The independent news media continue to face serious difficulties over the attitude and decisions that the government of President Evo Morales takes against them, calling them “opponents” within a scenario where political opposition is weakened. Determined to seek his re-election (which he cannot do under the Constitution), what is unpredictable is the attitude regarding the media that the head of state will take, engaged as he is in the early campaign for the 2014 elections. The Telecommunications and Transportation Authority (ATT) has announced a 30% increase in the number of FM radio stations in capital cities, supposedly to “democratize” communication. In a space where there was room for 40, there will now be 65. The strategy is to make radio stations´ existence more difficult, as they will have to compete even more in a poor advertising market. The belligerent official discourse has turned into legal action against the Fides news agency and the newspapers El Diario and Página Siete. They are accused of the offense of encouraging racism for having reproduced some remarks by President Morales during a public ceremony in August last year. Fiery speeches questioning the work of journalists and media have become the stimulus of “social movements” that back Morales, so as to threaten and/or attack members of the press. A report by the Monitoring Unit of the National Press Association (ANP) said that during 2012, there were 33 violent incidents against the press. In late October, hooded assailants hurled Molotov cocktail and gas bombs at critical journalist Fernando Vidal, owner of Radio Popular radio station in Yacuiba, on the border with Argentina. Vidal suffered serious burns over almost his entire body. Also injured in the attack was the radio station’s operator, Karen Delgado. Vidal had been exposing cases of corruption by local officials. The case, despite there being some people arrested, has not been solved. On February 12, television reporter Hanalí Huaycho Hannover was murdered in El Alto city, La Paz, and the alleged perpetrator of the crime, believed to be of a personal nature, has been named as the victim’s romantic partner, police officer Jorge Clavijo. Later, several journalists that were protesting outside the courtroom were attacked by police. On Monday, February 11, the correspondent of the Santa Cruz newspaper El Día was beaten by a group of unidentified assailants in a residential neighborhood of the city that houses the government, an action that she described as “racist.” On January 22, for more than four straight hours, all privately-owned radio and television stations were required to broadcast in full a message by President Morales on the occasion of the third anniversary of the declaration of the Multinational State of Bolivia. Earlier in the month, the government had announced the indictment of people and institutions that use some news media to disseminate unjustified criticism of the National Statistics Institute (INE) and the results of the 2012 Population and Housing Census. The government announced that the Bolivian population had reached 10.3 million people. That figure created a controversy between analysts and regional leaders, who are calling for greater legislative political representation and a bigger provision of resources for the country’s most populated regions.