NICARAGUA There is a general climate of press freedom in Nicaragua but sorne impediments still existo A bill to create a journalists' colegio was presented to the National Assembly on June 21. It is not expected to be discussed this year, however, since a constitutional reform bill has higher priority. A bill far the partial reform of the Constitution was presented to the Assembly on September 9. It included a proposal to amend Article 68 to provide for a right of reply. The clause states: "Citizens have the right to access to the media and to the exercise of the right to reply or clarification when their rights and guarantees are affected." The bill also proposes a total import duty exemption far raw materials to be used in print production, and in the distribution and sale of books, pamphlets, magazines, school texts, newspapers and other periodicals. The Nicaraguan president introduced in the National Assembly a Telecommunications and Postal Service Bill, which the Nicaraguan Radio Chamber (CANIRA) said if passed would violate freedom of expression, since it would give officials the right to grant licenses, levy fines, suspend broadcasts and conduct confiscations. The bill would also regulate the assignment of frequencies. The state Telecommunications and Post agency, TELCOR, said it was prepared to amend the bill to make it clear that the only government regulation of commercial radio and television would be the assignment of frequencies. The internal conflicts within the National Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN) party could have an impact on the party-owned newspaper Barricada, whieh under the direction of Carlos F. Chamorro B has begun moving away from being merely an argan of party propaganda. The democratic leftwingers dominating the Sandinista Assembly, led by former president Daniel Ortega, are seeking to remove Chamorro from his post - Barricada is the only medium belonging to the FSLN not controlled by that faction. The Sandinista newspaper El Nuevo Diario, whieh reflects the views of the Renewal Movement wing of the party, does not belong to the FSLN. The administration of the government-owned radio station Radio Nicaragua suspended broadcasts of the news program "Flash Informativo," produced by journalist Juan de la Cruz Rodríguez. The suspension carne after the program aired a repart about a Social Democratic Party (PSD) anniversary celebration with which it said the Minister of the Presidency was allied. The Nicaraguan Journalists Association (APN) mediated a resolution of the dispute and the program returned to the air sorne days latero Details of the agreement were not disclosed. But it has implications for press freedom. First, the news program was suspended arbitrarily. Second, the alleged alliance of the Minister of the Presideney with the PSD, although not official, had already been alluded to in other media. Haroldo]. Montealegre, publisher of La Tribuna, complained that his newspaper was being diseriminated against in the placement of official advertising. The government replied that advertising was allocated on the basis of publieations' circulation figures. La Tribuna journalist Melba Sánchez was attacked by a police patrolled by Lieut. Osear Cruz on June 29 in Chinandega while she was covering the occupation of the headquarters of the Agrarian Refarm Institute. Sánchez sustained injuries to her arms, back and neck, and her camera was smashed. On October 9, the country's two broadeast associations, ANIR and CANIRA, began study of the government telecommunications bill and and sald they would be proposing sorne amendments, including a new clause to provide guarantees of protection for radio and television stations. Mario Valle Peters, CANlRA secretary, wrote to the lAPA asking far support for a demand that 48 radio stations confiscated on July 19, 1979 be restared to their owners. The owners have filed claims for return of the property with the Attorney General's office. President Violeta Chamorro signed the Hemispheric Declaration on Freedom of Expression (Declaration of Chapultepec) on July 28, in the presenee of a delegation of the Inter American Press Assoeiation in the Nicaraguan Government House.