BRAZIL The new president of the National Newspaper Association (ANJ), Pedro Pincirolli, announced that he plans to bring the issue of freedom of the press before the board of directors of the ANJ, within the ambit of the committee on freedom of expression that he is going to create. He argues that the current press law has to be reformed because it confiicts directly with the new Constitution. The proof of truth stipulated in Article 20, by protecting the president of the republic, he said, is in confiict with the Constitution. The make-up of a commission to study the press law will be decided by the president of the Brazil Bar, Ophir Figueiras Cavalcante. His association has declared that any provisions in the law "that strike against freedom of the press" should be removed from it. On March 23 , three armed federal police officers and six lawyers from the federal tax department burst into the main office of the newspapers Folha da Sao Paulo, Notlcias Populares and Folha da Tarde. They were there to investigate possible currency irregularities. After two and a half hours of inspection, two directors of the company were taken to police headquarters to make statements. Folha had recently been criticizing the government. The action was taken under temporary regulations giving officials authority to inspect any company's books. The newspapers had following accounting guidelines issued by the government and the National Newspaper Association. A series of reports by Folha de sao Paulo that the government had hired advertising agencies, without putting it out to bid, that had worked earlier for President Collor's election campaign led him to sue for libel and defamation. Through Justice Minister Bernardo Cabral, he cited Folha news editor Otavio Frias Filho; Brasilia bureau chief Josias de Souza, and reporters Nelson Blecher and Gustavo Krieger. The paper said the agencies had been hired to payoff a $ 70 million to $80 million campaign debt. It denied the reports were libelous. Brazil Bar President Ophir Figueiras called the libel suit "one more way to try to silence Folha in its free exercise of the right of information," and the preSident of the Brazilian Press Association said that such lawsuits concerning coverage of the presidency "restrict freedom of the press." Folha maintained that the 1967 press law prohibits it from using truth as a defense. The print and broadcast media had jointly agreed not to publish news about kidnaps while hostages were still being held, at the request of families and authorities. But some newspapers have since broken the silence pact, saying keeping quiet only helped the kidnappers. In March and April, Jamal de Brasilia received a series of threats, chiefly against reporter Mario Chimanovitch, after reporting that Goias State policemen were involved in auto theft, cocaine trafficking and alteration of the identification numbers on stolen cars. Journalist and businessman Antonio Bomfim, editor of the weekiy Cin(orm of Aracaju, capital of Sergipe state, was attacked on July 18. Shotgun blasts were fired at his house and his mother's house. Bomfim is being sued by the state government for libel and defamation. A homemade bomb exploded in the early morning of June 23 at the building of the political daily Hora do Povo, a paper linked to the 8th of October Revolutionary Movement, in Sao Paulo. The blast caused little damage. Journalist HeJio Fernandes, editor of the daily Jamal da Imprensa, was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment for libel and defamation of businessman Luiz Alfonso Cardozo Mello de Alvares Otero in Rio de Janeiro. He appealed to the Federal Supreme Court. Brazilian journalist Flavio Tavares was sentenced to a year in prison by a court in Argentina as a result of a report published in 1985 in Folha de sao Paulo. He was found guilty of libel and defamation, but was released on bond pending appeal. In September, a criminal court in Sao Paulo sentenced journalist Otavio Frias Filho, managing editor of Folha de sao Paulo, under the press law to seven months' jail and a fine of three months' pay for defamation in a suit brought by Federal Deputy Joao Cunha, angered by the wording of headlines about him in the paper on September 9. Sentence was suspended on condition Cunha do community service.