The gloomy record of journalists being murdered continued to expand during the last six months in Latin America, where the state of freedom of expression deteriorated enormously in nearly all of the Americas, particularly in Argentina and Ecuador. The violent actions of organized crime took the lives of five journalists (three in Mexico, one in Paraguay and one in Honduras). Another Mexican reporter has gone missing. In Mexico, the most dangerous country to work in as a journalist, the repeated promises of various presidents to make these crimes federal offenses have not been fulfilled and they continue not to be taken up by Congress. Both in this country and in Honduras news media groups agreed to give special treatment of news about the illicit drug trade. But the stigma of organized crime (both of the drug traffickers and guerrilla and paramilitary groups) is expanding to other countries, such as Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and those in Central America, where the continual threats made against journalists increase the risk of self-censorship being imposed. In countries in the Americas such as Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Guyana campaigns promoted by the very presidents to discredit news media and journalists are frequent and repeated. Verbal and physical attacks on news men and women and threats made in those countries are also repeated in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Guatemala. Court rulings and convictions, as well as legislative bills, have at least the potential of curtailing in different ways freedom of expression in such diverse countries as the United States, El Salvador, Colombia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Jamaica, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Canada. The arbitrary distribution of official advertising and the use of taxation to put a halt to criticism are a common means used in Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Guatemala. Access to public information continues to be a promise more than a reality. In some countries there are legislative bills on the matter that remain on file in the legislatures, while in others the laws have already been enacted but are being complied with only partially due to the culture of secrecy that exists in government. The construction of state-owned news media and privately-owned ones that support the government and are maintained solely by public funds is already an extensive corrupt practice in Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. In Venezuela added to the climate of hostility towards the press that has characterized the government of President Hugo Chávez (with the shutdown of media, journalists going into exile, judicial censure and dissidents being jailed) have been laws that extend to the Internet restriction on news that already existed for open radio and television. The release in Cuba of all the journalists who had been sent to prison in 2003 has not improved the situation. They were all ordered to leave the country, where there has been no change in the use of state-owned media as instruments of propaganda, acts of repression against attempts to report independently and the operation of intelligence units to block and silence dissenting voices. In Cuba people in general are prevented from going on the Internet. The regime regards social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as enemies. The case of Argentina deserve special mention. The number of violations of freedom of expression were a blow against media and journalists. In addition to campaigns to discredit and the favoring of friendly media with official advertising there were blockades of the free distribution of newspapers carried out by groups closet to the government, ignoring court orders with puerile arguments by the Executive Branch, pursuit of journalists on the streets, unlawful wiretapping of telephone conversations by government intelligence services and calls by pro-government labor union leaders for a boycott of the press. Ecuador also merits special attention. The government of President Rafael Correa speeded up his four-year assault on the independent and critical press. He filed two multi-million-dollar lawsuits against journalists and a newspaper, calling for damages of $90 million, with the clear aim of silencing critical voices. Ecuadors police raided a magazine, seizing computers and other sensitive journalistic information. The already very problematic panorama of Ecuador could worsen considerably if on May 7 President Correa manages to obtain approval in a referendum of attempts to create a government agency aimed at regulating and controlling news content. As IAPA President Gonzalo Maroquín has said, laws restricting press freedom and verbal attacks are a practice that is being repeated from one country to another and appear to be part of a strategic plan to do away with the independent press and to undermine its credibility so as to advance in their efforts to have only media with supportive voices and thus a monopoly of information.