During this period the climate of tension under which the press has been working has not been reduced; on the contrary, there has been a worrisome increase in the violence used against journalists. In June during public protests against a mining project, which led the national government to declare a thirty-day state of emergency in the Cajamarca Region, episodes of aggression and fear-mongering against journalists were observed on the part of police forces charged with maintaining public order. At the same time, there was a resurgence of legislative proposals from various parts of the political spectrum that, if passed, would result in serious restrictions on freedom of expression. In this regard, we welcome the openness shown by Prime Minister Juan Jiménez Mayor regarding the need to debate and amend, so as not to affect press freedoms, the bill for the Law on “Negacionismo” (Downplaying or Denial of Terrorism), introduced in Congress in August by the Executive Branch. Bill No. 1464/2012-PE seeks to punish by imprisonment of not less than four or more than eight years the disseminations of opinions contrary to firm court sentences or that “publicly approve, justify, deny or minimize crimes committed by members of terrorist organizations.” While the bill says that “freedom of expression or of opinion cannot be affected by the kind of offense as that proposed, to the degree that it not being an absolute right there are undeniable limitations in other legal areas, both individual and collective,” it is considered that an interpretation limiting this proposal could be counterproductive for freedoms, as it would not admit dissenting opinions. Also of concern is the intent to criminalize the right to opinion and to coopt the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information, implicit in the alteration of the law that proposes modifying article 162 of the Penal Code, referring to the intervention of private communications, passed by the general body of the Congress of the Republic in December 2011, signed by President Ollanta Humala Tasso in January, 2012, and again approved by the Commission on Justice and Human Rights in April. The project would provide an atmosphere open to censorship by establishing sanctions that deprive of freedom those who disseminate materials that result from interception, especially when in the past revelations of this nature have contributed to uncovering acts of corruption in matters of public interest that otherwise would have remained unpunished. On the positive side was the visit to Peru in June of Catalina Botero Marino, Special Relater for Freedom of Expression of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS, since it obtained consensus both of the out-going president and of the president of the judicial branch to contribute to the formulation of alternative proposals to the present one based on inter American jurisprudence. Another concern is the Bill of Law on Computer Crime that was approved on June 26 by the Commission on Justice and Human Rights of the parliament and whose article 25 states that “an investigation made into computer crimes containing information whose dissemination may cause panic in sensitive areas is of a reserved nature, under responsibility. It is prohibited that operators of the criminal justice system reveal information or supply materials in the investigation to third parties or to communications media.” This is disturbing in that at the present time, the investigation stage of criminal processes is already reserved. At the same time, erratic decisions brought against journalists and media in civil and criminal suits continue to be troublesome. Luis Ferro Sandoval, editor of the daily Correo, Tumbes edition, was declared to be a habitual criminal by Judge Carlos Lozada Oyola of the Penal Court of Resolution of the Superior Court of Tumbes in the case that it is following in the crime of libel against the former magistrate Mercedes Alarcón Schroder. On June 5, Judge José Chávez Hernández of the 12th Penal Court of the Superior Court of Lima sentenced journalist and publisher of Diario 16, Juan Carlos Tafur, and journalist Roberto More, to two years of deprivation of freedom, suspended, and payment of approximately US$ 50,000 as civil compensation to General (r.) of the National Police of Peru, Antonio Ketin Vidal. In May, Carlos Paredes, director of the news program 90 Segundos on Frecuencia Latina, Channel 2, was notified by the same judge, Chávez Hernández of the 12th Penal Court of the Superior Court of Lima, about the suit for libel brought by former minister of the interior Ketin Vidal, based on the publication of his book in 2006, La caída del héroe, la verdadera historia de Ketin Vidal (The Fall of a Hero: The Real Story of Ketin Vidal). A case that caused commotion in political and journalism circles occurred at the end of April when Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism José Luis Silva Martinot appeared at the offices of the newspaper Peru 21 to express his concern over hacking of his electronic mail account done from an IP address belonging to the medium. The paper offered its facilities for investigation and identified the computer from which the violations had originated. On April 25, journalist Rudy Palma admitted having obtained access to the minister’s mail and that of other state officials, and indicated that the hacking of those mails had the purpose of seeking information to be published in case the content were of public interest. Faced with the evidence, the newspaper decided to end its working relationship with the journalist for lack of ethics. Palma was arrested and on May 5 he was incarcerated until July 10. His case is still on-going with an order of appearance. On May 4, 2012, Judge Delia Flores Gallegos ordered the arrest of journalist Gina Sandoval Cervantes, editor of the economic section of the newspaper, arguing that she had tried to elude justice by not appearing to make a statement when she was summoned. The journalist showed that she had not received the subpoena. On the other hand, over the next few months final judgments will be made for the crimes against three of the fifty-seven journalists murdered in Peru between 1982 and 2011: Alberto Rivera Fernández, Pedro Yauri, and Pedro Flores Silva. In May, the IAPA and the Peruvian Press Council expressed their rejection of the decision issued by the judge of the Third Penal Section for Free Defendants of the Superior Court of Lima, acquitting the former provincial mayor of Coronel Portillo, Luis Valdez Villacorta and the disentitled judge of the Superior Court of Ucayali, Solio Ramírez Garay, as the masterminds of the crime that was committed in the city of Pucallpa in April, 2004; despite new evidence and testimony presented by Carlos Rivera, lawyer of the IDL and defense of the radio journalist’s family, which would prove that former mayor Valdez Villacorta had a motive to order the crime, in reprisal for revelations in the news of Rivera’s ties to narco-trafficking. Since the month of September the case has been in the Supreme Court. On May 12, in the district of Hualmay, Huaura province, department of Lima, the remains were found of Pedro Yauri Bustamante, a journalist for Radio Universal of Huacho, Lima, who disappeared in June 1992, twenty years ago. This case was added to the crimes of Barrios Altos and El Santa committed by the Colina Group, a death squad whose members operated in Peru in the 1990s during the government of former president Alberto Fujimori Fujimori. On July 20, 2012, the Permanent Criminal Court of the Supreme Court reduced the sentences imposed on the members of that paramilitary group, considering that there did not exist crimes against humanity, in spite of the fact that in the case of Barrios Altos, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has manifested itself in this regard. On September 24, the IACHR considered the decision of the Permanent Criminal Court to be incompatible with the commitments taken on by Peru upon ratifying the American Convention on Human Rights in favoring the Colina group. For that reason, on September 27, the Supreme Court of Justice annulled the decision of the Permanent Criminal Court that reduced the sentences of the members of the Colina group. Finally, a lot of attention is being given to the trial going on for the murder of Pedro Flores Silva, a reporter for Channel 6 Television of Casma, Ancash Region. He was killed by a gunman who shot him six times close to his home in the district of Nuevo Chimbote, Province of Santa, Ancash in 2011. Since then, in April the provincial prosecutor of Casma, Luis Sánchez Colona, who was investigating the crime, was murdered, as well as Rubén Remigio Castillo Antayhua, alias El Viejo, one of the presumed shooters, killed in May. Other cases reported during this period: On April 11, journalists in Celendín province in the Cajamarca region reported that leaders of the Celedín Inter-Institutional Platform (PIC) scared them in printed pamphlets, on Facebook and on the programs “Despierta Celendín” (Wake Up Celendín) and “Antorcha Magisterial “ (Commanding Torch) broadcast on Radio Celandín, accusing them of carrying out news coverage in favor of the Yanacocha company, promoter of the Conga mining project. On April 15, Juan Lara Salazar, a reporter with Mega Visión TV, in the Cajamarca Region, reported that security staff of the Yanacocha mine seized his video camera. He recovered it on condition that he stop filming a meeting there. On April 16, Éter Alcántara Rojas, host of the program “Libre Expresión” (Free Expression) broadcast by Radio El Edén in Celendín reported that he was kidnapped and held for two and a half hours and was taken to the El Milagro Agricultural Workers Circle, where he was beaten and warned that he would have his tongue and toes cut off if he did not change his coverage of the Conga mining project. On May 2, Bequer Bejarano Valdivia, host of the program “Alerta TV” (TV Alerts) broadcast by Canal 35 television in the Huánuco region, reported that he received a death threat from the Huánuco governor. He attributed the threat to his critical coverage of the local mayor, Jesús Giles Alipazaga. On May 7, Carlos Infante, editor of the magazine Con Sentido in the Ayacucho region, reported that the Ayacucho Public Prosecutor’s Office headed by Andrés Cáceres Ortega, had begun legal proceedings against him for alleged collaboration with terrorism. On May 13, José Gabriel Quispe Huaypa, director and host of the newscast “Continental en las Noticias” (Continental in the News) broadcast by Radio Continental in Juliaca, Puno region, reported that as he was leaving the radio station he was beaten by two unidentified assailants who rebuked him for his critical coverage of the San Román mayor. On May 21, Ramiro Muñoz Terrones, host of the program “Despertar Campesino” (Farm Worker, Wake-Up) broadcast by Radio Cutervo in Cajamarca, reported that an unidentified person shot him in the leg outside the radio station. Muñoz Terrones, who several days earlier reported he had been threatened by a local official, attributed this to his criticism of the local mayor. On May 22, David Vexelman, a photographer with the newspaper Perú.21, reported that Nancy Obregón, a former congresswoman, shoved his camera in his face and kicked him in the genitals when he was trying to photograph her as she was leaving a session of the Transport and Communications Committee of the federal Congress to which she had not been invited. On May 28, Daniel Vera Vera, video reporter with “Expresión TV” (TV Expression) broadcast by Canal 21 in Chiclayo, Lambayeque region, reported that he was attacked by a local official while he was trying to interview Mayor Roberto Torres. On May 31, Henry Urpeque Necisosup, correspondent of Radio Programas del Perú in Chiclayo reported that a group of journalists who were trying to cover the murder that day of the secretary of the Regional Civil Construction Labor Union, Richard Tandazo Ordóñez, were threatened and assaulted by a group of workers belonging to the union. On May 31, Fernando Lino of Willax TV and Cajamarca region correspondents for Radio Programas del Perú, América TV and Panamericana TV reported that they were attacked by demonstrators during the first day of a protest strike at the Conga mining project. On July 5, Jorge Luis Vásquez Quepuy, a reporter with the newspaper El Trome in Chiclayo, reported that lawyer José Villanueva Villena attacked him while he was trying to photograph his protégé, a minor accused of theft being held at a local police station. On June 6, Jorge Saldaña and Dante Piaggio, reporter and news photographer with the newspaper El Comercio, reported that they were expelled from San Francisco church, where anti-mining demonstrators were encamped, by a group of twenty-five people who, on seeing them interview a person injured during clashes with the Peruvian National Police, called them liars and forced them to leave the church. On June 6, the Nómadas Association, organizer of a film festival, reported that representatives of the municipality of Villa El Salvador in the Lima region censored the documentary “En el Corazón de Conga” (In the Heart of Conga), produced by Isabel Guarniz Alcántara, which narrates the social conflict between the mining company Yanacocha and the local population, even though its showing had been scheduled. On June 14, Edwin Lozano, correspondent for the television channel Frecuencia Latina and reporters with TV Norte, Sol TV and Canal 15 in Cajamarca reported that despite identifying themselves as journalists they were brutally attacked by National Police officers when they were covering the anti-mining strike and a clash between demonstrators and the police in the La Recoleta square. On June 17, journalist Jaime Alfredo Núñez del Prado Salinas, director and host of the newscast “La Otra Verdad” (The Other Truth) broadcast by Radio Color and Calca TV in Calca province, Cusco region, reported that he was brutally beaten by four unidentified assailants who injured him in the eye and left him bruised all over his body. He attributed the attack to his journalistic exposures of wrongdoing by the Calca mayor. On June 26, Nicolás Salazar, special envoy of Canal N television in Cajamarca, reported that while he was covering the announcement of a march in support of the Conga mining project at a private university in Cajamarca a group of anti-mining demonstrators charged at the television station vehicle, damaging broadcast equipment. On July 5, Carlos Bustamante Alva, editor of the newspaper El Francotirador in Huaura province, Lima region, was violently beaten and kicked by companions of Cánete Regional Councilor Liliana Torres Castillo who also participated in the beating of other journalists trying to interview her about an arrest warrant issued by the Second Criminal Tribunal of Preparatory Investigation in Chincha. She left the scene hurriedly but those with her continued attacking the members of the press. On June 27, journalist Espinoza Castro was attacked by the wife of the leader of the Labor Union of Education Workers of Peru (SUTEP), Liz Molina Muñoz, who sought him out at the television station and hit him in the face while rebuking him for his coverage of protests by union members. On July 24, Luis Heredia González, a reporter with the El Digital portal in Lambayeque region reported that National Police officers hit him and took his camera as he was trying to photograph a policeman violently beating a female teacher during a SUTEP demonstration. Another group of police officers beat Walter Ortiz and Lisset Seminario, reporters with the newspaper La República and USS Satelital TV when they tried to tape the police action against González. On July 28, Jorge Chávez Ortiz, a journalist with the blogs Mi Mina Corrupta (My Corrupt Mine) and Celendín Libre (Free Celendín) and a member of the Celedín Inter-Institutional Platform party in Celendín province, Cajamarca region, reported that he was beaten and arrested by National Police officers when he was interviewing residents of Celedín to learn their views about President Ollanta Humala Tasso’s message to the nation on the occasion of a national public holiday. On July 29, the editor of the newspaper Diario Ahora in Huánuco region, Lincoln Díaz Marcellini, reported that a councilman of the provincial municipality, Juan Elías Ollague Rojas, had sued him for alleged incitement to crime after his newspaper reported that Huánuco Provincial Mayor Jesús Giles Alipazanga, Ollague Rojas and four other councilmen were responsible for having authorized granting of a business license to the Las Vegas brothel, located near the Kotosh archeological site, whose owner is a former mayoress. In August 1, journalists Javier Pocohuanca Hilari with Canal Collasuyp television, Olimpia Mamani with Pachamama Radio, Noemi Calsín Loayza with Mundo TV, and Rina Yanapa Mamani with Canal Sur television reported that they were attacked while they were filming destruction caused by a group of SUTEP member teachers. On August 24, Lincer Tuanama Valera, director and host of the program “Hablemos la Verdad” (Let Us Tell The Truth) broadcast by Radio Voz and H-Visión TV in Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios region, reported that he and his wife had been declared recalcitrant prisoners by Judge Omar Maldonado Osorio of the Madre de Dios Supreme Court’s First Unipersonal Tribunal in proceedings initiated in 2010 for the alleged offense of aggravated theft of the radio-electric spectrum and the accusation of such flagrant wrongdoing that he chose to confront from in hiding.