The nation is immersed in a prolonged electoral period, a result of which has been that for the press the climate of tension has not lessened during this period. In this environment of concern is the imminent outcome of the legal proceedings in the case of the 2004 murder of radio reporter Alberto Rivera Fernández, which in the last six years has led to the IAPA sending several mission to Peru. In November under Administrative Resolution No. 187-2010 of the Executive Council the judiciary decided to widen the authority of the National Criminal Court and the provincial courts to deal with cases of crimes committed against journalists, including murder, injury, abduction and extortion. In late November the courts were strengthened when Attorney General Gladys Echaíz Ramos stipulated, through Resolution No. 1956-2010-MP-FN, that the National Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Lima District Attorney’s Offices also put under their authority the cases of those crimes committed against journalists while doing their job. On January 27 the Supreme Court Criminal Division overturned the acquittal by the Lima Higher Court’s Criminal Tribunal of the alleged masterminds of Rivera’s murder, former Coronel Portillo City Mayor Luis Valdez Villacorta and City Manager Solio Ramírez, and ordered a new oral trial. However, the Supreme Court did not rule on a plea by the lawyers of Rivera’s family that the case go to the National Criminal Court. There continues to be government harassment and intimidation of the radio station La Voz de Bagua, despite the fact that a year after its having been shut down the Peruvian government on August 19 reinstated the station’s broadcast license, saying that it would provide all the facilities to resolve pending administrative matters. The shutdown had been made in the context of clashes between indigenous people and the police on June 5 in Bagua province in the Amazon region, and after the Peruvian Prime Minister, Interior Minister and Congress President accused the radio station of inciting violence and causing the death of 24 police officers and 10 civilians during the conflict known as “the Baguazo.” Nevertheless, on January 18 the Transportation and Communications Ministry ordered the seizure of assets of the radio station’s director, Carlos Flores Borja, in the amount of 6,500 new soles ($2,300) as a fine for non-payment of license fee. The order came after Flores Borja has sought a reduction in his debt on the basis that the station was in financial straits as a result of having been shut down in June 2009 and then in August last year. On February 21 a public prosecutor charged Aurora Doraliza Burgos de Flores, owner of radio station Radio La Voz de Bagua Grande, and another two persons with using broadcasts to offend the government, represented by the Transportation and Communications Ministry, and called for four years’ imprisonment of the three. There is concern at a resurgence of legislative bills and a proliferation of sentencing to stiff fines payable by and imprisonment of editors and owners of news media. In December the IAPA and the Peruvian Press Council protested a proposal by the Constitutional Court to establish restrictive mechanisms and set penalties for journalists and news media that divulge private conversations obtained without permission or unlawfully, even when they are of public interest, claiming that violation of this measure amounts to “a violation of every person’s right to good name and dignity.” The proposal responded to a habeas corpus motion presented by the wife of Alberto Quimper, former head of the state oil company Petroperú, one of those implicated in a case of corruption and arrested as a result of the publication in the press of clandestine recordings concerning business dealings favoring the Discover Petroleum company. The protests sparked a prompt reaction by the Court judges, who in their role of rectifying errors in sentencing on December 10 issued a resolution clarifying the one numbered 00655-2010-PHC/TC, which establishes that “it is prohibited to disseminate information that harms personal or family privacy or the private life of the person concerned or third parties, except when the information is of public interest or relevance, which should be determined in each case by the news media outlet itself.” However, the Peruvian Press Council warned that there remained gaps in the resolution, particularly in point 4, which on the one hand grants news media, journalists, editors and/or owners the power to decide if the information is of public interest and on the other hand establishes that “in the case of excesses” they are also responsible to the “competent authority.” Under current legislation the dissemination of private conversations obtained without permission or unlawfully is not characterized as an offense. On December 17, during the closing session of a Press-Judiciary Dialogue, Judicial Branch President César San Martín and Supreme Court Chief Justice Javier Villa Stein came out against prior censorship and for respect for freedom of expression and of the press, citing as an example the position of the Constitutional Court on “The use by the press of private statements obtained unlawfully” and its link to new legislative bills seeking penalties including the payment of hefty fines by news media that disseminate material obtained through unlawful wiretapping of private conversations. San Martín called on the Peruvian Press Council to set up a working group to come up with legal mechanisms and more effective codes of ethics regarding the use by the press of material obtained through wiretapping. Other significant developments during this period: On October 1, Antoniio Mollehuanca, director of the news program “La Voz,” broadcast by Radio Espinar in the province of Espinar, department of Cusco, revealed that a group of people from the area broke into the station to attack him and force him to leave the premises. Once outside, he was made to carry a poster saying “I am a traitor of the people” and drink contaminated water from the Canipia River. Mollehuanca attributes the occurrence to the opinions that he expresses on his program about a water project in the region and identifies among the assailants Roger Aragón Conza, a militant member of the Pukallacta Communist Party, and Benedicto Usca, general secretary of the Espinar Unified Federation of Peasants. As a result of the attack, Mollehuanca has had to cancel his program. The case was reported to the Public Defender’s Office of the town. On November 13 Gustavo Peralta, a reporter with the newspaper Libero in Lima province, complained that he was attacked by members of the National Police after a soccer match with no justification whatsoever and so violently that they broke his left arm. On November 5 Eduardo Cenepo, a reporter with the news program “Melodía en la Noticia” (Melodía in the News) broadcast by Radio Melodía radio station in Coronel Portillo, Ucayali province, reported that he was detained and jailed on a charge of aggravated illegal seizure in having supported a group of members of a commune who invaded a piece of land. He was released on November 22. On December 5 journalists Perla Polo from Canal 22 television, Yesenia Abad, from Antena Norte, and Antonio Bazean, correspondent of the newspaper La República in Chiclayo, Lambayeque, complained that Aprista Party militants attacked them when they tried to interview the defeated candidate of the governing party to the Lambayeque regional presidency, Manuel Valverde Ancajima. In December Superior Court Judge Juan Vidal Morales sued journalist Daniel Yovera and the newspaper Perú 21 for libel following publication by the newspaper of the results of an investigation into his alleged unlawful enrichment. On January 9 Edixer Rivera, host of the program “La Voz del Pueblo” (The Voice of the People) broadcast by Radio Super Sensación radio station, in San Ignacio, Cajamarca province, complained that he was attacked and detained at the local city hall by members of the self-styled Front for the Defense of the Interests of the Municipality of Chirinos, which had been occupying the building for 12 days. On January 17 Juan Vela Castro, host of the program “Contacto Directo” (Direct Contact) and news editor of Radio Television Nor Selva in Rioja, San Martín province, reported that after attempting to locate him at the radio station lawyer Tito Ramón Vásquez Vela turned up at his home, threatening to kill him and violently beating him with an iron rod. After Vela Castro was able to escape, his arm broken, he hid up in his home, but the lawyer continued his violent behavior, breaking down the main door, smashing a window and destroying a motorcycle parked outside the house. Vela Castro attributes the attack to his coverage of the trial of the lawyer’s client, Hernán Ibérico, on a charge of having illegally taken over some land. On January 26 Renzo Santan, a reporter with the news station 24 Horas, and Juan Carlos Vera. a cameraman with the program “Panorama” broadcast by Panamericana Televisión in the Lima region, were attacked while covering a protest against the Orellana Rengifo Studio, accused of heading an organization engaged in land trafficking and money laundering. On January 31 Luis Castillo, editor of the magazine Tribuna Azucarera in Tumán, Lambayeque, reported that three unidentified person hurled three tear gar bombs at his home, and at those of labor union leader Jorge Vera, president of the Association of Retirees in Tumán, and the editor of the magazine Diálogo, Juan de Dios Ruiz Vallejos. All three bombs hit the outside walls and exploded. Some days earlier the distributor of the Tribuna Azucarera, Esteban González, had reported that six unidentified assailants attacked him while he was on his daily route. In October Castillo had complained that an unidentified man made a death threat on his mobile phone. Castillo attributed these incidents to coverage by his magazine of a clash between the workers and owners of an agricultural company. On February 10 radio reporter Juan García Dioses in Tumbes province said he was attacked at the door of his sons’ home by two unidentified persons who beat him with an iron bar, injuring his head and arms. On February 14 the chapter in Utcubamba, Amazonas province, of the National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP) issued a press release reporting that journalists with the newspaper Ahora, Alberto Pintado and Ebert Bravo, were being harassed by the local mayor and city officials over the criticism that they had been making of the municipal administration. On February 16 a committee for the defense of freedom of expression formed by journalists with television channels 35, 41 and 55 and Radio NOVA radio station in the town of Chimbote, in the Ancash region, staged a protest against the local government leader, Cesar Álvarez by covering their mouths to call attention to harassment and gagging that they said the Ancash administration wanted to impose on the press critical of it. On March 5 Julio Quevedo Chávez, editor of the newspaper Voces in Tarapato, San Martín province, said that early that day three unidentified persons hurled home-made incendiary devices at his newspaper’s offices, sparking a fire that damaged the building. He linked the attack to text-messaged threats that Lenin Quevedo, the newspaper’s news editor, had been receiving. That same day journalist Roger Torres Chujutalloi reported that eight unidentified men attacked reporters Manuel Saldaña García and Julio César Mendoza, hosts of the program “El Matador” broadcast by radio station Radio Nova Star in Yurimaguas, in the Loreto region. They attributed the attacks to people linked to the local mayor. On March 21 the Peruvian Association of Research and Marketing Companies (APEIM) responded to the posting by the Survey Takers Control System (SIFE) on the Web site of the National Elections Panel (JNE) that with a “stop light” image intended to reflect shortcomings in the preparation of surveys, expressing its concern that this kind of publication amounted to a form of disapproval of survey takers declared by an authority that was both judge and jury, without legal basis or an opportunity for prior rectification.