GUATEMALA The climate for practicing journalism has worsened considerably in recent months. Threats and actions against journalists, news agencies and the media carried out by unidentified groups, have increased. The government, despite repeatedly proclaiming its support for freedom of the press and the safety of journalists, has been unable to improve conditions. Anson Ng Yong, Guatemala correspondent for The Financial Times of London and the magazine Business International, was murdered in late July. He was shot in the head in his apartment. The circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been established. Some sources said Young was investigating the activities of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International in Guatemala. Newsman Byron Barrera, who has lived in neighboring Costa Rica since an attempt against him on October 26, 1990, traveled to Guatemala August 14 for two days to testify in his case, which remains unsolved. On August 19, army experts defused a bomb found in the El Centro building, which houses the offices of several international news agencies. The bureau of the Mexican agency Notimex, located in the same building, was raided August 24 by unindentified intruders. Also broken into was the apartment of Notimex correspondent Miguel Angel Lopez while he was away. The agency ordered Lopez and Maricel Dieguez, the other Notimex correspondent, to return to Mexico for safety reasons. The bureau was closed, but subsequently reopened with new correspondents. Reuters correspondent Juan Gaudenzi reported on August 27 that he would move his office to another building "for security reasons." He confirmed haVing received threats several days prior to his decision. The agency IPS, threatened repeatedly by phone, also opted to close its bureau temporarily. Its correspondent, Gladys Calderon, had to leave the country for safety reasons. Currently she is in Costa Rica. The concerns and protests sparked by these events, both in and outside of Guatemala, led President Jorge Serrano Elias to call for the full application of press freedom, an end to acts threatening journalists and for the determination to protect the work of newsmen. He expressed his views during the inauguration of the 6th Seminar of the Guatemalan Chamber of Journalism on August 28. Mario Paiz, director of the National Police, announced a day earlier that a plan was being prepared to provide security for international news agencies. The Presidency's public relations office said in a press release September 2 that President Serrano had "instructed the Ministry of Government to undertake all necessary investigations to clarify the events at the Mexican news agency Notimex and to formulate a plan to protect journalists and the media that are the targets of threats in order to ensure the free exercise of their work." That same day, the newspaper Siglo XXI published declarations of the General Command of the National Revolutionary Unit of Guatemala rejecting President Serrano's charges that it was responsible for placing the bomb in the El Centro building.