<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español September 21, 2014 | Issue #39


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Publisher:
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Please, Toss Some Coins to the Clowns

Donations Needed Now to Keep the Great Narco News Circus Running


By Luis A. Gómez
Acting Publisher, Narco News

September 15, 2005

Dear Readers:

Welcome to this poor circus that we call Narco News. We’ve got our usual stuff here: words, images, sounds, videos, a few funny stories and a lot of sad ones. As always, you’ll see and here news from Mexico, from Bolivia, from Colombia and from many other places. All this so that you, with your eyes open, can know about the reality of our America. The show is about to begin again…

Here to my left, with a flower in his cap, Dan Feder the clown performs wonders with his fingers (and sometimes writes, too) so that our circus’ beautiful tent is always visible: he paints it, updates it, and calls the other artists from the troupe to the ring. Past him, you can admire Giordano the magician and his many tricks to keep you truly informed. Our correspondent can do a really impressive trick: he cuts commercial media in half with his great strength (and I’ll admit that he never puts them back together again like other magicians do, but still, it’s an impressive act).

In back, riding a unicycle, the small and lovely Laura del Castillo juggles and tries not to fall as she mocks Colombia’s narco-traffickers, politicians, and soldiers. It’s great to watch her in the ring, telling the truth and smiling sarcastically. Later, the animal trainers will make their appearance, along with the trapeze artists, the human cannonball, the elephants, and a dancing bear. And me? Well, sometimes I put on the red Master of Ceremonies jacket (I don’t like it, it’s too big on me), and sometimes I just write out the program for the artists… But to be honest, what I like most is to put on this blue and yellow suit and a big red nose, to come out and splash the audience with fresh news from Bolivia (and it’s pretty high quality stuff, don’t you think?).

That’s what we are, kind readers: street musicians that report from Chiapas, painters of what the people are doing in Ecuador or Venezuela. We are your beloved clowns running among the masses or El Alto or speaking with the people of San José de Apartadó, so that you can know what the people are asking for, why they come out to fight in the streets… and why others want to condemn them to a death sentence they don’t deserve. Or did you think we’d leave the show to the Associated Press or the Miami Herald? They’re terrible at these things; they always tell lies or half-truths, or else they don’t even understand what the hell is happening around them… That’s why we’re here and in every plaza shouting out what we know, what the people from below tell us, what we see… We are a poor circus, but proud of our art.

But we also need to eat… and lately our piggy bank is very empty. Our greatest magic trick of all has been, with your help, to keep this circus running year after year, but once again the tent is in serious danger of being taken down. So take a look, kind readers and colleagues: we’re poor but we have our dignity. We don’t expect gifts and we didn’t come here to steal; we’re just passing the hat among you so that you can drop what you can in there (your love converted into coins)… Come on, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – if you really want the show to go on, open your heart and your pockets to feed these clowns and magicians, these journalists that love their work. How much can you put in there to keep Narco News alive? How much can you donate in return for the best reports we can do from among the people? How much for the sweet magic of authentic journalism?

If there is anyone out there in the audience that appreciates what we are worth and can share his or her money with us, then come on down and click here:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org/

No, don’t worry, young man, don’t worry, madam; if you don’t have coins or bills with you now we will gladly give you our address, so that you may send in your check:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism
P.O. Box 241
Natick, MA 01760 USA

Thank you, thank you… we expected no less from you. And come back tomorrow; we’ll be here reporting on the drug war, democracy, and the social movements.

For today, we express our great respect for those that sustain us and offer a big salute… from every corner of our América,

Luis A. Gómez

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America