The press freedom situation remains satisfactory. The campaign for the 21 March 2004 presidential election was marked by several incidents.
Five journalists physically attacked
María José Monjarás, of the privately-owned broadcasting group Telecorporación Salvadoreña, and cameramen Alonso Oviedo, of Teledos, and Gonzalo Tejada, of Canal 6, were beaten on 8 January 2003 by demonstrators protesting against privatisation and accusing the TV stations of biased reporting. A photographer from the daily El Diario de Hoy was also injured.
Ricardo Tobar, a cameraman with the TV station Canal 12, was roughed up by supporters of the opposition Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) while covering the party’s national convention in San Salvador on 31 August.
Two journalists threatened
Luis Alfonso Pérez, of the Catholic radio station YSUCA, received telephoned death threats on 25 August 2003 from an anonymous caller who accused the station of criticising the government. YSUCA had aired the views of opponents of a proposed anti-crime law. Two weeks earlier, YSUCA journalist Gerardo Castro got a call from a man who accused the station’s journalists of being "communists."
Harassment and obstruction
TV Doce’s "Sin Censura" programme, which criticised the government and politicians, was taken off the air on 24 March 2003 by order of the station’s 75% majority shareholder, the Mexican station TV Azteca. Salvadoran Jorge Zedán, who owns the rest of the shares, accused President Francisco Flores of exerting pressure on TV Azteca through the Mexican government. TV Doce director Alejandro González denied this.