro S.A. granted MTG the distribution concession in the system spaces as well as the right to use the word Metro as the newspapers name. At the time, the Sociedad de Fomento Fabril, a union organization made up of Chilean industrial companies, including some news firms, requested an injunction against Metro S.A. It argued that some constitutional provisions were threatened, particularly the one forbidding state enterprises from venturing into non-specified activities, unless they be authorized by a valid law. It should be noted that Metro S.A. bans the sale of newspapers and magazines in its stations. The arrangement with MTG thus created an open case of unfair competition involving the 700,000 persons that daily use the subway facilities. The National Press Association (ANP) became a party to the injunction, filing as well for an economic protection injunction before the Santiago Court of Appeals. The injunction was denied, in effect, on January 13, 2000, when the court authorized the publication of the Metro daily and its distribution in the subway stations. However, on January 31 the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts ruling and prohibited free distribution of Metro in the subway stations. The Court also made permanent the economic protection injunction petitioned by the ANP. Currently, the newspaper, with the name MTG, is distributed only at the entrances to the subway. On February 22 the Supreme Court ruled on a complaint filed by a justice of that court, Servando Jordan, against journalist José Ale of the newspaper, La Tercera. Ale was sentenced to 541 days in jail for violating Chiles internal security law. The sentence responded to a petition of Justice Jordan against the journalists Fernando Paulsen, as editor of La Tercera, and José Ale, of the same newspaper. The court sentenced Ale, but absolved Paulsen. The ruling demonstrates that Chile does not have a reasonable juridical framework that offers broad freedom of expression guarantees. The sentence again focuses public debate on Article 6, item b of the National Security Law as constituting a threat to freedom of information and opinion. Many news professionals have been condemned based on complaints brought in reference to this article, which presumes to protect state officials from defamation, libel and slander. In practice, however, the measure has become a powerful weapon against press criticism. Judge Flora Sepúlveda Rivas, of the 3rd Criminal District court, issued an order February 21 banning all news coverage of the legal proceedings into the disappearance of the young man, Jorge Matute Johns. However, on March 6 the judge reversed her decision, deciding that the news blackout was no longer justified as most pre-trial inquiries, which were not to be reported, were now over. The trial, which began three months ago, focuses on a police case that has attracted wide public interest because to date the body of the victim has not been found. Judge Sepúlveda Rivas acted under Article 25 of the law of Abuse of Advertising. Her ruling forbade the news media from reporting on the proceedings during the dates the ban was in effect between February 23 and March 20.