This period has seen important advances in the struggle against impunity. Prosecutors and judges have made important decisions, among them the following: A judge in the city of Barranquilla accused two ex-members of the United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC) as allegedly responsible for the murder of journalist Jaime Rengifo, killed on April 29, 2003. The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Nation issued an order of preventive detention, without benefit of release, against José Miguel Narváez, ex-sub-director of the DAS, as the person presumed to have ordered the murder of the journalist and humorist Jaime Garzón. In order to avoid the statute of limitations in the investigation of the death of the ex-director of the newspaper El Espectador, Guillermo Cano Isaza, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Nation decided to characterize the crime as a one against humanity The Head of the Prosecutor’s Office decided to grant the request of the IAPA to locate, review, and activate 27 cases of crimes against journalists that had come from distant parts of the country. In four cases the judicial review has begun and another six have been reassigned to the Human Rights Unit in Bogotá. The Ninth Prosecutor’s Office of the National Human Rights Unit linked Ferney Tapasco González and his son, former congressman Dixon Tapasco Triviño, through an investigative order, to the murder of the sub-director of the newspaper La Patria, Orlando Sierra, as persons who had ordered the killing. In the area of civil, penal, and administrative complaints, the tendency continues to use the courts, both on the part of government officials and private persons, as a mechanism for silencing and blocking the exercise of the right to inform. Thus, it is more and more common to see use of so-called “Popular Lawsuits” against some informative content, increased by the fact that there may be an economic incentive for the plaintiffs. In the area of legislation, the most worrisome thing that has occurred in the past six months is a preliminary bill prepared by the Council of State in compliance with Sentence 442 from the Constitutional Court in 2009, which ordered it to present to Congress a law in which sanctions would be established against the media for violation of their special duties and obligations as defined in the Code on Childhood and Adolescence. The bill goes beyond what the Court had ordered, and without acknowledging national and international standards and jurisprudence, it calls for mechanisms which openly violate freedom of expression and which constitute censorship, such as suspension of circulation of a publication and imposition of disproportionate and excessive fines. A bill that had been filed in the previous legislature was submitted again to Congress, which would regulate the display of images and information on the covers of print and electronic media as a measure of protecting children and adolescents. This bill, which also violates the prohibition against censorship secured in the Colombian Constitution, was tabled for the second time, and appropriately, by the legislator, who attended to the arguments presented by Andiarios and other communications media. The trend continues of imposing upon and/or preventing newspapers and other media from the dissemination of certain content under the pretext of protecting and defending the rights of children and adolescents and other human rights, such as equality, privacy, and dignity. At the present time some ten bills are being processed in this area. In the same way, there are a number of bills that contain prohibitions, limitations, and restrictions on newspapers and other media on the dissemination of polls, electoral advertising, and commercial publicity. Also worrisome is the attempt to extend to the media liability for the content of advertising, which, according to Colombian law, belongs to the producers, distributors, and marketers of goods and services, and not to the media. As positive events we mention the filing of a bill of law that would regulate the work of informal salespeople and establish special licenses for conducting that activity, but which would make an exception for hawkers of newspapers. Also positive was the fact that in the bill for a law on Habeas Data that sets limits on the use of personal data and files, an exception is made for databases and files containing journalistic information and other editorial content. Finally, we should mention that a change will be presented in the bill that would establish the obligation for all communications media to grant heavy discounts for political advertising by limiting that obligation to those media that utilize the electromagnetic spectrum. In the judicial sphere, investigations continue into illegal intercepts of journalists’, judges’, and politicians’ communications. For his responsibility in the so-called “chuzada” scandal, the former Judicial Secretary of President Bernardo Moreno was prohibited from exercising public functions for 18 years by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Colombia. He was also interrogated by the Prosecutor as part of the criminal investigation that has been progressing to allocate responsibility for these illegal procedures. The former directors of the Administrative Department of Security, the DAS, Jorge Aurelio Noguera Cotes, María del Pilar Hurtado, and Andrés Peñate, were called in for questioning by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Colombia to establish whether or not they were part of what the Prosecutors called a “criminal platform” to obtain information on high court judges, journalists, opposition leaders, and defenders of human rights. These workers had already been sanctioned by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Colombia by their removal and prohibition against holding any government position. On the other hand, the former sub-director of the DAS, Jorge Alberto Lagos, is the first to be sentenced in the cases of the illegal intercepts, after accepting the charges against him and coming to a plea bargain with the Prosecutors’ Office that was approved by the Court of Bogotá. Lagos will spend eight years in jail, since he obtained a reduction of one third of his sentence for cooperating with the police by accepting that “without legal reason nor any motive of intelligence” he had ordered and coordinated the tailing of journalists, judges, and other persons. Lagos also was removed by the Prosecutor’s Office and prohibited from holding any government position. Finally within the same case of illegal intercepts, the former director of the Special Administrative Unit on Analysis of Financial Information (Uiaf) Mario Aranguren, is under arrest for having submitted DAS financial reports containing confidential and exclusive information on judges and journalists, without a court order. Aranguren was also removed and prohibited from holding a government position by the Prosecutor’s Office. On threats and other violations of press freedom, the Foundation for Freedom of the Press reported over the past eight months (March-October, 2010): 30 threats, 22 cases of aggression against journalists, and 3 assaults on media infrastructure, among others. Other relevant facts: The judicial process is continuing in the case of journalist Clodomiro Castilla Ospina, director and owner of the magazine El Pulso del Tiempo and reporter for the station La Voz de Montería, in the department of Córdoba,who was murdered on March 19. In April, journalist William Colina Páez was the victim of aggression in the municipality of Soledad in the department of the Atlántico while covering a murder. Attackers tried to take away the journalist’s camera and they splashed him with gasoline. Journalist and columnist Alfredo Molano was absolved at the second level of courts in a case brought against him for the crimes of slander and libel, deriving from the content of an opinion column published against the family Araujo Castro. On April 11 Maurico Medina Moreno was murdered in the municipality of Ortega, in the department of Tolima, by unknown persons who wounded him more than twenty times with sharp weapons. Belonging to the indigenous lobby Vergel Calarma, the journalist had been working for the past six years as director of community radio station CRIT 98.0. The motives behind his murder have not been determined. One year after the homicide of José Everardo Aguilar, prosecutors hope to reverse the decision of the First Special Judge of Popayán, Víctor Narváez, who decided in November, 2009 to absolve, and thus to release, Arley Manquillo Rivera, alias Huracán, who had been captured by authorities and identified as the gunman who on April 24 of that year killed the correspondent of Radio Super in his own home., The publication of the documentary “Baby Sicarios” caused a discussion due to the display of images of the children and the way in which the information was obtained. The “Alliance for Colombian Childhood” of which the primary organization for protection of children in Colombia, the I.C.B.F, is a member, among others, brought a formal complaint against journalist David Beriani from Spain for what they call a “violation of the right to protection and privacy and contempt for the law perpetrated by David Beriani.” On May 19, the Minister of the Interior issued Decree no. 1740, which regulates the policy of protection of persons in a situation of risk and the Committee on Regulation and Evaluation of Risks. Journalistic organizations consider that this decree weakens the protection of journalists and puts in danger the support that their organizations give to the protection program led by the Ministry of Justice. In June, a judge from the city of Barranquilla accused two individuals of being responsible for the murder of Jaime Rengifo. They are José Gregorio Álvarez Andrade, alias ‘Pedro’, and Jairo Alonso Samper Cantillo, alias ‘Lucho’, ex-members of the United Self-Defenses of Colombia. Jaime Rengifo Revero was murdered on April 29, 2003 in Maicao in the department of la Guajira. He was the owner of the El Guajiro publishing house, from which he directed and moderated the program “Journalists in Action.” On June 30, the General Prosecutors’ Office of the Nation issued an order of preventive detention, without benefit of release, against José Miguel Narváez, former sub-director of the DAS, as the presumed party responsible for the murder of journalist and humorist Jaime Garzón. Narváez was indicted after evidence was found against him, such as the testimony of former paramilitary chiefs. Print reporter Javier Acosta of the popular newspaper Q’Hubo Bogotá, was attacked by a guard of the INPEC (Penitentiary and Incarceration Institute of Colombia), Jorge Enrique González Castillo, while covering a hearing for his paper in which a woman was convicted of murder. In July three reporters from Canal RCN were arrested by the National Guard of Venezuela while covering a story in the border city of El Nula, some 20 kilometers from the frontier, because they did not possess permission to enter the country. They were let go 72 hours later, after being the object of mistreatment and after having their reporting materials examined and confiscated. The August 10th edition of the paper El Tiempo was totally bought out in the city of Sincelejo from newspaper salespeople by a group of men with the intention of preventing it from being read. El Tiempo stated the next day that the only news item related to that region concerned the presumed falsity of a document from the chairperson of the Committee on Investigation and Acusation of the Chamber, Hector Vergara Sierra, the representative from Sucre, who is under criminal investigation by the Prosecutors’ Office. The community broadcaster of Puerto Wilches in el Meta was the victim of an attack with an explosive device thrown into its offices. Various pieces of broadcasting equipment were destroyed, taking the station off the air. The FLIP reported that journalist Marco Tulio Valencia, director of the newspaper El Norte in Mariquita, Department of Tolima, was the victim of an attack when an unknown person shot at him five times. The events occurred around 9:30 in the evening when the journalist was on his way home. He was unhurt from the attack. Valencia had already been the victim of threats after he made a number of revelations in his paper about micro drug trafficking gangs that operate in Mariquita, a fact which leads him to think that the reporting could be the cause of the threats and the attack against him A package of explosives was left in front of the facilities of broadcaster Linda Estéreo, an affiliate of Caracol Radio, in the municipality of Concello, Caquetá, in the southeast of the country. According to the FLIP, the explosive was deactivated by the police and no one was hurt. The Prosecutors’ Office accused journalist Claudia López, before a judge, of the crimes of libel and slander, considering that the columnist had written against Ernesto Samper Pizano in her opinion column. Pizano is the former chairperson of the Commission on Crimes of Murder and Influence Trafficking. In unrelated events, the National Police attacked journalists while carrying out their professional activities. One was in Aguachica (Cesar) where an agent of the ESMAD tried to take away the camera of reporter Luis Enrique Cárdenas from Noticias Uno while he was covering a protest by motorcycle taxi drivers. In the same protest reporter Dagoberto Feres was the victim of teargas thrown by the Police. Journalist Luis Carlos Cervantes, a correspondent of Teleantioquia Noticias in the municipality of Tarazá, Antioquia, in the northwest of the country, has been the victim of constant threats since the month of August, 2010. In the latest intimidation against him, he was given 72 hours to leave the municipality or he would be killed. Cervantes covers the local leaders of the cities in the Lower Antioquia region, and in this role he has been very critical of the administration of the mayor of Tarazá. The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Nation of Colombia issued an arrest warrant against Colombian journalist William Parra Jaimes, who supposedly has ties to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). The journalist is accused of the crimes of rebellion, conspiracy to commit crimes of a terrorist nature, and financing terrorist activities, based on information found on the computers of the late guerilla fighter Raúl Reyes. Three journalists who were accompanying an international commission on verification were arrested by the Colombian Army in the municipality of El Tarra, while they were investigating the murder of a minor, apparently at the hand of a member of the Army. The journalists were detained, photographed, and filmed, and their working materials were taken without any justification by the Army. A car bomb carrying 50 kilos of explosives was set off in front of the building where the news network Caracol Radio has its offices. According the authorities’ investigation, everything points to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as the party responsible for the terrorist attack. In September, at the request of the IAPA, the Prosecutors’ Office made the effort to locate the investigative cases of 27 murders distributed among several prosecutors’ offices around the country, many of them suspended or closed. The authorities were able to locate the cases and make visits, and between the months of June and July last, important decisions were made in 14 of the cases. Based on this work, the investigation was reactivated into the murder of Mario Prada Diaz which occurred on June 11, 2002 in Sabana de Torres, department of Santander. It had been suspended since December 17, 2004. Prada Diaz was the director of the weekly Horizonte Sabanero, in which he denounced irregularities among local politicians and paramilitary groups. Colombian prosecutors also decided to study the reopening of the case of the murders of photographer Hernando Marné Sánchez, who worked with the paper El País of Cali, in February, 2005; of Iván Darío Pelayo, director of Radio Panorámica, in Puerto Rondón, Arauca, on August 17, 1995; of Arquímides Arias, director and owner of the stations Armonía FM Estéreo and Fresno FM Stereo, in Fresno, Tolima, on July 4, 2001; and of Gildardo Ariza Olarte, a reporter for Radio Ondas del Carare, Vélez, Santander, on April 19, 1993. It was also decided to push open investigations of the crimes against Fabio Leonardo Restrepo and John Jairo Restrepo Veja, murdered on February 6, 2000, and Javier Dario Arroyave, killed on September 4, 2007. Another six cases were reassigned to the Human Rights Unit of the General Prosecutors’ Office of the Nation in Bogotá so that they can be covered by prosecutors in charge of crimes against journalists. On Friday, September 24, at 5:00 PM, unknown persons forced their way into the apartment of the sub-director of Noticias Uno, Ignacio Gómez, and they stole his journalistic material. According to the FLIP, they took his personal computer, various USB memory sticks, and files of hard-copy documents. In October, Óscar Alonso López Escobar was captured. He was the presumed intermediary between the possible shooters and the instigators of the murder of Orlando Sierra, sub-director of La Patria of Manizales. López Escobar, known as "Guadas," was linked as the possible co-planner of the aggravated murder by the Prosecutors’ Office, which also indicated that “Guadas” was a member of the security team of Ferney Tapasco González. The investigation is attempting to determine whether he was the one who contacted the gunmen who ended the life of the journalist. The Second Criminal Court of Florencia sentenced Esneider Mayorga Corrales, the mayor of Curillo, Caquetá, to 40 years of incarceration for his responsibility for the crime against journalist Hernando Salas Rojas, who was murdered on May 20, 2009. Salas Rojas was at home with his wife and son in the neighborhood of Las Palmas of that city, when Elber Parra Cuéllar shot him with an automatic pistol. Later the authorities accused Mayorga Corrales. In the same case, gunman Elber Parra Cuéllar was sentenced to 42 years in prison for being the shooter in the death of the journalist. According to the investigation conducted by the special prosecutor, the crime was committed because Salas Rojas was the leader of a movement to remove Mayorga from office, the latter having hired Parra to eliminate his political rival. In this case, it was found that the crime did not result from journalistic activities. Claudia Ayola Escalón, a columnist for the newspaper El Universal of Cartagena (Bolívar) and the magazine Semana received a death threat by e-mail. On October 14, Rodolfo Maya Aricape was murdered. He was a reporter for the radio station Pa’yumat belonging to the Tejido de Comunicación (Fabric of Communication) project and also secretary of the indigenous lobby López Adentro. According to information received, Maya Aricape was at home with his wife and two daughters when two armed men shot him several times, causing his death. The motives for the murder have not been determined. Finally, reporter Fabio Ortiz Pabón of the newscast “Habla Barranquilla” (Barranquilla Speaks) in the city of Barranquilla, department of Atlantic, was attacked by police agents while covering a debate on the lottery of Atlantic in the facilities of the departmental Assembly.