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Ex-Bolivia President Goni Lashes Out

Former Bolivian president Gonzalo "Goni" Sánchez de Lozada - who resigned in disgrace a year ago after a massacre of civilian protestors occured under his watch, and now faces criminal charges in his country - went running to a higher power on Thursday seeking help and protection from extradition to Bolivia from the United States.

The higher power? Why, of course, it was the editorial board of the Miami Herald (a.k.a. Oligarch's Daily) which published two nearly identical stories about Goni's efforts to fight against his extradition.

One story, by Pablo Bachelet, is in English.

The other story, by Joaquim Utset, is in Spanish.

But in whatever language, Goni said, according to the Herald that "the Bolivian justice system" - a system he helped to form - "was not independent enough to guarantee a fair trial."

In the Spanish-language version, Goni went wild with accusations and conspiracy theories, accusing his former vice president, now president, Carlos Mesa of having participated in a "coup" (Goni signed a resignation letter) and comparing the current president to Russia's early 20th century transitional leader Alexander Kerensky...

Homeland Security stiffing agents on foreign-language pay, leaked email shows

During a recent speech in Ohio in front of a crowd of Republican stalwarts, Vice President Dick Cheney said the following, according to the Associated Press:

The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us -- biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

If indeed the United States faces such a threat, we better hope the terrorists don’t speak a foreign language.

According to email correspondence leaked to Narco News, the Department of Homeland Security’s main investigative arm, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), suspended all foreign-language pay for its agents for fiscal year 2004, which ended Sept. 30. In addition, due to budget constraints, Homeland Security (DHS) has not ruled doing the same in the coming fiscal year, according to Russ Knocke, director of public affairs for ICE.

Haitian Lavalas Activist Calls for Solidarity

The Haitian people will continue their struggle against imposed rulers and for the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, despite constant violence from the former army against people associated with his majority Lavalas party, said a Lavalas activist who traveled from Haiti and spoke at the Million Worker March yesterday in Washington D.C.

A transcript of her speech, recorded at the event by this reporter, follows below.

Bolivia: La lucha continua

Después de constantes manifestaciones exigiendo castigo para los que masacraron en septiembre y octubre; el parlamento autorizo el inicio del juicio de responsabilidades en contra del ex presidente Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada y el gabinete que lo acompañó en octubre del año pasado, el pueblo boliviano escribe con sangre en su historia, la madrugada de un jueves 14 de octubre del 2004 con el voto de 126 parlamentarios a favor del Si al juicio de responsabilidades a Sánchez de Lozada y sus colaboradores.

Wanted: Former Bolivian President Is Called to Justice

A year ago, on October 17, the then-president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (a.k.a. "Goni") resigned and fled his country for Miami, after a storm of public protests against his deals to sell Bolivian gas to foreign companies and an even greater torment after Goni's troops massacred Bolivian civilians who had protested against the gas deals.

Last night, at 12:30 a.m., 126 members of the Bolivian Congress (out of 140, making the vote against Goni a crushing 90 percent on the second roll call) voted that Goni and members of his cabinet can now be subjected to trial as civilians for their alleged roles in the deaths of more than 80 civilian protestors during what is known throughout Bolivia as the "Black October" of 2003.

The gauntlet was thus thrown down to the Bush administration in Washington, which, according to U.S. Ambassador David Greenlee responding to Bolivian journalists last night, has allowed the former president, Goni, to remain legally in the United States for the past year...

Honduras Columnist Calls for Legalizing Drugs

Otto Martin Wolf, columnist for the daily La Prensa in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, wrote a column last week titled Should Drugs Be Legalized? (It's in Spanish but I'll translate some key passages here on The Narcosphere).

He recounts the story of alcohol prohibition in the United States and how it gave unprecedented power to organized gangsters:

"Liquor was only the first step. With the power they acquired they bought judges, police and politicians, elevating corruption to levels never seen before (does this scenario sound familiar?).

"The cure was worse than the disease and, in the end, after years of crime and violence, of extortion and bribery, the sale of liquor was finally legalized.

"Is the whole world now in a similar moment regarding drugs?

"It seems that all the efforts to deter the consumption of drugs are failing throughout the world. People's fascination with drugs has created a market that, no matter what is done, seems to increase. For a minor, it is easier to buy drugs than cigarettes or liquor because there is a prohibition on those products that is more or less respected, but drugs are sold everywhere without any control at all…"

"Isso é forma de pena de morte, execução sumária"

Para o primeiro secretário da SENAD ( Secretaria Nacional Anti-drogas) no governo de Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Walter Fanganiello Maierovitch,  a Lei do Abate institui a pena de morte no Brasil.

A lei permite a destruição de aeronaves que cruzem a fronteira brasileira supostamente carregadas de entorpecentes, como já tinha sido adotado por outros países, como Colômbia, Peru e Argentina, com forte pressão estadunidense, líder mundial da Guerra às Drogas.

Bolivia: en busca de justicia y dignidad

Ya empezó la lucha en Bolivia, la gente sedienta de justicia y trabajo se organiza preparando su mente y cuerpo para demostrar al presidente Carlos Mesa la incapacidad e ineficiencia de su gestión para gobernar dignamente este país.

La agenda de octubre que los Movimientos Sociales planificaron el septiembre pasado se ha iniciado; la incertidumbre de lo que se viene estos días late en el corazón de muchos bolivianos, todo depende de la acción y la reacción que tengan los principales actores de esta batalla. Que busca por un lado: “Nacionalización de los Hidrocarburos, Ya” y por otra el “Juicio de responsabilidades y cárcel” a Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, sus ministros y a los asesinos de febrero y octubre. Ambos casos en manos de los tres poderes del Estado (Ejecutivo, Legislativo y Judicial) poderes del Estado que no escuchan la voz del pueblo, porque no representan los interés de la gente sencilla y trabajadora, de la mayoría de la gente que ocupa el territorio boliviano.

Smalltime Users and Dealers Targeted by Argentina Drug "Defederalization" Bill

On Wednesday night, the Argentina Senate approved a bill that shifts most drug enforcement in the country from the federal authorities to those on the state and local levels. While the measure reflects the frustration at the unwinnable nature of US-imposed prohibitionist drug policies, and the over-burdened Argentine judicial system, the legislation was passed for all the wrong reasons, and if passed now by the House, will bring an all-out assault on smalltime drug users and dealers...

Chile's Avila Launches Presidential Campaign, Wants Marijuana Legalized

Six weeks ago, we reported on the setback by which the Chilean political system, through its dominant parties in Congress, blocked a marijuana legalization bill sponsored by Senator Nelson Avila.

But often, when Power throws up one fence, it causes change agents to seek new paths, cut new holes in the wall, dig tunnels or leap higher than before. Such is the case in Chile where Avila announces his candidacy for the 2005 election for president of the nation.

La Tercera reports his stance in favor of legalizing the cultivation (not merely the possession) of marijuana as first among his issues. Others include legalization of abortion and euthanasia, and in favor of Chile granting a seaport to landlocked Bolivia (which would resolve a hundred-plus-year-old conflict between the two nations that has fueled many of the rebellions in recent years in Bolivia).

In the coming weeks, Avila plans on crisscrossing the country, beginning in the indigenous lands of the Mapuche ethnic group, where indigenous leader Aucán Huilcamán Paillama is also expected to declare his candidacy for the presidency.

Avila told the news agency Las Ultimas Notícias that while his candidacy may well cause problems for his former center-left political party, Concertación, he expects it will "cause headaches for many" parties and politicians.

Perhaps they will at least be able to treat their headaches, in due time, with the five-leafed medicine that the colorful Senator seeks to legalize. As the campaign marches on, Narco News will be reporting its progress.

Venezuela: The Transition from Columbus Day to Indian Resistance Day...

The oligarchic "opposition" and its national mass media have no respect for anything: currently,  Radio Caracas TV (RCTV) is preparing commercials for its mind-controlled adherents to celebrate  "Día de la Raza" (Colombus Day) next Tuesday -- October 12, 2004.

This big lie, this hoax ... about the 'discovery' of America by Christopher Columbus, still infects the minds of millions in Latin America.

Although the name of this public holiday has officially been changed to the 'Dia de la Resistencia Indigena' by the Bolivarian Government,  the mass media continues their mind control, indoctrination and manipulation -- with a trans-historic European Mental Holocaust launched against the peoples of the Americas and elsewhere.

Columbus was not among the first to know that the earth was round ... the ancient Mediterranean peoples already had this knowledge.  He did not 'discover' America ... already centuries before, the Africans had fleets that crossed the Atlantic and they had a vivid, healthy, trans-cultural intercourse with the American indigenous peoples. Their artefacts and traces of their ancient cultures can be found all over Central America.

Resistencia Boliviana, Aislamiento Brasilero

Parece que el 11 de Octubre se viene fuerte. Y, por increible que pueda parecer, aca en Brasil casi no se habla de lo que pasa en nuestro país vecino.
Me gustaria estar presente ese dia, para poder vivir y participar de todo ese movimiento de resistencia por parte del pueblo boliviano, por la legitimizacion de sus derechos y de su historia.
La coca es del pueblo boliviano, el gas es del pueblo boliviano, pero el gobierno no...El gobierno juega en contra de los intereses de su proprio pueblo. Me parece que enquanto eso no cambie esa guerra no termina.
Les deseo toda la suerte del mundo a mis compañeros autenticos periodistas bolivianos. Estaremos acompañando todo desde aqui la vecindad.

Viva la resistencia!
Pablo

Harm Reduction Advances at Stake in São Paulo Election Run-Off

Narco News pages are filled with reports on drug policy in Brazil, with a sizeable number of articles and commentaries on the advances made in the continent's largest city, São Paulo, under the leadership of city anti-AIDS coordinator Fabio Mesquita and his innovative programs - from clean needle exchange to decriminalizing drug users - to reduce the harms caused by drug use under prohibition, known as "harm reduction" policies.

But in municipal elections held yesterday, although the pro-drug-policy-reform Worker's Party of President Lula da Silva increased its number of mayoralties from 193 to 388 - and will pick up more in run-off votes to be held on October 31st - the continuation of a pro-reform administration in São Paulo is at risk...

Now is when we show what we're made of

It's no fun giving to get a group out of debt.

Until Alex Contreras and Bill Conroy weighed in with some of the best reporting anywhere, on the suppression of people in the drug war in Bolivia and the suppression of information in the drug war in the United States, there were more fund appeals on the front page of Narco News than stories.

And there's no matching grant.

Which is why now is the time to give.

Homeland Security memo exposes effort to manipulate media

An internal Department of Homeland Security memo leaked to Narco News sheds a bright light on how the U.S. government attempts to manipulate media coverage.

For people working in the media, this memo may not come as a big shock, as many have become reluctant participants in the sham. But for readers, this memo should be disturbing, as it demonstrates clearly how much of what you read in the mainstream media is scripted, right down to who talks to the media, what they say, and which media get to cover the story.

What is more telling is the news that is suppressed, that readers are not allowed to know because the heads of our government agencies deem it more important to spin the news than to provide critical information to citizens that is vital to the proper functioning of the democracy.

The memo provided to Narco News was distributed to local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices from ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ICE, composed of special agents from the former U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, is the primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The DHS memo obtained by Narco News provides very specific instructions on how local ICE offices are to create a media event for Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15.

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