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Web of deceit widens around House of Death

The Dallas Morning News has come out with yet another story updating the investigation into the “House of Death” in Juárez, Mexico. The current story, like prior media stories on the case, reaffirms Narco News’ original reporting on the whole sordid affair.

In late April, Narco News published a major exposé (called “The House of Death”) about an informant for the U.S. government who was implicated in a series of murders in Juárez -- located just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

The informant’s handlers, agents with the El Paso office of the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), were allegedly fully aware of the informant’s complicity in the murders, yet did nothing to stop the killing for fear of jeopardizing the cases they were trying to make with the informant’s help.

The recent story in the Dallas Morning News (ID required) reports the following concerning the ongoing investigation into the case involving that informant, who is known by the alias Lalo:

Penn & Schoen's Competing Touch Screen Company

As if the violations of law and professional ethics by U.S.-British polling company Penn, Schoen & Berland in Sunday's Venezuela referendum on the continued term of President Hugo Chávez did not heap enough abuse and intrigue upon the democratic process, now another piece of information to add to the pile…

Keep in mind that the attempts by Penn, Schoen & Berland and their U.S. government funded client Súmate to discredit the Venezuela referendum results with one singular and inaccurate "exit poll" are not only intended to discredit democracy and the Venezuelan National Elections Council… Their claims also maliciously attack the credibility of the touchscreen company, SmartMatic, and its subcontractors that made the voting machines for Venezuela, and that had gone to so much effort to make its machines fraud-proof.

Well, well, well… it turns out that Penn, Schoen & Berland has another client… One that makes - are you ready? - touch screen machines!

The Implications and Explanation of Venezuela's Recall Election.

Everyone around the world who knew about the ongoing crisis in the Bolivarian Republic understood full well that this election was going to be a big event.  It would be one of a few events, along with the 2002 coup d’etat and the winter ‘02/’03 business lockout, that showed the conflict of Chávez’s term in the Fifth Republic.  Due to several inherencies of the ongoing events, the implications of this recall are a whole lot greater than merely tension over a national event.  The referendum has the potential for far-reaching effects.  

The Independent shakes off yesterday's mistake, posts Reed Lindsay article on the victory

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story .jsp?story=552287

In a marathon poll marked by high voter turnout, Venezuelans have ratified the mandate of President Hugo Chavez in a recall referendum that represents a monumental boost to his government and ablow to his domestic and foreign opponents.

Scattered protests erupted around Caracas yesterday as opposition leaders refused to accept results indicating Chavez won with 58 per cent of the vote, even after international observers endorsed the outcome.

A 62-year-old woman died and four others were wounded after a group of apparently pro-Chavez motorcyclists fired into a small opposition protest in a Caracas plaza, said Caracas Fire Chief Rodolfo Briceno. Opposition congressman Ernesto Alvarenga was among those hurt, Briceno said.

Ending hours of confusion, former American president Jimmy Carter, who helped monitor the referendum, endorsed the returns showing that the left-wing president had won the vote. "Our findings coincided with the partial returns announced today by the National Elections Council [CNE]," Mr Carter told a news conference, and urged Venezuelans to accept the result.

Reed, a Narco News graduate as far as I know, knows his journalism well.  No ommissions of inconvenient facts, yet no jumping to conclusions.  The opposition protests the vote, but it is in conflict with the opinion of the international observers.  The people who fired on the anti-Chavez rally are only apparently pro-Chavez activists.  

Quite disciplined yet open journalism.

Top Ten Fraudulent Claims of Fraud in Venezuela

The losers of yesterday's referendum vote in Venezuela are not accepting the results that, according to official numbers, give a landslide mandate to President Hugo Chávez to push on with his Bolivarian revolution.

However, news reports that repeat these claims of election "fraud" are, not surprisingly, thin on details or hard facts to back up the claims.

Therefore, as a public service, Narco News has conducted an exhaustive search across the Internet and throughout the news media for the concrete accusations of those who claim "fraud" in yesterday's historic, record-turnout, vote. We present them to you, kind reader, so you can make up your own mind how substantive, or unsubstantive, the opposition claims are in reality.

All quotes guaranteed verbatim from the blogosphere and online news sites!

Fraud Talk Falling On Deaf Ears

The Venezuelan opposition to Chavez doesn't seem to be finding very many receptive listeners for their whining this morning.

The Opposition's Game Plan

The opposition is so hopelessly disorganized and defeated after being repeatedly outmaneuvered -- by Chavez, his supporters, and community media in Venezuela --that even the U.S. is afraid to put the golpistas in charge.

I hope.

Venezuela: The Chávez Victory by the Numbers

CARACAS, VENEZUELA; AUGUST 16, 2004, 08:00 HOURS:

First, the facts:

With 94.49 percent of the electronic voting machines reporting, the National Elections Council of Venezuela informs that the "NO" vote - against recalling President Hugo Chávez - has amassed such a wide margin over the "YES" vote - by those who wanted to depose the elected president - that the trend is irreversible:

NO: 4.991.483 (58.25%)
YES:
3.576.517 (41.74%)

That is a total of 8,568,000 votes.

That means that only about 470,000 votes are left to count, but the pro-Chávez vote already enjoys a comfortable margin of 1,414,966.

So even if the opposition gets every single vote left uncounted, the pro-Chávez side will win by almost a million votes. More likely, the remaining votes will fall in similar percentages as the 95 percent already counted, bringing the final total to something like 5.26 million "NO" votes to 3.76 million votes.

AUTHENTIC JOURNALISM WINS: It's official, Chávez and América are free.

Chavez 58.3, Recall 41.7

I don't have much else to say other than the results were official.  VIVA CHAVEZ The Venezuelan people triumphed today.

No Hard Data Yet from Venezuela

CARACAS VENEZUELA; AUGUST 16, 2004, 2:00 A.M.: It was a day without precedent: A record voter turnout for the first-ever recall referendum on a president in the American hemisphere and an unprecedented extension, twice moved, of the hour until which citizens could vote in response to unrivaled long lines of voters going to the polls...

And at two o'clock the next morning, the country and the world await the results.

I'm still here in the Narco News informational war room, with various Venezuelan colleagues, waiting for the National Electoral Council (CNE in its Spanish initials) to hold its press conference. So far both sides - the supporters of the "yes" vote and supporters of the "no" vote - have refrained from offering results in public, although both have spooned out discordant numbers, off the record, to us and the rest of the press.

In the immortal words of that great American philosopher Tom Petty: "They Way-aiting is the hardest part!"

Long Lines for Voting

I have just listened to a spokesman of the so-called “Coordinadora Democratica” complain because he had to wait in line for nine hours to vote.  What he didn’t mention is that in December 2002 and January 2003, his organization made Venezuelans wait in line for days to buy a few gallons of gasoline for their automobiles or canisters of gas for their cooking-stoves. Their two-month-long lockout/strike caused people to lose days of joy with their families during the end-of-the-year holiday celebrations. As they waited and waited the opposition filled the airwaves with their personal joy about the pain they were causing in the country.

UK's Independent Newspaper Falsifies Venezuela Election Results!

In a big way. For shame, Hannah Baldock. How did you violate the rules? Let us count the ways.

Why We Don't Publish Venezuela "Exit Polls"

The Narco News Informational "War Room" is hopping here in Caracas, Venezuela, with more than a dozen Authentic Journalists monitoring every single wire cable, news report, or claim made on the Internet regarding today's referendum in this South American country.

We are aware of all the exit poll information on both sides - and we have seen the conflicting claims of at least two other websites regarding so-called "exit polls" - but we will not publish them here and I would like to explain why...

First, it is illegal under Venezuelan law.

Second, it is illegal for good reason, in a country where the Commercial Media unanimously reported, in April 2002, "Chavez Resigned" when the president was, in fact, kidnapped at gunpoint. Here, the Commercial Media has shown its willingness to blatantly lie in order to destabilize and impede democracy, and more of that kind of behavior continues today...

They're starting to slip...

Here at the Narconews war room in Caracas, we've got our eyes focused on mainstream press, wherever it may live. Two Latin American papers have already begun the slide into the obfuscation of referendum guidelines. Both El Tiempo of Colombia and Diario del Hoy of El Salvador are misrepresenting the rules of the game, before any poll results are even allowed in.

Venezuelan Chavez haters are running on empty

There is an interesting story in the Houston Chronicle today that focuses on rich Venezuelans who are fleeing their homeland to come to Houston, many with hopes of plugging into the city's oil industry.

The story points out that:

More than 10,000 Venezuelans now live in the Houston area, estimates Wladimir Torres, 51, publisher of the monthly newspaper El Venezolano de Houston. That's up from the 1,592 Venezuelans counted in the 2000 census.

... But the Bayou City also has attracted thousands of these immigrants because they expected to find jobs here, particularly in Houston's oil sector, where former employees of the (Venezuelan) state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, can utilize their experience.

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