BRAZIL Brazil gave its endorsement to the Chapultepec Declaration on August 6 in a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia in which President Fernando Henrique Cardoso signed the document in the presence of World Newspaper Association (WNA) President Jayme Sirotsky, a member of the IAPA board of directors; Julio Cesar Ferreira de MesqUita, president of the National Newspaper Association (ANJ), Paulo Cabral de Araujo, and several ANJ members. During the ceremony, the president declared: "The value of freedom can only be appreciated by those who have lost it. And Brazilian newspapers, at several points during our history, lost that freedom." The Brazilian judiciary faces serious difficulties, some of which have negative impact on freedom of expression. The most important are: The legal culture tends toward formalism and detailed regulations, which makes for abundant and fine pointed legislation, that in turn results in an excessive amount of court cases and a lack of professional preparation in the lower courts and other legal personnel such as lawyers and prosecutors. This has been worsened by recent institutional changes and economic plans that often include dubious legal measures. Authoritarian legislation, such as the Press Law (Law 5,250/67, passed during the military regime and still on the books, is incompatible with a fully democratic government; People with authoritarian mentality hold important posts in all three branches of government, but particularly in the judicial branch and in the police corps belonging to the executive branch. This was recognized as a fact by former Supreme Electoral Court Minister Torquato Jardim in a recent interview published by the ANJ, in which he defends the wealth of detail in the electoral law as a way of preventing decisions against freedom of the press by "authoritarian judges and prosecutors." The delay in the carrying out of trials and the various possibilities of presenting writs of protection against legal action that often result in unpunished crimes against journalists is one of the most serious problems of Brazilian justice. This is because of the excess of laws and trials and inadequate legislation. Corruption is not on an alarming level in the judicial branch, but it is a serious problem in the police force, especially in the more underdeveloped areas of the country where organized crime is free to act. For some time after the redemocratization of the country, Brazilian judges avoided sentencing journalists and media and did not use the 1967 Press Law, because of its authoritarian nature. However, the climate of tolerance has recently deteriorated, and judges have sentenced journalists, especially in suits filed by members of the judiciary. In the face of this situation, the ANJ opposes this archaic penal code that permits blatant sentencing of journalists. While the ANJ believes that the ideal situation would be to have no press law at all, it realistically advocates a new law that eliminates criminal punishment, but allows fines and community service as sanctions .. In a similar fashion, it calls for the establishment of reasonable criteria for fines so that they will not pose a threat to freedom of expression by affecting the media's economic solvency. It has proved difficult to carry out a systematic investigation into legal action and crimes against journalists and other attacks on free speech. In regards to the murder of journalists, the majority have been victims of common crime, rather than targets for their professional activities. Cases in which journalists have been killed for carrying out their professional tasks have occurred only in the most remote regions of the country. During this period, several events have affected press freedom: May 20. Radio journalist Raildo Barros of Porto Nacional in Tocantins State was shot and killed by unknown assailants as he was going home. According to the police, the crime, which is still being investigated, could have been ordered by a third party. There had been a previous attempt on Barros' life two years ago. Correio Brazilense reporters Warner Filho and Tina Coelho, covering a military police operation to evict squatters, were handcuffed, beaten up and taken prisoner by soldiers from the tenth battalion of the Military Police in Cristalina, about sixty miles from Brasilia. May 24. Journalist Sergio Fleury Moraes, owner of the newspaper Debate of Santa Cruz de Rio Pardo, was sentenced to three months in prison by Judge Antonio Magdalena for an electoral crime, as a result of a lawsuit by Mayor Manoel Carlos "Manezinho" Pereira. The sentence was changed to house arrest after a protest by the ANJ. May 27. Jose Pedro Taques, the federal prosecutor in Porto Velho, reported that former federal congressional representative Nobel Moura, who was sacked from his job because of misconduct after attacking then-congressional representative Raquel Candido, is a suspect in the case of the murder of radio journalist Marinaldo Souza from Machadinho. Moura's whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be living in Bolivia, according to the prosecutor. June 22. Appeal court Judge Celio Erpen prohibited the newspaper Zero Hora of Porto Alegre from publishing the salaries of 22 auditors from the Rio Grande do SuI Finance Court. The judge's decision came about as a result of an injunction by the auditors, citing reasons of security. The ANJ protested the measure and asked the full court to reconsider the decision, saying that the prohibition impaired press freedom. The full court was expected to issue its decision July 1, but the judge reversed his own decision June 27 . July 3. Journalist Agnelo Alves, mayoral candidate in Parnamirim, appealed a sentence by the local electoral judge. July 20. Journalists and photographers from Manaus, who were covering a football game in that city between two Rio de Janeiro teams, Vasco da Gama and Flamenco, were beaten up by Amazonas State military police. On August 23, the Secretary of Justice, Public Security and Citizenry, suspended the two police officials on duty when the incident occurred. Governor Amazonino Mendes ordered the Secretary to take the action against Lt. Colonel and Captain Dan Camera. The Secretary assumed the responsibility of repairing the photographic equipment damaged during the beating. Diano do Grande ABC photographer Rivaldo Goes was held for 10 minutes in the offices of representative Joao Cristiano after taking a picture of an irregularity in campaign propaganda. According to the president of the House of Representatives of Santo Andre, the photographer "was carrying out his professional duties and, moreover, the House of Representatives is a public place." July 27. A security guard working for former President Fernando Collor pursued reporter Eduardo San Martin, correspondent for RBS Agency in Miami, in a high speed chase, then grabbed his arm, snatched his watch and tried to beat him up. The journalist and his taxi driver filed a complaint about the attack at the Bal Harbour police station. August: Journalist Mario Adolfo was sentenced at the beginning of August 1996, by a lower court in Amazonas State to pay the equivalent of 1500 minimum wages (R$168,000) to appeals court judge Lafayetti as a result of a slander suit brought by the judge because of a November 27 caricature published in a humor column "Candiru" in the newspaper Amazonas em Tempo. Adolfo is the editor of the newspaper. Adolfo is appealing the sentence to the Supreme Court. At the beginning of August, journalist Lindolor Francisco Alves was sentenced to pay a fine equivalent to 20 times the legal minimum wage. Entertainer Maria da Graca "Xuxa" Meneguel had sued Alves for libel, slander and defamation. In November, 1993, Alves published an article entitled "Licentiousness and promiscuity is doing away with the life of Xuxa and the family Meneguel, the promiscuous ones" in the weekly Notlcias da Semana. September 9 The ANJ sent a note of protest to governor of Paraiba State, objecting to a state military action that kept journalists from covering the September 9 police eviction of squatters from land in front of the national palace. In the inddent, O Norte photographer Valerio Ayres was beaten and his camera damaged. September 17. Folha de S. Paulo reporter Xico Sa and photographer Eduardo Knapp were attacked outside the nightclub Bris Point in Sao Paulo by lawyer Mario Covas Neto, son of the governor of Sao Paulo. A pornographic film was being made at the time at the nightclub. When the lawyer noticed that the photographer was taking pictures, he attacked him and, together with three other men accompanying him, restrained the photographer and took away his film. Siguita filed a complaint at the 27th police station, where a certificate of illegal restraint was issued. September 19. The company Sf A 0 Estado de S. Paulo, the publishing house of 0 Estado de S. Paulo and Jornal da Tarde, was sentenced to pay a fine equivalent to 100 times the legal minimum wage for libeling the former governor of Sao Paulo Orestes Queria. The 14th Chamber for Private Rights of the Justice Court passed the sentence as a result of a lawsuit by Quercia that objected to a May 17 publication of information asserting that a parliamentary investigation on National Sodal Security Institute fraud had implicated the former governor. The day following the publication, 0 Estado de S. Paulo printed a retraction on its front page and fired the reporter responsible for the story. The company is appealing the dedsion. September 20. Reporter Monica Texeira was wounded slightly when she was handcuffed, along with a team of reporters from the Brazilian Television System, while covering a clash between landless workers and landowners in the Pontal do Paranapanema region in Sao Paulo State. The journalist, after her wounds were attended, filed a complaint with the police station in Presidente Prudente. September 20. Noticias Populares photographer Rogerio Soares was arrested while taking pictures of a confrontation between police and a musician from the samba group Katinguele. Without identifying himself and pointing a weapon, the police official forced the musidan to stop his car, in which the photographer was also riding. When the police official noticed he was being photographed, he grabbed the camera and, even after Soares identified himself as a journalist, Soares was arrested and forced to go to the police station. Police representative Paulo Fleury apologized to the photographer and the musician, and all charges were dropped.