The Narco News Bulletin
January 18, 2018 | Issue #67
narconews.com - Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America
Frack U showed millions of Mexicans the dangers of Fracking
"El Joe T. Hodo Show" has entertained and informed hundreds of thousands of people in Mexico and the United States. We've produced four videos so far and are dying to complete Season One...but we need your support to be able to do it!
You can learn more and contribute to our show via Kickstarter.
For over a decade, Filmmaker and Greg Berger and his colleagues at The School of Authentic Journalism and Narco News TV have teamed up with grassroots community leaders to make short comedic newsreels. Berger has created and dispatched multiple characters to pueblos and neighborhoods, working together with the people of those communities to make jokes that highlight and uplift the struggles of everyday Mexican people. But none have these characters have made as much as an impact as Joe T. Hodo.
In 2013, Mexico was about to change its Federal energy laws. What few people realized was that the new laws were being designed for the specific purpose of importing the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract untapped reserves of shale gas and oil. The story was absent from the media. Berger and the NNTV team were confident that if Mexicans knew what fracking was, there was a chance that people in the communities affected by the practice could organize and stop it.
Millions of Mexicans were about to be screwed over...which gave Greg an idea for a new character! He created the fictitious Texan oilman "Joe T. Hodo," which when said in Spanish literally means "I am screwing you over." The NNTV team took to the streets where Joe horrified everyone he encountered, injecting fracking chemicals into traditional Mexican food, and inviting children to break piñatas filled with fracking fluid instead of candy. The only person not horrified by Joe was a Federal congressman sponsoring pro-fracking legislation, who invited Joe inside his offices for a photo op.
The film, "Frack U. Mexico," went viral, with over one million combined views on Youtube and Facebook. Within days of the videos release, Mexican media finally started to cover fracking and explain what it was. An anti-fracking movement sprung up throughout Northern Mexico, and traveled from town to town using the film as an organizing tool. To date, more than thirty communities have declared themselves no-fracking zones, and their residents continue to despise Joe T. Hodo and credit his arrogance as part of the reason they started to organize.
But Joe T. Hodo has his sights on more than just Mexico's shale gas.
Nearly a year ago Joe received an invitation from the CRAC-PC, a grassroots indigenous community policing movement that works independently to make rural communities safe in Mexico's Guerrero State, an area hard hit by crime and Drug War related violence. The CRAC-PC has drastically reduced crime in their expansive territory through community participation and restorative justice. The organization asked Joe to come down and talk with them.
And ¡El Joe T. Hodo Show! was born.
After launching Episode One, which featured Joe's encounter with the CRAC (and which ended with his unexpected "arrest,") , we produced two shorter videos, and Episode Two, just released this week: an exclusive interview with legendary Mexican rock musician and songwriter Paco Barrios, "El Mastuerzo," who has dedicated his talents to support Mexican social movements.
Episode 2 of the "Joe T Hodo show" premiered this week
There is no other Internet based TV series like El Joe T. Hodo Show. The world has many great satirical news shows, hosted by the likes of John Oliver and Samantha Bee in the United States, to Egypt's Bassem Youssef and Mexico's own Chumel Torres. But El Joe T. Hodo Show is the only satirical news show that enlists outrageous political comedy specifically to inspire and enable community organizing.
We've come as far as we have thanks to the amazing genersity of the NNTV crew, graduates of The School of Authentic Journalism, and others, all of whom have volunteered their time and talent to make our show happe, including Production Coordinators Antonio Hernández and Belen Luckie, musician and performer Aldo Jiménez Tabone, graphic artists Augusto Mora and Cinthia Galan, writers Memo Cruz, Jonny Mendoza, and Ave Jaramillo, and Executive Producer Al Giordano, who founded both Narco News and The School of Authentic Journalism, and who continues to be Berger's most intimate collaborator.
But despite this amazing volunteer effort, there is no getting around the material costs of producing each episode. We need your help to produce the next two episodes of El Joe T.Hodo Show plus a series of bonus short videos.
Each episode costs roughly $4000 to produce, and we have no source of funding other than what our viewers contribute. Your contribution will cover the costs of equipment, materials, transportation, online distribution, and very modest compensation for the show's most dedicated collaborators.
You can join us at this link.
Who will our next guests be? That's a carefully guarded secret. Join us and see!