PARAGUAY In Paraguay there has been a proliferation of court cases against news organizations that have a critical attitude toward the government. The following events have occurred. -Criminal Court Judge Hugo L6pez initiated legal proceedings against Zuccolillo, editor of the newspaper ABC Color, on May 14 and prohibited publication of news about the assassination of VicePresident Luis Maria Argaiia or photographs of witnesses to the crime. He ordered the opening of an investigation into an alleged attempt to frustrate the prosecution. In addition, the criminal prosecutor on duty, Maria Teresa Gonzalez de Daniel, also asked on May 14 for the prosecution of Zuccolillo for allegedly publishing secrets. -On May 25, ABC Color published the text of a secret plan against it, based on Part III of an anonymous document it had obtained .. Events that occurred later seemed to confirm what the document said. One part of the plan says: "Accuse the editor of actions [favoring former general Lino Oviedo, exiled in Argentina]. These accusations must be made by poor people. The friendly press will pick up these reports." Another part said: "Wear them down with constant lawsuits. The funds obtained when they are successful will be used to finance Part I of the plan." -Juan Carlos Galaverna, the president of Congress, on June 1 described as "mean" ABC Color's publication of a report that Health Minister Martin Chiola had named Ana Maria Sanabria Benitez, the mother of his illegitimate children, to be administrative and financial director of the Environmental Cleaning Service (Senasa), part of his ministry, for a $40 million project. Galaverna said: "In the newspaper of the criminal [Zuccolillo] today there is a page concerning a political sexual scandal, rummaging around in the intimate life of a cabinet minister. He added that he could not recall" anything as mean in the history of Paraguayan newspapers." On June 1, Judge Lopez initiated legal proceedings against Zuccolillo for alleged attempt and/or compliCity in the instigation of false testimony. The investigation was opened at the request of prosecutor Carolina Llanes, following a report by Gumercindo Aguilar, a criminal used by government supporters as a witness in the assassination of Vice President Argana. Aguilar accused Zuccolillo of offering him $20 million to change his version ofthe murder in testimony before Judge Jorge Bogarin. -Neighbors of Diario Noticias on June 4 filed a criminal complaint against the editor for threatening safety and health and for environmental crimes. The complaint was based on the noise of printing presses (noise pollution) and the draining of waste water into the street. -The columnist of La Nacion, Alberto Vargas Pena, turned himself in to the courts on June 8 to comply with a 10-day detention order by Judge Arnulfo Arias for comments that the judge considered offensive to his position. -Prosecutor Teresa Flecha on June 16 demanded three-year prison sentences for Osvaldo Dominguez Dibb, editor of La Naci6n, columnist Alberto Vargas Pena, and the owner of the radio station Nanawa, Juan Carlos Bernabe, during their trial for alleged "illegal acts against constitutional institutiOns, against the constitutionality of the state, against the existence of the state and against the security of society." Vargas Pena's defense attorney, Alvaro Arias, called the request a "legal aberration." -On June 28 ABC Color received an official letter from Judge Bogarin prohibiting the media from publishing the names of witnesses to the assassination of Vice President Argana on March 23. The letter also said the media should use the terms "alleged" or "presumed responsible" in describing the defendants. -The governor of Alto Parana, Jotvino Urunaga Gonzalez sued Zuccolillo on July 8 for crimes against his honor and reputation, defamation and slander. The governor said that ever since he took office in August, he has been systematically persecuted by ABC Color. -On May 14, Judge Lopez opened legal proceedings against Zuccolillo for allegedly "frustrating prosecution" based on a report by Judge Bogarin in the trial on the assassination of Vice President Argana. -On June 1, the same judge opened a new proceeding against the editor for alleged "instigation of false testimony," based on a report by Gumercindo Aguilar, a witness in the Argana case who is supported by the government. -A high level delegation of the Inter American Press Association visited Paraguay from June 24 to 26 and asked the country's preSident, the president of Congress and other authorities to limit judges' discretionary power to discipline people, especially journalists. -On June 24, Marta Barcilicia BarriOS, took action against Zuccolillo because a fuzzy image of her young daughter appeared in a photograph illustrating a news story about the dangers fadng street children. -The owner of radio station Nanawa, Juan Carlos Bernabe, said on July 16 that telephone service to his station was cut repeatedly when ANTELCO, the state telecommunications monopoly, cut the three lines used for listeners to call in to news shows. -Unknown people threw a hand grenade at Zuccolillo's residence early in the morning of July 18. No one was hurt, but police found fragments in trees near the house, which apparently stopped the grenade from hitting the family's residence. On July 20, the Inter American Press Assodation sent a letter to President Luis Gonzalez Macchi to ask that he investigate the attacks against the press. It condemned the attack on Zuccolillo's residence and the prosecutor's request for three-year prison sentences for Dominguez Dibb and Vargas Pena. It reminded the president of his promise to protect journalism from violence and arbitrary measures. On August 1, leaders of the Paraguayan Journalists Union (SPP) presented a report to a mission of the Inter American Human Rights Commission saying there are "shadows" over freedom of expression in Paraguay. This, the SPP said, "means that the climate does not encourage full development of a right that is fundamental for the consolidation of democracy." The points mentioned by the SPP include: "The impunity in the murder of journalist Santiago Leguizam6n, a judge's abuse of her authority against radio journalists, the irresponsible exerdse of journalism by some companies, the sentences against journalists without proof." -A mob attacked guests at the 32nd anniversary celebration of the newspaper ABC Color on Saturday night, August 7. As the newspaper showed in articles published later, many of the attackers were people connected to government officials who had been criticized by the newspaper for political or judidal manipulation or for corruption. -Jose Agustin Morinigo Rodriguez, a person known for invasions of private properties, filed a criminal complaint against Zuccolillo on August 10 for defamation, slander and libel. The complaint refers to an article about the occupation of urban and rural buildings in the Alto Parana region in the western part of the country. This was the seventh legal proceeding against the editor of ABC. The article was presented to the criminal court preSided over by Antonia Beatriz Venialgo. -The editor of La Nacion, Osvaldo Dominguez Dibb, was detained the morning of August 10 in the Palace of Justice where he had gone to find out about the progress of a case concerning the seizure of products of a company he owns. Judge Arnulfo Arias determined that there was a warrant outstanding against him by to serve nine days of disciplinary arrest. -Unknown people shot at the residence of Humberto Rubin, news director of the radio station Nanduti, in the Nazareth de Asund6n neighborhood in the early morning of August 18. Metropolitan police officers and criminal prosecutor Julio Fernandez arrived at the scene. Police said the shots hit the main door. Rubin sald he did not know why it happened. -Criminal prosecutor Wilfrido Peralta complained on September 3 to Judge Ruben Dario Frutos that ABC Color, in its August 2 edition, had printed a transcript of a telephone conversation that was leaked to the media and that disclosed the existence of a "power behind the throne" that manipulated judidal processes, dedsions to free detained people, public appointments and other matters. Before it was prohibited, the tape was broadcast on several radio stations. -Judge Lopez began a legal proceeding against Zuccolillo for alleged defamation and slander against a young girl by publishing an anonymous and indistinct photograph of several children in the street to illustrate a story about child prostitution. -On October 8, Lawyer Julio Cesar Garay presented the eighth legal action against Zuccolillo as well as journalists of the regional bureau in Ciudad del Este, 330 kilometers east of Asunci6n. Garay brought a suit for slander, defamation and libel because he felt injured by articles concerning a court order to close a factory that made counterfeit CDs and watches and a complaint afterward by the Chinese owner of the business who said he had been blackmailed by the lawyer.