All Notebook Entries
- Posted by Luis Gomez - May 17, 2005 at 2:36 pmA little more than half an hour ago, in a conference broadcast by all the local media, Presidential Minister José Galindo (a top cabinet member) defined President Carlos Mesas position on the new hydrocarbons law and it is nothing so much as washing hands hands of it and leaving Bolivia in nearly the same situation as before.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - May 17, 2005 at 12:55 pmHace poco más de media hora, en una conferencia transmitida por todos los medios locales, el Ministro de la Presidencia José Galindo ha definido la posición del Presidente Carlos Mesa sobre la la nueva ley de hidrocarburos... y no es otra cosa que lavarse las manos y dejar a Bolivia casi en las mismas circunstancias que antes.
- Posted by Stan Gotlieb - May 17, 2005 at 10:25 amI have been living in, and writing about, Oaxaca and Mexico for over 10 years. My partner, the photographer Diana Ricci, whose photos are as essential as my screed to our "Oaxaca / Mexico Newsletter", are readers of, and contributors to, the Narco News site, and the School of Authentic Journalism. We attended the first school, in Merida, Mexico, as instructors - but we really became students, happy when our temporary (but really confining) ill health allowed us to attend workshops by such luminaries as Jules Siegel, Gary Webb, Mario Menendez and Al Giordano, to name only a few; and to rub shoulders with Luís and Dan and the rest of the crew.
Aside from all the good work the JornoSchool initiates and sustains, it's also great fun and a wonderful chance for the young and the young at heart to find each other in a way that makes for an ever expanding network of friendship and collaboration on what is often a difficult and dangerous road of speaking truth to power.
We contribute small amounts of money when we can, which is not as often as we'd like. But there is one contribution we can make that is both unique and not costly: we can donate our labor.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - May 17, 2005 at 1:49 amMAY 16, 2005: It was just a question of time. But the people of Bolivians social movements are now on the march, in streets and on the highways. The new Hydrocarbons Law, still not officially in effect, and the ownership of natural energy resources form the axis of the mobilizations once again.
They began in two key places in Bolivia: on the highway that divides the country horizontally in half (and unites the main cities), thousands of peasant farmers, coca growers, and other groups under the leadership of coca grower and congressman Evo Morales; and in El Alto, a city once again united as a single person who came down midday today to combat the repressive forces of the Bolivian state. Along with them comes a public school teachers strike, miners, and Aymara farmers, all present in todays march in El Alto.
And although everything now hangs in suspense, while Evo Morales march grows and heads toward the capital city, while the people of El Alto decide on their next actions, we should take a moment to chart a simple and brief map of the stage and the actors moving across it.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - May 16, 2005 at 7:48 pmEra cuestión de tiempo nada más. Pero ya están en marcha, en los caminos y en las calles, los bolivianos de los sectores sociales de este país. La nueva ley de hidrocarburos, que no ha sido promulgada, y la propiedad de los recursos naturales energéticos son nuevamente el eje de las movilizaciones.
Hoy han iniciado en dos puntos clave de Bolivia: por la carretera que parte horizontalmente el territorio (y une las principales ciudades) se dirigen a La Paz miles de campesinos, cocaleros y otros sectores bajo el liderazgo del diputado cocalero Evo Morales... y El Alto, otra vez constituido en una sola "persona", que ha bajado a mediodía a combatir con las fuerzas represivas del Estado boliviano... y ahí viene una huelga de maestros de escuelas públicas, vienen los mineros y también los campesinos aymaras (presentes hoy en la marcha alteña).
Y aunque todo ha quedado en suspenso, mientras la marcha de Evo Morales crece y se encamina hasta la ciudad sede de gobierno, mientras los alteños deciden sus siguientes acciones, conviene hacer un mapa sencillo y breve del escenario y de los actores que en él se mueven.
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - May 16, 2005 at 3:02 pmThe U.S. Air Force is conducting "market research" of various equipment suppliers and service providers in preparation for future counterdrug surveillance missions staged from Ecuador, Curacao, and Aruba. The agency's Air Combat Command last month released a special notice for potential contractors that can provide all "personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other supplies" in support of U.S. "forward operating locations" (FOLs) in the three nations.
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - May 16, 2005 at 10:24 amTodo empezó el 29 de abril de 2004, cuando la Cámara de Diputados aprobó la ley de Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos. Los Senadores la aprobaron una semana después (6/05/04). El 17 de mayo de 2004, la Delegación de la Iglesia Católica exige al presidente Mesa que no apruebe esta ley. Por su parte, el Movimiento de Mujeres exige lo contrario. Tres días después, el presidente devuelve la ley al Parlamento, pidiendo, con el fin de armonizar su ejercicio con otros derechos de igual naturaleza se inicie un debate público con todos los sectores. Desde entonces, diversas asambleas se han llevado a cabo en Bolivia, suscitando sobretodo la reacción de la Iglesia Católica. Pero en Santa Cruz, el 15 de Abril 2005, se sumaron también los famosos movimientos cívicos. En esa ocasión, participaron mas de trescientos oradores, de los cuales menos de un tercio eran favorables al proyecto. Sin embargo, las intervenciones favorables fueron abucheadas e insultadas
Actualmente, en Bolivia, los movimientos sociales gestores de la Constituyente parecen indiferentes frente a esta ley, sin tomar una posición visible. Los movimientos religiosos, se movilizan activamente para impedir a toda costa que la Ley se promulgue, aunque eso implique algunas mentiras piadosas Lo que muestra que los derechos sexuales no son un derecho cualquiera, y que por lo visto muchos no los consideran como derechos fundamentales de una persona. ¿Quién dijo que el sexo no es político?
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - May 14, 2005 at 4:54 pmI read with interest when a group of sixteen with connections to various law enforcement agencies were caught allowing illegal drugs to enter the US, and also for accepting money from what they thought were drug dealers but in fact turned out to be FBI agents.
This particular group was caught in Arizona.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - May 13, 2005 at 2:17 pmOver the next few days, I will be hastily reporting on my experiences at the second National Conference for Media Reform, in St. Louis, Missouri, 18 months after the first one in Madison, Wisconsin. This is not to be put in the center-column -- far from the mission of the Narco News Bulletin to report on the drug war and democracy in Latin America -- but it does directly bear on the question posed by Al Giordano in his series of essays "The Medium is the Middleman: For a Revolution Against Media," which I see as founding documents of this web site.
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - May 13, 2005 at 10:55 amIn October 2003 more than 63 people were killed and over 400 wounded in La Paz, Bolivia while protesting their presidents economic policies. President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada was pushing forward a deal with transnational oil companies to export Bolivian natural gas to the United States at bargain prices.
People took the streets, blockading the roads to defend the countrys natural resources and make their voices heard, but they were silenced with bullets, tear gas, and blows from the military and police, who had been ordered by Sánchez de Lozada to keep the major highways and roads open at any cost. This was the democracy that Bolivians lived more than 18 months ago, a product of the economic demands of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Inter-American Development Bank that left blood, grief, and pain in our Andean nation.
- Posted by Al Giordano - May 12, 2005 at 12:35 amDear Colleague:
If you are one of the dedicated readers who responded to my fund appeal last week, thank you.
If you have not yet given, please do.
If you missed that urgent appeal, to keep Narco News publishing and allow us to take on new Authentic Journalism scholars this summer, you can read it here:
Thanks for your generosity in the past and in advance. We very much need it right now. We already have super candidates for Narco News scholarships writing us but still have few spaces to put them this summer. For that we need more donations..
- Posted by Romina Trincheri - May 10, 2005 at 10:10 pmOn Saturday, May 7, more than 5,000 people gathered in the Humberto de Nito Municipal Amphitheatre in the city of Rosario, Argentina, in the Festival Against Intolerance, organized by the Harm Reduction Association of Argentina as part of the Global Marijuana March.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - May 10, 2005 at 8:53 pmThe border town of Nuevo Laredo, sister city to Laredo, Texas, has been the scene of an intense turf battle between rival drug organizations over the past couple years.
The showdown is supposedly between the armed soldiers of two Mexican narco-traffickers who are waging a battle to gain control of the lucrative trade route that runs from Nuevo Laredo, across the border into Laredo, and north along Interstate Highway 35 to San Antonio, then Dallas from where it spokes out into the rest of the United States.
The two rival drug lords at the center of the turf war are allegedly Osiel Cardenas Guillen and Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.
Cardenas, who has been in jail on drug charges in Mexico since 2003, reportedly oversees his narco-trafficking organization from prison. His group, often referred to in the mainstream press as the Gulf cartel, has controlled the Nuevo Laredo market for years.
Cardenas primary enforcers are the Zetas, a group composed of former elite Mexican military commandos who deserted their posts to take up arms as mercenaries in the narco-market.
However, in recent years, Guzman has made inroads into the Nuevo Laredo market by waging a bloody street war against the Cardenas organization and the Zetas.
- Posted by Romina Trincheri - May 9, 2005 at 11:11 pmEl sábado 7 de mayo se reunieron en el Anfiteatro Municipal Humberto de Nito de la ciudad de Rosario Argentina- más de 5000 personas en el Festival contra la Intolerancia que realizó la Asociación de Reducción de Daños de la Argentina en el marco de la Global Marijuana March.
El Festival Contra La Intolerancia se realizó por cuarta vez en la ciudad de Rosario. El año pasado, convocó a miles de personas para manifestarse a favor de la despenalización de la tenencia de drogas para consumo personal. Se realiza simultáneamente en 185 ciudades de 37 países del mundo en el marco de la Global Marijuana March, bajo las consigna de despenalizar la tenencia de drogas para consumo personal.
En esta edición, más de 5000 personas fueron protagonistas de una verdadera fiesta, donde actuaron bandas locales como Urbanos del Sur, La Rosario Smowing, la pertinente Mobil Vission de origen porteño, que puso en escena canciones referidas tanto a la autocultivo de la marihuana como a la legalización de la misma. La noche la cerró la conocida banda Las manos de Fillipi donde el Anfiteatro brilló ante numerosas banderas de colores flameando y un grito unánime a favor de la despenalización.
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - May 9, 2005 at 4:57 pmTodady's program at Democracynow is worth your time.
From their site:
A chief terrorist with long ties to US intelligence agencies is seeking asylum in the United States. The FBI has evidence linking him to an airline bombing that killed 73 people. We're talking about the notorious militant Cuban exile: Luis Posada Carriles. Today we speak with one of the few American reporters who has interviewed him and the president of the national assembly of Cuba, which is calling for his extradition to Venezuela.
much more at the link
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - May 8, 2005 at 4:58 pmBy Chellis Glendinning
Chiva paints a picture of Chimayó New Mexico, number one per-capita consumer of heroin in the number one per-capita consumer state in the United States. The book also offers a well-researched history of the global heroin trade from past to present. The picture is ugly indeed.
- Posted by Dan Feder - May 6, 2005 at 9:34 pmAfter requests from readers, weve finally gotten a working RSS feed for the Narcosphere. Scoop, the software the Narcosphere runs on, has a feature to produce an RSS feed but I could never quite get it to work (it seems to work fine on other sites using scoop). The new feed is consistently current with the top notebook entries. Subscribe to it here:
But remember, this feed just features top notebook entries the latest comments from our copublishers will not appear in the feed, so keep coming back to the site regularly to check out all the new content.
RSS feeds are a way to quickly scan for new content on news sites. Heres a pretty good explanation of the technology from this weeks Wall Street Journal.
- Posted by Sean Donahue - May 6, 2005 at 3:03 pmIn January of 2001, in a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, one of the top aides to then-U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson ridiculed the idea that any of the weapons or equipment given to the Colombian military as part of Plan Colombia could wind up in the hands of the right wing paramilitaries of the AUC.
Events this week reveal the deceitfulness or naïveté of her comments, and reflect a long-standing pattern of U.S. military collaboration with Colombian paramilitaries going back to the 1960’s.
- Posted by George Salzman - May 6, 2005 at 5:43 am"... we are being censored ... it is a threat to everyone's free speech" --C.E. Carlson
"If you do not like ... embedded news reporting you will not like content censorship of the Internet." --C.E. Carlson
- Posted by Bill Conroy - May 4, 2005 at 11:08 pm
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio has done it again. In what can only be seen as an effort to tie off all the loose ends in the cover-up in the House of Death mass murder case, U.S. federal prosecutors have decided not to pursue Mexican state judicial police comandante Miguel Loya Gallegos.
- Posted by Jeb Sprague - May 4, 2005 at 5:24 amOn May 4, 2005 a privately funded NGO, the Haiti Democracy Project published on its website (haitipolicy.org) a fact-finding report carried out during mid February of 2005 in Haiti. The fact finding mission, while visiting Haiti, met with nine members of Group 184 (a coalition of the wealthy elite) and 26 others, ranging from Coup Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, to U.N. and Haitian Police officials, U.S. Ambassador James Foley, and the Brazilian, Argentinean, Canadian, and Dominican Republic Ambassadors to Haiti.
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - May 3, 2005 at 1:10 pmMy friend Molly sent me a link to this report filed by Greg Palast from Ecuador.
Maybe youve seen the reports from Ecuador: Amid massive anti-government protests, Lucio Gutierrez, the third leader of this oil-rich nation forced from office in eight years, sought exile in Brazil on Sunday April 23rd.
That same day Greg Palast landed in Quito, the nations capital, to interview current and former government officials to document Gutierrez ouster and to determine ultimately what it will mean.
Greg is currently in Quito and will be providing exclusive reports available here, at GregPalast.com, over the next week. Please check back for frequent updates.
- Posted by Al Giordano - May 3, 2005 at 11:46 amAn Urgent Appeal for Donations at a Key Historic Moment
The tower bells of authentic news chimed from Ecuador to Mexico to the Washington DC headquarters of the Organization of American States this week, and you were there, with the Narco News team.
Saludos to you from Mexico! When was the last time I could tell you from where I was writing? I dont know how to describe the relief that has overcome this wonderful country since last Wednesday when President Vicente Fox lifted a veil of terror named the desafuero from the heads of all Mexicos citizens and its visitors. As Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos wrote some weeks ago, the pre-electoral coup détat plot would have, if allowed to proceed, soon created a wave a repression here: If they can take someone out of the presidential race, asked Marcos in a communiqué published March 5th, What would stop them from putting anyone that opposes them in prison?
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - May 3, 2005 at 12:36 amThe U.S. Embassy in Bogota is searching for a Financial Management Advisor to oversee a billion-dollar stockpile of U.S. taxpayer dollars slated for counternarcotics operations in Colombia. The Embassys Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) issued a sources-sought notice May 2 via the federal Electronic Posting System to fill the position a job that comes with the responsibility of providing financial management oversight and direction for all U.S.-sponsored counterdrug programs and appropriations.
- Posted by Romina Trincheri - April 30, 2005 at 6:14 pmLa Asociación de Reducción de Daños de la Argentina (ARDA) Y La Red en Defensa de los Derechos de los usuarios de Drogas (RADDU)realizará en la ciudad de Rosario, el sábado 7 de mayo a las 16 hs Festival contra la Intolerancia.
- Posted by Dan Feder - April 29, 2005 at 11:55 amThis hemispheres political class received a strong message this month: make a promise to break from old to turn your country in a new direction, to govern for the people instead of the corrupt elite and youd better keep it.
When Lucio Gutiérrez stood for president in 2002, he promised such a change, a new path for Ecuador to end the countrys subservience to U.S. economic and military policies and take power out of the hands of the domestic oligarchy. But Gutiérrez instead deepened the countrys neoliberal economic program and cozied up to the Bush administration, counting on the hope that his constituents and allies would keep their mouths shut out of loyalty. Its an old trick used often in Latin American history. But the Ecuadorian people didnt turn a blind eye this time, and the president was forced to flee as the people rose up and filled the streets of the capital.
As many readers have probably already seen, Mexican President Vicente Fox suddenly backed down this week from the desafuero, his crusade to haul popular Mexico City governor Andres Manuel López Obrador into court and therefore bar him from running for president next year. He too, like Gutiérrez, thought the people had become passive after they voted him into office, but a million protesters outside his office on Sunday proved him wrong...
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - April 29, 2005 at 1:03 amI discovered with mild amusement that the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs put out separate bid requests on Thursday to buy 150 "small pickup trucks" and 120 "water resistant" digital cameras, respectively. The bureau is buying the trucks and cameras on behalf of the American Embassy-Bogota.
- Posted by Charlie Hardy - April 28, 2005 at 6:17 pmKarol Wojtyla was elected pope on October 16, 1978. Less than a year later Pope John Paul II was in Des Moines, Iowa. I traveled a thousand miles to see him. I was excited.
In August 1993 he was in Denver, Colorado. I traveled a little more than one hundred miles to see him. I could have cared less.
In February 1996 he came to Caracas, Venezuela. He was just a few miles from where I was living. I stayed home.
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - April 28, 2005 at 12:55 pmBefore I wrote Contrabando I wrote a book called A Cowboy's Observations on Drugs. I say a book. In reality it is two essays, one on my personal battle with addiction, and the second on the laws concerning drugs and proposed changes.
I had it published through a print on demand publisher with less than satisfactory results.
- Posted by Sean Donahue - April 27, 2005 at 11:33 pmThe U.S. is gearing up its rhetoric against Venezuela again as Condaleeza Rice barnstorms through Latin America -- and there are subtle indications that the U.S. may be ready to increase Colombia's role in undermining the government of Hugo Chavez.