Free Speech & Cyber-Liberty
Your Support Will
To Our Readers:
The Narco News Bulletin is an all-volunteer work of on-line
journalism that, without seeking any profit or advertising, has
reported on the drug war from Latin America since April 18, 2000.
Narco News has broken the information blockade
many times. True to our mission
statement, we continue
to force Latin American stories about the abuses and absurdities
of the drug war onto the coverage of the English-language press.
We have never
asked you, our readers,
for your hard-earned money before. Today, it causes us great
humility to ask you to support our legal defense fund and show
the narco-censors that we do not stand alone in a battle for
our First Amendment rights.
Among our hundreds
of stories on the drug war,
we reported the facts about drug-trafficking on the Caribbean
properties of a billionaire, Mexico's most powerful banker and
political fundraiser, Roberto Hernández Ramírez,
the owner of Banamex.
We reported the facts about the public officials
and media powers that protected him, and on his efforts to persecute
the Mexican journalists who first published the photos and the
facts. We reported on how the banker and his bank failed, three
times, before Mexican judges to silence the great veteran journalist
Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, who is now our co-defendant
in New York. One of the judges stated in his ruling that all
the reports by Menéndez "were based on the facts."
Unable to prevail in its efforts to abuse the courts
in its own country (despite bank owner Hernández's close
personal power relationships with the last three presidents of
Mexico, and and the official protection granted to him as host
to a US president and a US Ambassador to Mexico), Banamex, the
National Bank of Mexico is "forum shopping."
They are trying
to get a US court to
do what three Mexican courts already refused to do: to silence
authentic journalism on the drug war. They are spending a fortune
with one of the world's most expensive lawyer-lobbyist firms
to sue us in New York City. They have a very weak case, as noted
by free speech defense attorneys Martin Garbus and Thomas Lesser.
But they have a lot of money.
They are abusing
the laws and the judicial
system of the United States to try and spend us out of existence.
This case will have a profound impact on
freedom of speech and of the press, especially on the Internet.
between victory and defeat
will be whether we can raise sufficient funds to mount a strong
defense against this attack. In a United States civil lawsuit,
transcripts of depositions cost $500 each. If they must be translated
officially from Spanish, the cost doubles. Court translators
cost $300 a day. And so much of the evidence that proves the
truth of our reports is in Spanish. Their gamble is that we won't
be able to pay those costs. They know we can't do it alone.
Today, The Narco
News Bulletin and its publisher officially enter the court case. Although Banamex's overpaid lawyers
were unable to serve us as the law requires to bring this suit,
they did serve Mario Menéndez, and we don't leave our
friends and colleagues alone in a battle for basic rights. We
have just signed "waiver of service" forms and sent
them to the Banamex lawyers at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and
Feld to answer their attack. We have entered this case voluntarily
to say that the Constitution protects those who criticize the
drug war, that the courts shall not be abused, nor justice bought,
by the highest bidder.
We believe that
our readers, in that
same spirit, will not leave don Mario and us to fight alone against
this abuse of the legal system.
The drug war
goes on trial in New York City. As we defend free speech and cyber-liberty, we
are going to bring the facts to light about the narco-trafficking
on Mr. Hernández's properties, and the behavior of his
bank and law firm in trying to censor press freedom. And we will
also show how these powers are not working alone. We will explain
who protects them in their dirty work by bringing forward the
facts. This case will provide a window into the corrupt war on
drugs in our hemisphere: waged by governments, industry, political
fundraising and lobbying entities, criminals and some media,
and the harm done to all the people by their complicity. Never
before has a single case brought them all together so obviously.
and peso that you donate
to the defense fund will go exclusively for the costs of defending
free speech and cyber-liberty. We will only accept contributions
that are legal and not from any dirty source. That's why we ask
you to help out, because we know that you, our valued reader,
is an honest and decent person like we always strive to be. In
almost ten months of publishing we have never made an appeal
for funds. But the defense of our freedom, and that of all citizens
to speak, write and report the facts on the drug war, must now
At stake, along with our right to publish the facts, is
your right to know the truth.
We ask you, kind reader,
1. Study the Facts on this
This new page contains
Full Coverage of the
Lawsuit: links to the
lawsuit text, the exhibits, the reports in dispute, the players
involved, and what journalists across América are saying
about this attack on press freedom. It will be updated throughout
the proceedings so that you may know what is happening in this
2. Please Contribute To Our
can be made out to:
War On Trial"
War On Trial
Newman, Souweine & Nasser
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