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House of Death on fire

In late April, Narco News published a story about an informant for the U.S. government who was implicated in a series of murders in Juárez, Mexico -- 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.

In the wake of the Narco News story, there has been a major shakeup at the El Paso ICE office.

Venezuela Goes to Referendum

Venezuela National Radio (RNV) reports:

CNE Indicates that the Signatures Against President Chávez Were Collected

CNE director Jorge Rodríguez announced that according to preliminary results, the presidential recall referendum collected 15,000 more signatures than needed. There will also be recall referenda for nine opposition congressmen.

(More information in a few minutes.)

Thus, all the crybaby accusations by the "opposition" that their petition drive would not be respected (and their ridiculous claim to have collected 200,000 more than needed) are proved to be false.

And now they will learn what this phrase means:

"Be careful what you wish for... you might get it."

President Hugo Chávez has convened the public to Miraflores palace (the White House of Venezuela) and will give a speech in about an hour.

Now watch the opposition show its true colors, as the gang that can't shoot straight, having to now fight a fair electoral fight, again, for the eighth time in six years... having failed the previous seven times.

Narco News will update the news throughout the evening.

Developing...

Haaretz: Castano Under U.S. Protection

The Israeli daily Haaretz reports:

Carlos Castano, a right-wing militia leader in Colombia, was recently smuggled into Israel, AFP reported Tuesday. But Israeli Foreign Ministry and Interior Ministry officials who checked this story said they found no evidence that Castano had entered Israel. They noted, however, that it is possible that he entered the country under a different name.

The militia leader disappeared from Colombia on February 16 after the country's militias agreed to a government demand to disband. Castano, 39, was first moved to Panama under American guard and then sent to Israel, according to the French news agency's report. The Colombian government refused to confirm or deny this report...

Chávez Opponents Caught in Fraud (Again)

They were given an unprecedented second chance.

But opponents of Venezuela's democratically elected President Hugo Chávez again showed their true colors: They were caught red-handed this past weekend, in multiple locations across the country, manufacturing thousands of forged "photo IDs" for dead people and others whose names were forged on petition signatures late last year, seeking a recall referendum on the term of twice-elected, seven times electorally-endorsed, President Hugo Chávez...

MOVIMIENTOS SOCIALES IMPULSAN LA NACIONALIZACION DE LOS HIDROCARBUROS

Dirigentes sindicales, profesionales, campesinos, indígenas y representantes de diferentes sectores sociales de Bolivia reunidos el viernes 28 de mayo en la Asamblea de los Movimientos Sociales realizada en Cochabamba, determinaron por unanimidad impulsar la nacionalización de los hidrocarburos antes que participar en el referéndum planteado por el presidente Carlos Mesa.

Cuban embargo trumps Osama

In the grand scheme of policy options, what’s more important: foiling terrorist financing schemes, or tracking down American citizens who violate the embargo against Cuba?

Well, it appears the Bush administration deems Cuba to be a higher priority, according to a report in the latest issue of Money Laundering Alert, a subscription-only newsletter published by a former federal prosecutor.

Following is a snippet from the story:

In the years before and even after the September 11, 2001 attacks, a U.S. government agency responsible for tracking down and blocking terrorists financing -- the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) -- has devoted far more resources to Cuba travel ban violators....

In one case outlined in the story, OFAC, which is part of the Treasury Department, fined a mother of two $10,000 for failing to file the proper paperwork for her 10-day trip to Cuba.

Luis A. Gómez's Book Comes Out

The invitation arrived in Spanish:

IndyMedia Bolivia, el Centro de Promoción de la Mujer Gregoria Apaza y Radio Pachamama tienen el agrado de invitar a usted a la presentación del libro de Luis A. Gómez, "El Alto de pie."

El evento se llevará a cabo el viernes 28 de mayo, de 17 a 19 horas,

en el Auditorio del Centro de Promoción de la Mujer Gregoria Apaza,
Av. Juan Pablo II y calle Eulert no. 125
Zona 16 de Julio
El Alto

Agradecemos su gentil concurrencia

That means...

IndyMedia Bolivia, the Gregoria Apaza Center for Women, and Radio Pachamama invite you to the presentation of the book by Luis A. Gómez, "El Alto de pie" (El Alto Stands Up.)

The event will take place on Friday May 28th, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Gregoria Apaza Center for Women... in El Alto.

We appreciate your kind attendance.

This is a very important book from the heart of last autumn's popular rebellions in Bolivia that caused the fall of disgraced president Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada (now in Miami, of course).

More details to come, but I wanted y'all to see the cover art and be able to congratulate Luis Gómez.

Haiti: Caricom Sticks with Democracy

Randall Robinson writes an interesting analysis on Counterpunch about the continued (and couragous) refusal by the community of Caribbean nations to allow the US-installed regime of Gerard Latortue in Haiti a seat at the table:

On Feb. 29 the legally elected government of Haiti was driven from power by armed force. Its president, after being taken against his will to the Central African Republic, was given refuge in Jamaica. The Bush administration's response has been to demand that the democratic countries of the Caribbean (1) drop their call for an investigation into the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, (2) push the Aristide family out of Jamaica and the region, and (3) abandon their policy of admitting only democratically elected governments into the councils of Caricom (a multilateral organization established by the English-speaking Caribbean countries 31 years ago to promote regional cooperation).

In addition, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has warned Caricom leaders that if one U.S. soldier is killed in Haiti, Caribbean governments will be held responsible because the Aristide family was granted sanctuary in the region. In short, the Bush administration is strong-arming the Caribbean to confer on Haiti's new "government," headed by Gerard Latortue, a legitimacy it has not earned and does not deserve....

Chávez: "Bring It On!"

I watched Venezuela President Hugo Chávez on TV today, doing his weekly "Alo Presidente!" program, and speaking about this week's "repair process" for invalid signatures by those seeking a recall referendum to cut short his six-year term.

Narco News School of Authentic Journalism professor Martín Sánchez also watched it, and has already published his observations on Venezuelanalysis.com.

Martín and I got the same impression from watching the democratically-elected president do his popular television call-in program: Chávez is ready and at fighting weight to campaign and win yet another crushing electoral victory in that referendum if it happens.

Of course, the squalid oligarchs who can't shoot straight may still screw up their extra extra chance to validate signatures that they claimed publicly were valid, but that their leaders were caught on tape admitting privately they were not valid, back when they filed the petitions filled with forgeries, signatures of dead people, and multiple signatures from the same persons...

Charlie Hardy's New Blog

Narco News copublisher and 2003 and 2004 professor of the School of Authentic Journalism Charlie Hardy, reporting from Caracas, Venezuela, has a new blog of his own:

http://www.fuego.net/

The legendary "Cowboy in Caracas" writes:

Al, Big News!  I'm going to be a father!  And, I consider you the godfather!

Now don't jump to any conclusions!  It isn't what you are thinking.

First of all, I want to send you a big, big thanks.  You were extremely instrumental in encouraging me to write, indeed, one of the most important people to do so.  Being in Mexico last year for the two session of the J-school were additional boosts and the invitation to have a notebook on Narco News another one.

Not only that, but through Narco News a kid that was in Venezuela maybe fifteen years ago and visited Nueva Tacagua reestablished contact with me.  He has been offering for sometime the possibility of voluntarily developing a website for me.  Well, we've done it.

Tomorrow I will be the father of a new blog...

Okay, well pass around the cigars! The Narcosphere is now a grandparent!

[old / deleted]

the article was deleted by the author - 2014-04-24

Police Department boasts number of arrests

At its website's front page, Mexico City's police department (or "Public Safety Secretariat") shows off the progress in its goal of achieving 22,000 arrests during this year. According to the "REPORT OF DETAINEES" panel the total number up to date is 9,853. Check it out at http://www.ssp.df.gob.mx.

Alardea SSP-DF cantidad de detenidos

En la primera plana de su sitio web la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del DF se jacta del progreso en su meta por lograr 22,000 detenidos durante el año que termina en diciembre del 2004. Según el recuadro "REPORTE DE DETENIDOS" el número total hasta la mañana de este miércoles 19 de mayo es 9,853. Chéquenlo: http://www.ssp.df.gob.mx

Ratero cartoon

The celebration of Mexican corruption:

http://www.elcerebro.com/archivo/ratero.htm

2004 Narco News Journalism Scholars

Last night, in Los Angeles, 2003 graduate turned 2004 professor Sunny Angulo and I announced the list of this year's scholarship recipients who will be attending this year's Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, July 30 to August 8, in Cochabamba and the coca-growing Chapare region of Bolivia...

Obviously, a lot of super qualified and interesting applicants did not make it. There are two more, beyond this list of 34 below, whom we are trying to find a way to get them there (but our finances and theirs preclude granting them even partial travel expenses so far), and...

One scholarship applicant, Venezuelan Martín Sánchez, copublisher of Aporrea.org and Venezuelanalysis.com, has been invited not as a scholar, but as a professor.

It is now my great pleasure to introduce you to the Authentic 34 of the Class of 2004 of the Narco News J-School!

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