All Notebook Entries
- Posted by - March 3, 2005 at 2:59 pm"It's been months of reporting story after story since the last time we asked you for help. Now it's time for we, the readers to do our part again."
Please go on to read the letter below. We need to raise $5000 for Narco News in just over two weeks or Narco News will face having to cut back coverage. Thank you.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - March 2, 2005 at 8:32 pmMark Conrad, a former supervisory special agent with U.S. Customs, has landed a major endorsement in his bid for a top post within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association (FHLEOA) is now officially in Conrads corner. FHLEOA describes itself as a network of federal law enforcement professionals committed to finding positive and creative solutions to the challenges facing the federal Hispanic law enforcement community in the United States.
In an endorsement letter, send to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, FHLEOAs national president states the following:
- Posted by Al Giordano - March 2, 2005 at 3:30 pmA Mexican president is frightened that another politician can beat his team in the upcoming presidential election. He throws the full weight of the law against the popular opponent, removing his right to run for president, and locks up the adversary in jail. The pretext to eliminate the opponent from the presidential contest is an accusation that he illegally invaded a piece of private property and disregarded a court order against the land-taking. In this, the president had the tacit support of Washington.
Are we speaking of President Vicente Fox vs. Andrés Manuel López Obrador?
This is the true story of what occurred in Mexico in 1910, when President Porfirio Diaz used near-identical pretexts to remove Francisco Madero from the presidential election contest. Having eliminated Madero from the ballot box, Diaz went on to win the pre-fixed election of July 1910.
But four months later, by November 20 of that year, the Mexican people rose up in arms, led by General Emiliano Zapata, and the Mexican Revolution of 1910 toppled the dictator Porfirio Diaz.
Thats why todays communiqué by Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos (more of it translated, below), opposing the desafuero plot by Fox and friends against López Obrador, must be viewed in the context of Mexican history.
Mexican national journalist Ricardo Rocha takes a walk down amnesia lane, and recounts the historic parallels in his commentary today on Radio Formula
- Posted by Al Giordano - March 2, 2005 at 2:42 amThe Univision TV network reports tonight that Subcomandante Marcos, spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) has issued a communiqué calling for nonviolent actions against the desafuero plot to remove Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador from the 2006 presidential race in Mexico.
According to the TV network, the spokesman for the Zapatistas wrote:
"The desafuero of the Mexico City governor would set the country back one hundred years: to 1910. It would mean, in fact, the anullment of the electoral path as a means of coming to power..."
And he added:
"We are discussing the ways (take note: nonviolent ways) in which we will demonstrate to oppose this coup d'etat..."
There's more, much more, to the communiqué. (Here's a link to the entire text in Spanish). It places all of Mexico - indeed, all of América - on tenterhooks. When the Zapatistas say they're discussing ways to act, it's regularly been an understatement. Deepening...
- Posted by Romina Trincheri - March 2, 2005 at 2:35 amArgentina has made international news for the drug trafficking scandal going on at the Southern Winds airline.
Though the news just broke a few days ago, in the month of September 2004, four suitcases with 400 kilos of cocaine were found in the Barajas terminal of the Madrid airport.
The origin of the suitcases was Ezeiza, Argentina, and they had been transported by the Southern Winds airline. Starting there, information has kept coming out about the investigations, those responsible for the events, the confusing explanations of those involved, and the dismissal of important government functionaries. Finally, President Nestor Kirchner said firmly in his speech before Congress: There was complicity among those who should have been controlling the criminals. The most important thing is that our actions put the criminals on the defensive and make clear that there will be no place for impunity or complicit silence.
- Posted by Romina Trincheri - March 1, 2005 at 8:13 pmPor estos días Argentina, vuelve a ser noticia internacional bajo el escándalo por el tráfico de drogas en la empresa aérea Southern Winds.
Aunque la noticia se conoció hace pocos días, en el mes de setiembre del 2004, se encontraron 4 valijas con 400 kilos de cocaína en la terminal aérea española de Barajas en la ciudad de Madrid.
La procedencia de las valijas era Ezeiza, Argentina, y habrían sido transportadas por la empresa Southern Winds. Desde allí se fueron sucediendo informaciones sobre las investigaciones, las responsabilidades en los hechos, las confusas explicaciones de los involucrados, las destituciones de importantes funcionarios. Hasta el presidente Nestor Kirchner pronunció firmemente en su discurso en el Congreso Hubo complicidad entre los que tenían que controlar y los delincuentes Lo más importante es que nuestra acción ponga a los delincuentes a la defensiva y quede establecido que no habrá lugar para la impunidad ni el silencio cómplice.
- Posted by María Eugenia F... - March 1, 2005 at 1:04 pmEste es el comunicado de prensa de el primer piquete de huelga de hambre que se instalo en apoyo a los compañeros de la FEJUVE de la ciudad de El Alto, que demandan hace 8 dias la rescision del contrato con la Transnacional Aguas del Illimani y la aprobacion de una ley de Hidrocarburos Nacionalizadora , convocatoria a una Asamblea Constituyente Popular y negando cualquier tratado de Libre Comercio, hoy se instalo el segundo piquete de huelga de hambre con trabajadores de la Empresa de Aguas SEMAPA de Cochabamba y trabajadores petroleros, mañana se instalara otro piquete de huelga de hambre con la participacion de regantes, personas independientes, de esta manera las medidas se radicalizaran de manera escalonada:
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - February 27, 2005 at 10:48 amNext weekend I plan to attend events related to the release of my book, Contrabando. Saturday I will be in El Paso at a booksigning event and Sunday in Las Cruces. Monday evening I am scheduled to give a reading and a talk at NMSU which I hope turns into a forum to discuss drug policies and their affect on our countries.
Here's a link to today's El Paso Times announcing the events.
Anyone wishing to attend is welcome.
- Posted by Al Giordano - February 27, 2005 at 9:49 amAssociated Press correspondent Lisa J. Adams filed a story last night about the escalating war of words between Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Vicente Fox.
But she omitted the quote-of-the-day, considered most newsworthy by the Mexican Press, when López Obrador responded to Fox's attacks on "populism" by saying:
"I would like to respond to the President... Populism is not the programs that the (Mexico City) government promotes but, rather, actions such as not collecting 30 billion pesos (about three billion US dollars) from his friend Roberto Hernández for the debt imposed by the sale of Banamex."
Hernández sold the National Bank of Mexico, known as Banamex, to Citigroup and joined the gringo bank's board of directors in 2001. This frontal assault on Fox's allowing this bank robbery to go through tax-free was quoted by Mexico's largest daily, El Universal (which added a readers forum - more than 100 comments so far - asking "Who Is the Populist: Fox or AMLO?") It was the page one story in the nation's third largest daily Por Esto. Others, like La Jornada, devoted significant space to it as well.
But Lisa J. Adams of Associated Press chose, instead, to quote only Fox and protect Citigroup-Banamex from the mounting public outrage...
- Posted by Marcel Miranda - February 24, 2005 at 9:01 pmCapitalism NO! Community Serving Markets YES !
... we live unable to exercise our imaginations, nimbyism is everywhere in our heads , in our proposals in our values. Like in Colombia where people support Uribe...
Without honesty among and within ourselves are we even human? Are responsibility and honor now expunged from that thing we once held so high: humanity and brotherly love?
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - February 24, 2005 at 7:59 pm(Revised and Corrected Version)
As we know, in 1991, the USA launched its Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, that supposedly has the noble objective to destroy all types of Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD'S) that were produced during the Cold War era. Apart from scrapping some obsolete models of its very own arsenal, and those of its allies, like Israel, the USA itself continues producing all kinds of new varieties of mortal and lethal arms.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - February 24, 2005 at 6:46 pmTraducción: Bridget Huber
La mayor coalición mundial de Cristianos no-Católicas denunció el maltratamiento de prisioneros en la base naval estadounidense de la bahía de Guantánamo, reportó Reuters ayer. El Consejo Mundial de Iglesias apeló a la administración Bush para que deje de violar la ley internacional y conceda derechos legales completos a las más que 600 personas, la mayoría Musulmanes, detenidas ilegalmente en el campo de interrogatorios de la base.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - February 24, 2005 at 10:27 am"If they kill me, the name of the person responsible is George Bush," Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez Frias said in his weekly television talk. His statement comes on the heels of a new initiative in the United States Congress to interfere further in the affairs of Latin American countries – and propaganda in the Washington Post justify it – this time in the guise of controlling not drugs, but guns.
Chavez offered no evidence to back his claim that the U.S. government has plans to assassinate him, wrote the BBC in its report on Monday.
For a motive, though, the BBC needn't have looked any farther than their own 2004 November article, "Venezuela ignores IMF advice on oil money," by Iain Bruce.
For opportunity, George W. Bush's second term following a second fraudulent election will suffice.
As for means, well, that's exactly what the government and people of Venezuela are trying to deny the Bush regime.
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - February 24, 2005 at 10:15 amFriends,
Enjoy the following inportant article, written by by Zack Krasuk.
Latin America: In Defense of the Venezuelan Revolution
Contributed by Zack on Monday, February 21 @ 08:43:32 AST
VenezuelaBy Zack Krasuk
2/15/2005 - Updated: 2/24/2005
Large political and socio economic changes in a third world country do not happen when things are complacent and well for the masses. Neither was this the case with Venezuela. In December 6, 1998, Hugo Chávez of the MVR Party (Movimiento de la Quinta RepúblicaMovement of the Fifth Republic) won the presidential election by a whopping 56.2%, one of the largest majority of votes attained in the history of Venezuela and breaking the pattern of a two party political system that offered little practical variation at all for the previous 40 years. Indeed, the election of 1998 marked a new and brighter beginning for Venezuela and its citizens.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - February 23, 2005 at 9:57 pmIn late January, only a few weeks into the new year, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning to U.S. citizens that urged them to avoid the border area in Mexico because of escalating violence due to narco-trafficking activities.
Few in the media questioned the veracity of the warning. After all, if the government says its so, it must be so. But what do the numbers tell us?
If U.S. citizens are facing a greater risk to their safety along the border, shouldnt there be a way of measuring that increased risk, an accounting of the increase in murders, kidnappings and disappearances?
The State Department warning began as follows:
- Posted by Al Giordano - February 23, 2005 at 1:49 pmA new poll, published today by the daily Milenio of Mexico City (subscribers only), reveals that the attempts by President Vicente Fox and his chief of staff (and hand-chosen successor) Santiago Creel to remove Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador from the contest have significantly backfired.
There has been a significant shift in public opinion toward López Obrador (of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD) for President in the 2006 elections, and against Creel (of the National Action Party, or PAN) since November. Support for the other major candidate, second-place contendor Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) remained virtually unchanged since November.
As it currently stands, if the election were held today, the results would be:
- López Obrador (PRD) 37%
- Madrazo (PRI) 33%
- Creel (PAN) 23%
The same poll, last November, showed a close three-way race:
- López Obrador (PRD) 34%
- Madrazo (PRI) 32%
- Creel (PAN) 28%
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - February 23, 2005 at 11:28 am"How can all this look to the Muslim world?" human rights attorney Michael Ratner asked, referring to courts of conviction proposed for prisoners at the Guantánamo interrogation camp, in the final chapter of a book on the Guantánamo interrogation camp, posted today on Narco News.
An answer came Sunday from a videotape purporting to show Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahri, who said the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, "explains the truth about reforms and democracy that America alleges it wants to impose in our countries."
The United States government may be losing a battle for hearts and minds with the worlds most reviled terrorists, and the abuse of illegally imprisoned people at the Guantánamo naval base is part of the reason why. The video, part of which was played on Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera, is billed as a new Al Qaeda statement and pointed out the camp as proof of the U.S. governments malign intent.
- Posted by Al Giordano - February 22, 2005 at 6:06 pmIn an interview with the Brazilian national news magazine Veja (subscriber access only), the musician-turned-cabinet-member Gilberto Gil voiced his support for decriminalizing marijuana:
"I believe that drugs should be treated like pharmaceuticals, legalized, although under the same regulations and monitoring as medicines...
The Spaniard EFE news agency reports:
Gil said that he has discussed the matter with other cabinet members and congressmen from the Workers Party (PT, in its Portuguese initials) that is led by (Brazilian President Lula da Silva)...
Attorney General Marcio Thomaz Bastos has said that he shares the idea and that "the horizon of liberation (of marijuana consumption) is what we have ahead of us."
Narco News Authentic Journalism Scholar Natalia Viana, in Sao Paulo, is preparing a report on the status of drug policy reforms promised by the Brazilian government last November but not yet delivered.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - February 22, 2005 at 7:55 amThe high-profile political prisoners briefly removed from Haiti's National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince during the Saturday afternoon attack had nothing to do with the attack, either as targets for rescuing or an attempt by attackers to cast blame on Lavalas for the attack. Fellow inmates, at least one of whom happens to be former military from the army President Aristide disbanded in 1995, took the leaders of Aristide's Lavalas from the prison out of concern for their safety. Former prime minister Yvon Neptune and former interior minister Jocelerme Privert then called the UN to be returned to prison because they do not want to flee or live as fugitives.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - February 22, 2005 at 6:43 amThe main global coalition of non-Catholic Christians denounced U.S. mistreatment of prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay naval base, Reuters reported yesterday. The World Council of Churches, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, called on the Bush administration to stop violating international law and grant full legal rights to the “over 600 foreign nationals, mostly Muslims” illegally held at the interrogation camp on the base.
- Posted by Erich Moncada - February 21, 2005 at 6:54 pmCon días de retraso pero al fin llegó la traducción del artículo de Bill Conroy sobre la guerra mediática que ha emprendido la administración Bush contra la soberanía de México. Conforme el desafuero del Jefe de Gobierno del DF se hace inminente, las presiones internas y externas son cada vez más fuertes. Cabe señalar como complemento a este artículo el aviso que realizó la Porter Goss, Director de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia, ante el Comité de Inteligencia del Senado de los EEUU, sobre la probable desestabilización de México por las próximas elecciones presidenciales de 2006.
El pasado 16 de febrero, Goss informó a los legisladores estadounidenses:
"En LATINOAMÉRICA, la región entrará a un importante ciclo electoral en 2006, cuando Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, México, Nicaragua, Perú y Venezuela realizarán elecciones presidenciales. Varios países claves en el hemisfério son focos rojos en 2005.
"La campaña por la elección presidencial de 2006 en México hace probable que se retrase el progreso de la reforma fiscal, laboral y energética."
Y aunque Goss no menciona concretamente las amenazas a la estabilidad, al mencionar a México (en el pasado y actualmente aliado centro-derechista de la administración Bush) junto a países con gobiernos izquierdistas como Cuba, Venezuela y Brasil, hace evidente la intención de los Halcones por influir en nuestra democracia y marcar su rechazo al aspirante presidencial del Partido de la Revolución Democrática.
- Posted by Al Giordano - February 21, 2005 at 2:04 pmTwo months after Authentic Journalist Gary Webb checked out, an elder statesman of Authentic Journalism does the same:
Hunter S. Thompson is dead, and therefore immortal.
The grandfather of gonzo journalism, he taught us:
"Objective journalism is one of the main reasons that American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long."
(For those of you scratching your heads asking, Who was Hunter Thompson? heres a link to a Denver Post obituary that is surprisingly comprehensive and fair.)
I met Hunter Thompson just once, in 1976 when he was at the height of his fame. He was in New Hampshire covering that years presidential race, the first since the publication of his bestseller about the 1972 elections, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. I expected to meet a flamboyant, loud, and extravagant party animal dancing on the head of the establishment to the rhythm of the frenetic clickety-clack of his manual typewriter keys.
To the contrary, as I, starry-eyed, watched him conduct his craft the thing I noticed most of all the unexpected thing that elevated his entire concept of journalism for me - was that he was, above all, a painstakingly attentive listener
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - February 20, 2005 at 10:35 amIn a daylight attack on the Haitian National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, men dressed in black and armed with assault rifles drove up and began firing into the air and at the prison, killing at least one guard, Associated Press reported. Poorly armed prison guards fled, reported Xinhau, the Chinese news agency. Hundreds of prisoners may have escaped after the attack, though the AP reported that dozens of police immediately swarmed around the prison, setting up roadblocks and searching cars.
Several witnesses said the gunmen took former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and former Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert – held at the prison without charge or trial for many months – by force.
"I saw three gunmen escorting Neptune and several other prisoners," Jacques Dameus, who said he was in front of the prison at the time, told Reuters. "When they arrived at the gate of the National Penitentiary, Neptune did not want to walk any further. One gunman raised his weapon and forced him to walk."
Neptune and Privert were later turned over to United Nations soldiers, a spokesman for the UN force in Haiti said, according to Xinhau. The UN promptly returned the two political prisoners to the coup government and to their cells in the National Penitentiary.
(This article was substantially revised Sunday at 6 p.m.)
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - February 19, 2005 at 8:46 pmTraduction de larticle de Gissel Gonzales http://narcosphere.narconews.com/story/2005/2/18/1 43256/276
Par Gissel Gonzales ( Centre des Médias Indépendants, Cochabamba Bolivie)
Quand je pense à la justice en Bolivie, la nostalgie, la douleur, la rage, lindignation et limpuissance envahissent mon esprit. Je me souviens dun enfant de cinq ans qui aimait regarder les voitures passer du haut de son balcon, même sil devait se mettre sur les pointes des pieds je me souviens dun jeune de 29 ans, qui travaillait pour aider sa famille et faisait la fête chaque week-end avec ses frères et qui me rappelle mon frère. Je me souviens où et comment je les ai connu, je serais heureux de les avoir connu vivants. Mais je les ai connu dans le souvenir de leurs familles, au cimentière, quand eux criaient au ciel « Justice, carajo ! » Lenfant sappelait Alex Llusco Mollericona, mort dun coup de feu dans le crâne, alors quil regardait de son balcon le convoi de citernes dessence quallait à La Paz. Le jeune sappelait David Salinas Mallea, mort dun coup de feu dans le ventre, vidé de son sang dans un hôpital de El Alto.
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - February 18, 2005 at 2:32 pmCuando pienso en la justicia en Bolivia, la nostalgia, el dolor, la rabia, la indignación y la impotencia surgen en mi sentir. En este trayecto recuerdo a un niño de 5 años, que le gustaba mirar como pasaban los autos desde su terraza, aunque tenga que ponerse de puntillas para hacerlo... recuerdo a un joven de 29 años, que trabajaba para ayudar a su familia y se divertía con sus hermanos los fines de semana; me recuerda a mi hermano... recuerdo cómo y dónde los conocí, seria muy feliz si los hubiese conocido en persona y vivos. Los conocí a través de la rememoración de sus familiares cuando ellos se encontraban en el cementerio velando sus restos y gritando al cielo Justicia, carajo; el niño se llamaba Alex Llusco Mollericona y murió con un impacto de bala en la cabeza, mientras observaba desde su terraza el convoy de cisternas con gasolina a la ciudad de La Paz; el joven se llamaba David Salinas Mallea, y recibió un impacto de bala en el abdomen, falleció desangrado en un hospital de El Alto.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - February 18, 2005 at 12:28 amA startling claim has surfaced in a document filed in federal court by a former DEA supervisor. The claim raises serious questions about a U.S. Attorneys handling of evidence in the case of accused murderer and drug-trafficker Heriberto Santillan-Tabares.
Former DEA agent Sandalio Gonzalez drops the bombshell on the U.S. Attorneys Office in San Antonio in one short paragraph tucked into the pleadings of an employment discrimination case he has pending against the Department of Justice.
Gonzalez, who, until his retirement last month, oversaw the DEAs El Paso field office, makes the following assertion in a motion filed earlier this week in federal district court in Miami:
On August 20, 2004, Defendant (the Department of Justice) continued to retaliate against Plaintiff (Gonzalez) for exercising his protected rights by issuing him a Performance Appraisal Record that was a downgrade from his previous outstanding appraisal due to Defendants unfounded allegations that Plaintiff exercised extremely poor judgment when Plaintiff issued a letter to the Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), El Paso, Texas Field Office, and the Office of the United States Attorney (USAO), Western District of Texas, expressing his frustration and outrage at the mishandling of an informant in a drug investigation that resulted in several preventable murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and endangered the lives of DEA Special Agents and their families assigned to duty in Mexico.
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - February 16, 2005 at 7:48 pmIs the current flood tragedy in Venezuela (and Colombia) natural, man-made or God-made? Hundreds perished, thousands are homeless. Is there a connection with the warming up of the planet, with the Asian tsunami, with the bad weather in the Mediterranean, with the earthquake in Japan?
- Posted by Marcel Miranda - February 16, 2005 at 5:18 pmWhat questions to ask... I don't know what kind of answers the audience would want. Who is the audience? Thinking to hard is dangerous. it is better to let it flow now and then. Seek a place where you can observe the balance between a Kiss and a ...
- Posted by Paul Silvester - February 16, 2005 at 5:01 pmTo bring something a little different to the table tonight I have just recieved the following email from some friends of mine, a teacher and a lawyer, both born in Cali, telling me of the work they are doing with the Nasa Indian community and with the people of Bajo Calima.