BOLIVIA The Chamber of Deputies resolved unanimously October 15 to "ratify its respect for full exercise of press freedom in conformity with the January 19, 1925, Press Law," thus striking down the final paragraph of Article 264 from a new Criminal Procedures Code bill drafted by the previous government. The eliminated paragraph empowered judges to "order" journalists to disclose their sources, when the court deemed there was cause. The 1925 Press Law, unlike the struck-down provision in the new bill, establishes the "inviolable right to secrecy" in matters of the press. The law also provides for the creation of special juries to try press crimes such as libel and defamation. The disclosure of the contents of this bill generated a series of protests from media organizations and even the President, General Hugo Banzer Suarez, wrote the Congressional president October 10, saying that the paragraph in question "clearly goes against the spirit" of the 1925 Press Law. He therefore suggested striking out the paragraph to "achieve to the fullest extent the strengthening of the media's capacity to responsibly interpret the socio-economic and political reality of the nation." The current status of the 1925 Press Law was called into question earlier this year when the contents of a secret decree issued by the 1952 de facto government became known. The decree suspended the institution of Press Juries and transferred jurisdiction for hearing of allegations of press offenses to criminal courts. After intense public debate, however, it became clear that the Press Law remained on the books, especially since the Senate and Chamber of Deputies had recognized it in specific resolutions in 1988. Press juries have remained in effect. This public debate arose after a criminal court in Santa Cruz de la Sierra on April 5 sentenced journalist Ronald Mendez Alpire to two years' imprisonment on libel charges. He was the author of two books disclosing alleged malfeasance by a former superintendent of banking, who responded by filing a formal complaint in criminal court justifying the venue based on the 1951 decree. The sentence was suspended after protests from the press and the public. Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that the Press Law needs updating. In other matters, the state of government-press relations can be seen in statements made in May by a judge who asserted that Bolivian journalists can be "bought and sold." The Supreme Court and, more recently, a government deputy minister have spoken of a plot by the press to undermine a commission set up by the president to investigate the whereabouts of the remains of a political leader murdered in 1981. These declarations were repudiated by the media and national journalists' organizations.