PERU Free journalism is still in effect and a plurality of newspapers and magazines can be freely published in Peru. Congress repealed the controversial application of "habeas data" in press-related criminal cases, voting 58-1 to amend article 200 of the Peruvian constitution, which had contained the provision. The amendment is due to be ratified in the next congressional session.The judiciary had already declared such habeas data requests to be inacceptable, invalid or groundless. On the other hand, on July 27 the President of the Journalists' Colegio of Arequipa declared that he will denounce all unscrupulous press men who denigrate their profession. This was a result of complaints filed by Arequipa officals that such journalists, or people claiming to be journalists, had allegedly tried to blackmail them. In this respect but focused from the wrong angle, on August 17 a congressman of the governing party filed a draft law for the establishment of a National Council on Freedom of the Press. O n April 27, the foreign press association claimed that one of its members had been forced - by the president himself - to erase a portion of the video that had been taped during the President's visit to the Yanamayo prison, in Puno. The takes included a group of Shining Path women reading a declaration. The president later said that what the terrorists had been reading was an instigation to subversion, thus his refusal to give television cameras access. On May 5, retired Army Generals Jaime Salinas Sedó and Germán Parra Herrera were accused before a military court of having questioned - through press articles - the acts of the Commander General of the Army. Though their attorneys highlighted their dvilian status as retired military men, General Parra was sentenced to 60 days' conditional imprisonment. On August 31, after a group of minority shareholders filed a lawsuit against Channelll of Television RBC, the prosecution committee of Congress attempted to intervene in the case, requesting information from the Public Ministry. The lAPA expressed its rejection of the measure in a letter to the television company. A total of eight journalists are currently being held prisoner on charges of terrorism; none has yet been sentenced. They are: Hermes Rivera, Wilder Tintaya, Walter Atomayta, Augusto Chacón, Juan Tuanama, José Romani, Pedro Carranza and David Cajahuamán. lt has not been possible to determine exactly the condition of the journalists at the moment of their arrests, or their alleged degrees of participation in the deeds attributed to them. Fourteen others, accused of having links to terrorism, were acquitted and freed after being in custody for up to two years. They are: Johnny Navarro, Juan Antonio Morales, Fernando Avila, Alex Rodrigo Ramón Morales, Carlos Guerrero, Mónica Palomo, Juan José Herrera, Luis Becerra, Gisella Gutarra, Alicia Figueroa, Carmen Ramón Morales, and Víctor Huerta (freed on April 5); Carlos Falcon (April 29); and Carlos Infante Quly 6). On April 21, the Temporary Detention Branch of the Supreme Court of the Republic unanimously absolved journalists Cesar Hildebrandt and Cecilia Valenzuela of the charge of defamation. They had been accused by retired General Clemente Noel, ex-military chief of Ayacucho. On May 30, the 15th Penal Examining Court, headed by Dr. Yolanda Gallegos Canales, opened an inquiry aimed at several journalists from the magazine Caretas: Enrique Zileri Gibson, the editor; Fernando Ampuero del Bosque, managing editor; and editors Jimmy Torres and Abilio Arroyo, for the purported crimes of libeling and defaming one Carlos Lanberg Melendez. Lanberg was sentenced a fews years ago for having been involved in drug trafficking, and it was precisely the magazine Caretas that blew the lid off the case. On July 26, in spite of the fact that this case had already been resolved in another instance, the action evolved into an impoundment procedure in the amount of U.S.$45,000, which would become effective if the attorney for Caretas and Zileri himself did not mediate the dispute. It's worth noting that the impoundment order against Zileri had been signed one month earlier by Provisional Judge Yolanda Gallegos Canales, and that, later, approval was requested for the measure to be executed by Judge Gallegos Canales's replacement during her absence. On August 19, journalist Jesús Alfonso Castiglione was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime of collaboration with terrorismo Castiglione's defense was based on the fact that in no instance had any linkage to terrorism on his part been proven and that, on the contrary, what was proved was the non-existence of any such collaboration. Castiglione was tried in secret by a faceless, Star Chamber tribunal, from which the press is barred. Several international institutions have adopted Castiglione as a aprisoner of Conscience." On April1, José Alvarez Pachas and Eduardo Sihue Cano were also sentenced for terrorism, both to six years. These two men, together with Pedro Valdez Berndes, have been on a hunger strike for several days. The following journalists have been sentenced on charges of defamation: On May 18, Guido Falcon Nivin, Wilfredo Mendoza, and Rony Flor of Radio Minera, and on May 26 Wilfredo Pelaez, a 65-year-old journalist for El Diario of Chimbote. Pelaez died of a heart attack moments after he was arrested. On April 1, the mayoress of lea, Rosa Zarate Sanchez, exhorted a group of her followers to assault the correspondent for the newspaper El Comercio, Jose Rosales Vargas. Fortunately, the assault did not take place thanks to the moderate attitude of the inhabitants of the young town of Tupac Amaru. That same day Rosales Vargas had reported on an appeal by the local population protesting lack of support by municipal authorities. On April 29, also in lea, members of the security detail for the same Mayoress Rosa Zarate Sanchez attacked four woman journalists who were trying to interview her: Rossi Olivares and Rita Clemente, correspondents for Channels 2 and 13 of Lima, and Jenny Torrealva and Zuli Jalme, reporters for two lea radio stations. The mayoress's bodyguards broke the journalists' microphones and tape recorders. On August 19, the National Federation of Newspaper, Magazine, and Lottery Vendors blocked, by force and threats, normal distribution of the newspaper La Manana. The incident occurred in response to a decision by La Manana's executives to contract with a private firm to distribute the newspaper. Members of the Federation even resorted to physical aggression against those who tried to sell La Manana. Days after this action began, two bombs were placed outside the newspaper's offices; fortunately they did not explode. Stilllater, twelve men attempted to enter the offices, evidently bent on sabotaging the newspaper's equipment. They were discovered and chased away by police gunfire. This entire situation has been repudiated by lAPA, the print media, and the country's political and economic organizations. At this point, La Manana has resumed distribution, but with difficulty. On September 7, in Sullana, Piura, security personnel confiscated film from photojournalist Reynero Guerra of the newspaper La Republica. He had photographed General Howard Rodriguez Malaga, commander of the first military region, handing out calendars displaying the picture of President Alberto Fujimori-in what was an open act of political proselytizing. According to an editorial in La Republica, during the uproar over the film seizure, the general offered to buy the pictures from the photographer, but the latter declined the offer. lmmediately afterward, security personnel took the roll of film away from Guerra and exposed it. Minutes later, a copy editor for the same newspaper, Lily Guevara, approached the general to ask for an explanation. He responded that taking compromising photographs amounted to committing an outrage against his persono IAPA and Peru's print media denounced the incident in strong terms. Days later, the minister of defense-summoned to inform Congress about what had happened-indicated that the person responsible was a lower-ranking officer who had been punished by arrest. There are other complaints charging aggression: On April 23, Cesar Flores, correspondent for the radio station Antena Uno in Huante, Ayacucho; on June 1, Mary Eriquito, correspondent for Radio Onda Azul of Queluyo, Puno; on June 5, Andres Kant of Radio San Sebastian; and on June 20, Luis Velasquez, dean of the College of Journalists of Huanuco and regional news editor of Global Television. Article 157 of the penal code, which punishes filekeeping of "references to political beliefs" is still on the books; likewise, articles 154 and 164 spell out the right to privacy without making an exception for events of public interest. Article 249 does not require intent to deceive as a condition for penalizing transmission of news that causes unrest or economic panic; article 33 does not adequately spell out what is confidential information, although it punishes those who punish it. Likewise, legislative decrees regarding pacification, 733, 743 and 746, if misused, could severely infringe on freedom of the press.