Páez Núñez, then a correspondent with the independent news agency Buró de Prensa Independiente de Cuba (BPIC), was detained on July 10, 1997, because of a report he published on the Internet about a police officer who allegedly killed a young man during harvest celebrations in Pinar del Río. Páez Núñez was convicted after a one-day trial, for which he was not permitted to have a lawyer. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for defaming the national police. On December 19, 1997, CPJ sent a letter to the Cuban authorities, asking for information on Páez Núñez’s legal status. On January 20, 1998, CPJ sent a letter asking that Páez Núñez be released. He was released on January 4, 1999.