GUATEMALA Journalists and media continue being subjected to intimidation, harassment and threats in a bid to thwart investigative reporting. The July 1993 murder of El Grdfico editor and National Center Union (UCN) party leader Jorge Carpio Nicolle remains unsolved. Carlos Enrique López Girón, who has been implicated in the murder, formally registered as Guatemalan Christian Democratic party candidate for congressman for Quiche province. His candidacy led to the resignation of several officials of Carpio's UCN party, which has formed a coalition with the Christian Democrats to contest the November 12 elections. Carpio's widow, Marta, unsuccessfully sought to have the candidacy voided. Irked at frequent obstruction of the investigation into the murder, the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission in July called on the government to act to protect witnesses in the case, particularly Carpio's widow, daughter-in-law Karen, and nephew Mario López Arrivillaga, and public prosecutor Abraham Mendez Garda. In the two years since the murder, several suspects have been arraigned by the Fifth Court of First Instance but all have been freed on their own cognizance. They are Tomas Perez, Jesus Chuc Churunel, Juana Acabal Patzan, Francisco IXcoy L6pez, and Marcelino and Narazario Tuy Taniel. Other press freedom violations in recent months included: La Republica journalist Gerson Ricardo López Orantes was found badly beaten and with signs of torture in Ciudad San Crist6bal on March 30. He was taken to the San Juan de Dios Hospital. La Republica publisher Gonzalo Marroquin reported that L6pez had cigarette burns on his chest and bruises and other evidences of blows on his face, legs and arms. The unidentified assailants threatened to kill Gerson López if he did not leave the country within 72 hours. On April 12, journalist Armando Rodriguez Alborez, a faculty member in the economics department at San Carlos University in Guatemala City, sought protection from the Ministries of Government and Police after receiving death threats that were attributed to specific individuals. On April 29, the judiciary supervisory body opened an investigation into allegations that village judge Carlos Humberto Chegiien, of Melchor de Mencos in Peten department, had put pressure on Radio Mopdn and so interfered with free speech. According to the radio station, officers of the 3rd Military Zone paid a visit to the mayor of Melchor de Mencos, Tolentino Morales Sandoval, to try to persuade him to cancel the broadcast license of station director Juan Emilio Colmenares. On June 17, the second judge of the First Instance and Appeals of Alta Verapaz, Victor Hugo Jimenez, gave radio reporter Julio Amilcar Nuila 48 hours to provide details of a gunbattle in the town of San Crist6bal Verapaz and involved a Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) deputy and two of his bodyguards. On July 10, filmmaker and journalist Sky Callahan returned to his home in Dallas, Texas, after being roughed up by three soldiers in front of the National Palace. Three days later, he was detained and beaten by paramilitary forces. Callahan was in Guatemala with other members of a goodwill mission of the Texas chapter of Guatemala Support Network to collaborate with the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (CDHG). On July 18, Ileana Alamilla, director of the Foreign Center of Informative Reports on Guatemala, CERIGUA, gave public declarations that the attorney general and head of the Public Ministry, Ramses Cuestas G6mez, violated the right to press freedom by threatening legal action against the news agency. Cuestas G6mez said that he would raid CERIGUA's premises because of its reporting on guerrilla movements. Alamilla stated that this was clearly in violation of press freedom and put the well-being of those working in the Guatemala offices of the agency into jeopardy. The military has often characterized CERIGUA as an agency showing sympathy with Guatemala's guerrillas. On July 21, man riding in a pickup riddled journalist Melida Rubio Espana's house with bullets. Rubio Espana writes an opinion column in the La Hora and Megavision newspapers. Her most recent articles were about the situation of war and peace in Guatemala. She is also an officer of the Association of Women Journalists of Central America and the Caribbean. Julio Vela, editor of the newspaper El Chichicaste, of Puerto Barrios, Izabal, declared that he had been kidnapped July 29 and set free the following day. Vela said he did not know the motives for the kidnapping. El Chichicaste is an independent newspaper that provides a forum for discussion of problems of land occupancy and other local social and environmental issues. Vela has been threatened in a bid to force him to leave the country, which he has refused to do. On August 14, several local judges consulted with the International Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) about the legality of permitting journalists to take still or video cameras or tape recorders into the courtroom during testimony. According to the judges, one of the advantages of the new Penal Procedures Code, one year old in July, is the clarity of the process. However, Article 359 is not clear, and judges have discretionary powers to allow journalists' cameras or tape recorders into the courtroom or not. On September 23, two men accused of killing radio announcer Alberto Antoniotti, former correspondent for the Mexican information agency Eco, on June 29, were freed from jail. The court agreed to stay the case provisionally at the request of the Public Ministry. The only witness in the case is Ivana Antoniotti, the victim's daughter, who did not collaborate with the judges. The reason for her lack of cooperation is not known, but it is believed that she had received death threats.