Threats and physical attacks on journalists in 2002 were isolated acts. The chamber of deputies passed a law in October giving citizens access to information in the public domain was a welcome development. The senate had still to approve it. In March, after seven months of court action, Andrés Alsina, of the Argentine daily Pagina 12, finally managed to get from the authorities information that was not in fact meant to be secret. Legal officials continued to investigate charges by the Inter-American Press Association about unfair sharing out of government advertising.
Journalists physically attacked
Several journalists, including Ivan Franco, a photographer with the daily El Observador, were attacked on 4 November 2002 by strikers angry at their union’s decision to end a stoppage. The journalists were covering negotiations between union leaders and the government. On 29 November, five strikers were convicted for the attacks.
Two journalists threatened
Journalist William Pérez Vargas, publisher of the weekly Década de Santa Lucia, was threatened on 2 April 2002 by Alfredo Silva, a town councillor in Canelones, north of Montevideo, during a session of the town council. The paper had several times criticised Silva for corruption and for physically attacking a fellow councillor.
Daniel Cancela, of the TV station Canal 10, received death threats after the broadcast in June of a report on corruption and abuse of power in the national prisons administration. The programme resulted on 28 June in the conviction and imprisonment of the prisons chief and one of his top officials. A judge, several police officers and two prisoners also received threats.