The climate of tension in which the press performs its role of reporting has not lessened but rather has suffered some further setbacks, both in a resurgence of legislative bills and a proliferation of controversial court rulings awarding multi-million fines and ordering imprisonment of editors, reporters and media owners in civil and criminal trials. There has in addition been a palpable backward step in the battle against impunity surrounding crimes against journalists, despite the fact that the judiciary has created a special jurisdiction for dealing with such crimes, a commitment that Supreme Court Chief Justice Javier Villa Stein had made to an IAPA mission. The Executive Council of the Judicial Branch, through Administrative Resolution No. 187/2010, broadened the competence of the National Criminal Court and tht of the Supraprovincial Criminal Courts of Lima to acknowledge the following crimes against journalists in tshe exercise of their duties: homicide, murder, serious injury, kidnapping and extortion. Unfortunately, this resolution, passed on May 26, becomes official only after November 5, the date of its publication in El Peruano; and it specifies that criminal cases already underway must be completed in the courts to which they had been assigned, such that the final phase of the representative case of the murder of journalist Alberto Rivera would be excluded from this new measure.. On a positive note, on June 18 the editor of the Weekly Nor Oriente, Alejandro Carrascal Carrasco, was released after being held in custody for six months in a libel case, on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired, it having been more than four years since the disputed publication in question. On August 19 the federal government restored the broadcasting license to the Voz de Bagua radio station. The arbitrary closure of the radio station had taken place in the context of tragic clashes between Peruvian Indians and police on June 5 in Bagua province in the Amazonas region when senior officials – among them the Prime Minister, Interior Minister and the Speaker of the Congress – publicly accused the radio station of having incited violence and causing the death of 24 police officers and 10 civilians during the incident, which became known as “the Bagua massacre.” The Transportation and Communications Minister announced his ministry would be immediately investigating and imposing penalties on any radio stations found to be sparking chaos in the area. And although the Voz de Bagua was stripped of its broadcast license three days later, the ministry then ruled there had been non-compliance with the requirement under existing law for certain administrative steps to be taken to be able to resort to such action. Carlos Flores Borja, owner and director of the radio station, denied the political and administrative accusations and despite the fact that he had for 14 months been facing strong administrative and legal harassment that included his bank accounts being embargoed, he continued showing that the accusations against him were false. On August 19 during a meeting at the offices of the Peruvian Press Council Prime Minister Javier Velásquz Quesquén and Transportation and Communications Minister Enrique Cornejo handed to Flores Ministerial Resolution No. 384-2010-MTC/03 in which his radio station’s broadcast license was restored, overturning the previous resolution that had removed it. Nevertheless, in September the head of the Utcubamba-Amazonas State Attorney’s Office, José Loayza Ventura, declared as well-founded a charge of aggravated encroachment made by the Transportation and Communications Ministry’s Legal Affairs Public Prosecutor against Moraliza Burgos de Flores, co-owner of the Voz de Bagua and the owners of other local radio stations, among them Carlos Enrique Piscoya Lenga, Edin Montenegro Díaz, Gloria Mabel Campos Olano, Percy Dogny Tello Ramírez, Luz Noemi Jiménez Salazar and Edgardo López Díaz. The panorama of initiation of legal proceedings for the murder of journalists is hardly encouraging. In the case of Alberto Rivera, killed in April 2004, the Public Prosecutor called for a 20-year prison sentence on a charge of homicide for the accused but then the sentence was annulled due to what were described by the family’s defense counsel as irregularities in the proceedings. In February there was concern at a minority decision by the Lima Higher Court’s Third Criminal Division, which hears cases involving convicts, to acquit the former provincial mayor of Coronel Portillo, Luis Valdez Villacorta, and the dismissed Ucayali Higher Court justice Solio Ramírez Garay, who had been charged with being the masterminds of Rivera’s murder, saying there was lack of evidence and contradictory testimony by witnesses. In August, an alternate judge accepted a request to change the order for imprisonment to one of house arrest presented by the defense attorney of former mayor Valdez Villacorta. While awaiting sentencing on charges of money-laundering and being a mastermind of Rivera’s murder, Villacorta is to be held at the home of his daughter in Lima. On August 24, seven months after the acquittal was announced, the OCMA (the Peruvian judicial branch’s disciplinary body) told the family’s lawyers the reason for it – serious irregularities committed during the proceedings, saying that very serious errors had been committed by Jorge Alberto Aguinaga Moreno, José Chávez Hernández Malzón Urbina la Torre and Luis Orlando Carrera Contti, at the time members of the Lima Higher Court’s Third Criminal Division. They were given only light administrative penalties. In October the five members of the Supreme Court’s Temporary Criminal Division failed to agree on whether to uphold or overturn Valdez Villacorta’s acquittal. They called on a judge who hears annulment pleas, Jorge Santa María, to issue an opinion so the matter could be settled. No date for this action has yet been set. On May 12 in the Gualmay district of Lima province, the remains were found of journalist Pedro Yauri of Radio Huanta 2000 radio station and Ayacucho correspondent of the newspaper La República. He had last been seen in 1984 entering the Los Cabitos military base to lodge a formal complaint that members of the Navy, who were searching for him, had forced their way into his mother’s home and threatened and beat her. In 2001 former intelligence officer Julio Chuqui declared that Yauri had been executed on a beach in Huacho by members of the self-style Colina Group. The defense counsel of the Runamasinchinqpaq Human Development Association (ADEHR), Karim Ninaquispe, in representation of the victim’s family reported that the Human Rights Prosecutor in Ayacucho, Andrés Cáceres Ortega, had denied allowing relevant experts access to the journalist’s remains. The family members had presented a petition to the Ayacucho Provincial Public Prosecutors Office that it, on the basis of all the evidence found, bring criminal charges against the Ayacucho Political Military Command chief at the time, General Adrián Huamán Centeno, the head of the Huanta and La Mar Political Military Command, Alberto Rivero Valdeavellano, and the chief of the Huanta anti-subversion base, Augusto Gabilondo García del Barco, as being those principally responsible for the journalist’s forced disappearance. On the 19th anniversary of the death of Melissa Alfaro, news editor of the weekly Cambio, killed by a bomb blast as she opened an envelope, it remained unknown who had been responsible for the crime. In 1993, two years after the murder, the magazine SI published a communiqué issued by the self-styled military group León Dormido (Sleeping Lion), in which it blamed Army officer Víctor Penas Sandoval for the murder, but this failed to result in any investigation. Subsequently, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) managed to obtain secret documents declassified by the United States government that referred to Alberto Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesinos as being informed about the sending of the letter bomb. On May 26 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) admitted a submission by the families of journalists murdered on February 26, 1983 in the rural community of Uchuraccay in Huamanga province, Ayacucho region. This paved the way for them to submit a formal complaint to the IACHR. They blame the Peruvian government for the murders and for an alleged direct involvement of members of the military. They also accuse the judicial authorities of having failed to investigate the presumed participation of police in the journalists’ deaths. Last year we had to speak up against other similar initiatives, such as Bill No. 3621-2009-CR, which incorporates paragraph b to Article 183 of the Penal Code, and establishes criminal and civil sanctions of up to six years of incarceration for directors, editors, managers, or others responsible for the dissemination of images, audiovisual materials or texts of “obscene or pornographic” content; this was also turned down in June and sent for modification by the Commission on Justice and Human Rights of the Congress of the Republic. Other major developments have been: An incorrect decision was made by the Constitutional Court, in spite of two prior contrary decisions, ordering an action to proceed intended to confiscate and prevent circulation of the book Fraude en tres letras: LAP (Fraud in Three Letters: LAP) by Raúl Wiener, a columnist for the newspaper La Primera, based on his investigation in 2005 on concessions for the Jorge Chávez International Airport. On March 31 Ronald Escobar Alegría, director of the “Vox Populi” program broadcast by the radio station of the same name in Urubamba province, Cusco region, reported that he suffered a knife attack by a public official, Ana Cecilia Loayza Rodríguez, together with a group of municipal employees who were angry at him for having criticized the local mayor, Benicio Ríos Osca. On April 7 Orlando Rucana Cuba, editor of the twice-monthly magazine La Revista and host of the news program “ITN” aired by Canal 27 television in Huaraz province, Ancash region, reported that he was beaten and knocked unconscious by a group of officers of the Peruvian National Police and members of a local citizens’ safety organization. The incident occurred as he was covering the removal of street vendors. On April 8 Lenin Quevedo Bardales, editor of the newspaper Voces, and Andrés Velarde Moreno, a reporter for the news program “Reacción,” broadcast by Vía Televisión, in San Martín province, said that they were attacked by three officers of the Peruvian National Police accused of corruption by members of the family of a person in custody. The police chief had to intervene to stop the beatings and ordered one assailant to hand back the camera he had seized during the incident. On April 19 journalist Mary Pérez, host of the news program “LVS Noticias” aired by the Iquitos, Loreto province, radio station La Voz de la Selva, reported that a group of women burst into the station’s building, insulting her and calling her “a terrorist” and “a liar.” This led to a clash with members of the Unidos Por Loreto (United For Loreto) party there in which also injured was a reporter from La Exitosa radio, Pedro Flores. On April 28 José Juan Vásequez Malca, director of the “El Espectador” news program broadcast by Canal 9 television in Jaén, Cajamarca province, said that Jaén Criminal Court magistrate Enrique Montenefgro Guimaraez threatened to sue him and get this program off the air if he did not rectify a report that he had aired. On May 10 Rina Yanapa Mamani, a reporter for the program “Perfiles” (Profles) broadcast by Canal 4 television in Juliaca, Puno province, said that Odón García, the attorney of former Juliaca mayor David Mamani Pariacahua, attacked and beat her as she was covering the announcement of sentencing of the former city head being handed down by the court. On June 8 Carlos Julcamoro Cubas and Marvin Díaz Portal, journalists with Canal 25 television, and Miguel Aquino Sánchez of Campesina radio station in Cajamarca province, said they were beaten with sticks and whipped by a group of parents who were calling for a change in the leadership of the Association of Heads of Family. On July 16 Bacario Bautista Yucra, director of the radio program “El Paladín” in Palpa province, Ica region, reported that the husband of Vilma Ayala, head of the Lipata municipal district, attacked him and threatened reprisals for having questioned the favoritism he showed towards local municipal employees in a re-election bid. On August 4 Ricardo Santisteban Chapoñan, owner of radio station La Bravaza in Pacasmayo province, La Libertad region, reported that early that day unidentified assailants hurled two home-made explosives at his radio station. He attributed the attack to his exposure of wrongdoing in the local city administration. On August 7 Andrés Vera Córdova, editor of the online newspaper El Regional de Piura in Sullana province, Piura region, said that a group of militants belonging to the political movement Obras+Obras headed by the current provincial mayor, Jaime Bardales Ruiz, threatened and beat him up. On August 24 Darvis Pax Castillo, director of the news program “Tribuna Popular” broadcast by radio station Integración in Casma province, Ancash region, said that the mayor of Yaután district, Nicolás García Bobadilla, publicly threatened him over a report he had made accusing the mayor of unlawful interference in elections. In September, Judge Alfonso Payano of the Seventeenth Criminal Court of Lima, utilized the legal stratagem of withholding adjudication, which implies additional sanctions on the future exercise of journalism by the director of the newspaper Correo, Aldo Mariátegui, based on various complaints brought by Ramón Ramírez Erazo for the publication of notes in the paper questioning his nomination as Comptroller General and his connection to the paper La Nación in March, 2010. On September 1 Eder Sotomayor Santiago and Moisés Ayme Ticona, director and reporter of the program “La Hora Noticias” aired by TV Canal 56 television in the Ica region, reported that supporters of local mayor Mariano Ausberto Nacimiento Quispe beat them up in reprisal for having filmed them as they were attacking supporters of another political group. On October 1, journalist Johnny Eduardo Pezo Tello, director of the lnewspaper Aldía in Yurimaguas Loreto, was sentenced by Judge Ramón Llerena Delfin to three years in prison, sentence suspended, and to the payment of S/20,000 to the former provincial prosecutor Juan Carlos Evaristo Puño of the second Mixed Prosecutor’s Office of the Upper Amazon, who was photographed by Aldía dancing with his secretary. On October 9 Marco Bonifacio Sánchez, a reporter with broadcast station Turbo Mix Canal 19 in Cajamarca region, reported that robbers burst into his home and stole some $1,800. He suspected that they might have been looking for documents and videotapes of his investigation into possible cases of police corruption in the area. A disproportionate sentence was issued by Judge Flor la Rosa La Rosa, of the 33rd Criminal Court of Lima for the crime of aggravated defamation against journalist JoséAlejandro Godlby, director of the blog The case, brought by the former minister of Labor and former congressman Jorge Mufarech Meny produced a judgment of three years in prison, suspended, payment of S/ 300,000.00 as civil compensation, and 120 days of social work. In April, the former congressman demanded that Godoy suppress the information, but the journalist defended its inclusion, seeking support in public interest and on the fact that it had been published previously in other media.