The Narco News Bulletin


Letters to the Publisher


Narco News letters policy: We accept letters that directly respond to stories in our publication. We consider the letters page a kind of Talk Radio program of the written word; we accept all calls. (Contestamos, igual, a comunicados en español.) We encourage views distinct from our own, and we will respond, as rapidly as we can (excuse us, please, because sometimes we are in the field, away from computers and telephones). Given the nature of our topics, Narco News also accepts anonymous letters. We protect our sources. We believe that your truth, in free speech and exchange with our truth, makes a bigger truth.


April 18, 2000
New York City
Dear Alberto Giordano,
Hello. I'm the affiliates manager at MediaChannel.
Danny Schechter has forwarded your message to me about the launch of The Narco News Bulletin -- congrats!! We've looked at the site and it's terrific. We would like to invite you to become a MediaChannel affiliate. We would like to link to your site, call attention to your work, and drive traffic to your pages.
In addition, we would love to get advance notice of media stories on your site. Please direct any advance info on stories or other editorial correspondence to Aliza Dichter, Editorial Producer,
We hope you will take part in MediaChannel.
We would all be thrilled to add The Narco News Bulletin to our affiliates list.
All best,

Andrew Levy
Affiliate Manager
Publisher's response: Thank you, Andrew Levy, and saludos to the good people at The Media Channel, one of the few truly international examples of Authentic Journalism. We are honored to receive the privilege of expressing our solidarity with hundreds of Authentic Journalism organizations around the world -- in many languages -- who are affiliates of The Media Channel.
Authentic Journalism is, in our view, something distinct and wider than "alternative" journalism, a term that is more common in North America.
When I think of Authentic Journalists in the United States, I think of Danny Schechter -- "the news dissector" as he is known by countless radio listeners and television viewers on the Eastern Seaboard. Schecter is the inventor and director of The Media Channel. He is also the author of "The More You Watch the Less you Know" (Seven Stories Press, 1997), a book that reveals the inner machinations of the Media industry in Gringolandia. Another time we will explain what we mean at Narco News by "Authentic Journalism." Meanwhile, we recommend Walter Cronkite's internet video broadcast, in which he asks people to tune in to The Media Channel.
On this 18th of April of 00, The Narco News Bulletin is proud to announce its affiliation with The Media Channel. We extend the hand of friendship to The Media Channel and its affiliates around the world. Check it out:
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano
April 18, 2000
Mérida, Yucatán, México
The directors of the daily Por Esto! unite fraternal forces of friendship and its consequent solidarity in the struggle toward common goals, wishes the best and emphasizes the worthy efforts of Al Giordano to whom it wishes all kinds of success; successes that are also shared by Por Esto!
Mario Renato Menéndez Rodríguez
publisher and editor, Por Esto!
(translated from the original Spanish)
Publisher's response: Thank you, don Mario and to everyone at Por Esto!, which on March 21 celebrated its 9th anniversary as a daily, and is already the third most widely read daily in Mexico, and the paper with largest combined circulation throughout the Yucatán peninsula. The pages of The Narco News Bulletin are filled with stories from Por Esto! because they are second to none in their coverage of the drug war, and second to none in their courage in the face of blatant and violent persecution by corrupt authorities.
As the Boston Phoenix reported in its story about Narco News this week, I left the media industry four years ago believing that Authentic Journalism no longer existed. Mario Menéndez and the authentic journalists at Por Esto! proved me wrong; that's a fact that leads, today, to the birth of The Narco News Bulletin. ¡Un abrazote! ¡Hasta la victoria, siempre!
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano


April 20, 2000
New York City
Hi Al,
Congratulations on launching your website, The Narco News Bulletin. Although we have barely had time between arriving back from the IMF/World Bank protests in Washington, doing the "Let Em Talk" radio show last night, and heading down to City Hall to meet the Haitian Coalition for Justice march that is coming right now across the Brooklyn Bridge, both of us have squeezed in a look at The Narco News Bulletin.
We are very excited and plan to create links from our webpages to yours.
I got an email from (the great international photojournalist) Lina Palotta in Italy and sent her your new URL.

Miss Joan Marie Moossy and Paul DiRienzo
co-hosts of WBAI 99.5 FM New York's "Let Em Talk" program
Publisher's response: Thanks Joanie and Paul! I love your reports because you are always at the front lines, gathering the truth for and with the people. Check out the "Let Em Talk" web site and its great library of internet radio programs. We also send our warmest wishes to Lina Palotta in Naples, Italy.
Washington, DC
April 20, 2000
Dear Alberto,
This is César Romero of the US bureau of (the Mexican national daily) Reforma.
I congratulate you for your web page and wish you a lot of luck.
In the off-line world, I live in Washington and the newspaper for which I work is in Mexico.
The theme of your Bulletin interests me. I will surely be one of your most assiduous readers.
César Romero
US Bureau Chief, the Reforma newspaper
(translated from the original Spanish)
Publisher's response: Your letter shows that, one, you are quick on the draw, as you discovered The Narco News Bulletin within hours of its launch, and, two, that you are decent human being. The Washington Press corps is so full of hubris, envy and jealousy between "journalists" that it's a special one who can hold out the hand of solidarity and communication out to others. ¡Saludos! Our readers can find César's original works from Washington in Spanish at the national Reforma web site. And The Narco News Bulletin stands ready to translate and publish those on the international drug policy theme.
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano

April 20, 2000
Mexico City
Congratulations for this effort. In the next issue of La Crisis we will dedicate a wide space to your page....
an embrace,
Carlos Ramírez
editor and publisher, La Crisis
Publisher's response: Carlos Ramírez is a 26-year veteran Mexican journalist, with a daily column in the nation's most widely read newspaper, El Universal, and that is published in 30 other newspapers around the world. His weekly, La Crisis, also enjoys wide readership throughout the Mexican Republic because he and his collaborators are bold and unafraid to take on the powerful and speak their minds. We've linked to some of those stories already in this issue. Ramírez and his collaborators are especially astute in their analysis of US-Mexican relations (one edition of La Crisis, based in Los Angeles, is a top seller among Mexican Americans in California). The Narco News Bulletin looks forward to the next issue of La Crisis, and to every column -- Sunday through Friday -- by Carlos Ramírez in El Universal.
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano
San Francisco, California
April 20, 2000
Looks great Al. How will you get eyeballs? Links? PR? I'll spread the word...
Jim Gollin
The Angelica Foundation
Publisher's response: The Narco News Bulletin, as we writ on our LINKS page, would not be possible without the support of The Angelica Foundation. They paid for our computer. They fund a lot of important human rights and drug policy work throughout the hemisphere. At the Narco News Bulletin, we will continue working 'round-the-clock to make Jim and everyone at The Angelica Foundation proud of their investment in authentic journalism.
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano
Washington, DC
April 20, 2000
Your site looks very useful indeed -- I've put up a couple links to it, from our drugs page and from our Latin America page.
Jim Naureckas
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Publisher's response: Jim Naureckas and the tireless folks at FAIR have labored many years to keep an eye on the US and global media. They are feared in newsrooms and corporate boardrooms throughout the Fourth Estate. When FAIR speaks, they have great credibility. Errant media outlets are forced to respond. This happened recently, when CNN TV -- Ted Turner's Cable News Network -- was forced to write a response to a FAIR exposé that CNN, during the Kosovo war, allowed US military "psyops" -- psychological operators -- inside their newsroom, posing as interns, to spy upon the TV journalists and (although CNN and the Pentagon deny it) influence the press coverage. FAIR forced CNN to announce that they have imposed a new policy that prohibits those "psyops" from ever working there again. And the scandal has legs: National Public Radio, in the United States, has just been caught for having allowed the same "psyops" into their newsroom. Without FAIR, the Pentagon would still be getting away with it. We recommend FAIR's webpage, and their excellent sections on drug war and Latin America coverage, as well as their newsletter, EXTRA!, long a must-read in newsrooms across the United States.
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano
Morristown, New Jersey, USA
April 20, 2000
It's great to see that you're still cooking. I'll link to your site with this message:
The Narco News Bulletin is an up-to-date listing of the latest perfidy of the U.S.'s international narco policing efforts. That it is the target of the Drug Czar is reason enough to see what Narco News has turned up.
Stanton Peele, M.D.
Publisher's response: I read Stanton Peele's book, "The Diseasing of America," in 1989 and have followed his work ever since. He is one of the few great intellectuals left in my country. He is also a very skilled writer and communicator, who researches the subjects of addiction and drug abuse from a medical perspective, in such a thorough manner that drug warriors don't even want to tangle with him. Now he's just earned a law degree. The guy is unstoppable. The web site he's mentioned in this letter -- The Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site -- is very popular. We're sure it will bring us new readers. It means a lot to us, Stanton, that you've written and gifted us this link. Please keep us posted on your ongoing investigations.
The Narco News Bulletin, recommended by Stanton Peele...
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano


April 23, 2000

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Finally, someone has the balls to tell the truth about US narco policies.

God keep you with us all the time.

an admirer from Quintana Roo,

Diego Armando


Brevard, North Carolina, USA

April 24, 2000

Dear Al:

After perusing your site today, I feel that I can use your first name, although we have never met. I must say that finding a blurb about your site on MAPINC was a very lucky thing. I don't know if you have heard of or read Richard Cowan's site "", but I think he aims to do here in DEA-land what you are doing south of the border. I welcome that, as the countries of Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, et al, are where the real business-end of the Drug War takes place. We here in the land of the free only receive filtered reports of what happens elsewhere; and judging from
my reading of your site today, much more filtered than I could possibly imagine. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to making your site daily reading, and educating as many others as I can.

Stephen H. Novak
Attorney at Law
602 South Caldwell Street
Brevard, NC 28712
(828) 884-2334

Publisher's response: As an attorney in the United States, you know the score. I saw this time and time again when I covered crime and politics for US newspapers. It's a common story: A defendant gets arrested with, say, eight kilos of illegal drugs. Suddenly he's charged with possessing four kilos. He's not going to say to the judge, "Um, your honor, I really had twice as many drugs," because that would bring him more prison time. The rest is sold on the illegal market by the very same officials charged with combatting the drug war.
The corruption is not just south of the border. It follows the prohibition wherever it goes. I would make one correction to your letter -- and I'll bet you'll understand. The "real business end of the drug war" is not in Latin America. It is in the same United States. For 80 percent of all illegal drug proceeds go to the giant banks and financial businesses that launder the money. Latin America is merely the place where US officials have tried to displace the violent part of the business (in this, they have failed as well, as the prohibition-related violence grows in the US and the "developed world" too). One of the goals of The Narco News Bulletin is to bring the evidence to the people of the United States that their government is as corrupted, or moreso, by the prohibition. So I thank you for your thoughtful letter, and we'll keep reporting the facts to force these stories onto the docket of the US media.
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano


Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA
April 26, 2000
Dear Al,
When the Talkers Magazine New Media Seminar is over and I have a chance to think clearly... I will give you a bunch of mentions and a FREE classified ad in Talkers. It would be real cool if you wrote an article about your project and adventures (from a talk radio perspective).
Michael Harrison
Talkers Magazine
host, Talk Radio Weekly Countdown
Publisher responds: When I met Mike Harrison in the late 1980s, we were both daily talk radio hosts in Massachusetts, and he was starting a new magazine, TALKERS, dedicated to the world of talk radio. TALKERS is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. It is now the bible of talk radio hosts, producers, station managers, everybody who wakes up each morning -- some of them very early -- and goes to the colisseum, er, microphone to speak their minds and take phone calls from the public.
The Narco News Bulletin recommends TALKERS magazine to anyone and everyone who wants to make the world better and reach the working people of the United States. The readers of talkers -- the shows hosts -- speak to millions of people every day, in every media market from sea to shining sea. I have written articles for TALKERS before and had huge response from talk radio hosts, and through them, their listeners and participants in the public.
We congratulate Mike Harrison and everyone at TALKERS on their 10th anniversary, and wish them the best of luck with their New Media Seminar in New York City this weekend.


Washington, DC
April 28, 2000
The site is, of course, great. It's hard to imagine a better medium for you to go on the attack on these issues, and to break through the media filters of the US media.
I fully expect that your hit rate will go up for a while, as people discover what a resource you are creating.
It is, of course, important for you to do everything you can to keep your content current. My guess would be that as word of the site spreads, you will find new content arriving unbidden on your doorstep every day. The voice is critical, and I think you're angry and nasty enough, without getting too far over the edge and making people think you're a crank. You've done this all before, like your radio show, so I'm sure you have a good sense of how far to go.
The use of Bolivar is a very good idea. As (a great political consultant of our mutual acquaintance) used to say, you want to get on the highest moral ground you can find, and Bolivar allows you to connect with some wonderful moral historical roots.
Thanks for making the effort to get through with the news. I look forward to following the development of the site.
Your friend,
Dick Bell
Publisher responds: Coming from Dick Bell, that's real praise! I first bumped across Dick when I was in my teens, blockading the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire, and Dick was a press secretary for the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance. Later I read his book, NUKESPEAK, and, years later in 1984 we worked side by side in the political campaign of United States Senator John Kerry (yes, your publisher has these sorts of skeletons in his closet). Dick later launched the national Democratic Party in the US into cyberspace. Now he's vice president for communications of the very respectable and worthwhile Worldwatch organization, that works on behalf of the environment and human rights across the globe. He's one of the few people I know in Washington DC with access to the highest of political circles who never, ever, became corrupted by the beltway. That's a huge accomplishment and we appreciate very much, Dick, your counsel.
From somewhere in a country called America,
Al Giordano
Texas, USA
April 28, 2000
Great looking site. The people of Mexico and the people of the U.S. should work together to end this drug war.

The people should have the power, not the governments.
They work to slow. We demand changes be made now!!

Rick Patterson
Sacramento, California, USA
April 28, 2000
I'm a journalist in Sacramento, CA. Great job on the site.
I'll try to generate some publicity about it at this end .
Raymond Cushing
Sacramento, CA
Oklahoma City, USA
April 28, 2000
The American people have been lied to so much by our government that who knows what the truth is.
You seem to come closer than any of the media in the U.S.
It's time our eyes were opened. Keep up the good work.
Lloyd E. Powell
Oklahoma City, OK.
Boston, Massachusetts
April 28, 2000
Saludos, Alberto,
¡Buena suerte!
-- Davíd
David Brudnoy
Publisher responds: WBZ Radio 1030 AM in Boston has the widest reaching radio signal on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States: 50,000 watts of power with no other station within range on the same frequency. Especially at night, when AM radio waves travel farther and clearer. Every weeknight from 7 p.m. to midnight, David Brudnoy broadcasts his thinking person's talk radio show. He receives calls from Canada, from Central America, from Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and of course from all over New England. He has a tremendous listenership because he is one of the only talk hosts, for example, who reads the books of the authors who appear on his show. WBZ should put David's show on the internet! I'm really super pleased that David has found The Narco News Bulletin and perhaps sometime we will go on his show to talk about our journalistic mission. If so, you, the Narco News readers, will be the first to know!

Hello, you're on the air....