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Narco News 2001

Call to Action for Issue # 10...

To All Narco News


March 13, 2001

To Our 500+ Subscribers;
To Our 25,000 readers per day;
To Our Correspondents in 24 countries;
To Authentic Journalists Everywhere;
To International Civil Society:

After two weeks on the road with the indigenous Zapatista caravan in Mexico, we are back in the NarcoNewsroom and preparing Issue #10 of The Narco News Bulletin for publication in the next few days.

We greatly appreciate the interest by subscribers, rank-and-file readers, authentic journalists and our correspondents in two dozen countries toward our intensive coverage of the Zapatista caravan. With an average of 25,000 readers a day, we played a significant part in breaking the information blockade on the immediate history from the heart of the hemisphere.

Many journalists who read Narco News informed us during these weeks that our coverage played a key role in forcing greater global coverage of the immediate history that, as Noam Chomsky alerted through our translation, the control rooms of the English-language press did not want to report.

Evidence of this victory in authentic journalism was clear yesterday, when, after Narco News sharply criticized Associated Press twice last week for its distortions and untruths reported on the Zapatista Caravan story, the major dailies throughout the United States - from Dallas to LA to NY to DC to Houston and beyond - bypassed AP and sent their own correspondents to cover the transcendant arrival of the indigenous on the Mexico City Zócalo. Dailies from Miami to San Francisco abandoned their reliance on AP and used stories from other dailies or news services to cover the Sunday Apotheosis. The coverage, at least for a day, was vastly improved.

Increasingly, Narco News plays this role: The commercial media now knows that it has less room to fictionalize the facts of what happens in the rest of our América. Those who try to distort are now called on it; the careers of some dishonest correspondents have already fallen, as you know, due to the truths we have published. May they all continue to look over their shoulders and worry about the fate that awaits the professional simulators and distorters of the facts.

Our own daily coverage of the caravan, meanwhile, served as an example of what authentic journalism concentrated upon a major story could or should look like.

As Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatista Commanders have vowed to remain in Mexico City until the federal Congress ratifies the San Andrés Accords, we will continue to cover the legislative processes, especially as they relate to issues of local autonomy on drug policy in the coming days and weeks.

But now, also, we must redouble our coverage of the rest of our América, and the US-imposed war on drugs, including the continued failures of Plan Colombia and the growing drug policy reform movement in many regions that rarely is mentioned in the English language press. We must also continue to monitor and report on the dirty war being waged covertly by Washington and Langley in the Andes and beyond, with the drug war as its pretext to push other agendas against democracy, freedom and justice.

We will also be looking ahead to the so-called "Summit of the Americas" in Quebec City scheduled for April by the Organization of American States. The governments and regional control networks like OAS are working furiously to prevent a debate or any discussion of all about drug policy between nations. It touches upon us to force the issue onto the media agenda of that artificial and top-down "summit."

Thus, we call upon our readers and correspondents to submit news, stories, original commentary and columns on the international drug war throughout América for immediate publication.

Whether Issue #10 will be the final issue of Narco News remains to be seen, given the expensive and censorious lawsuit by key players in the narco system who seek to censor us.

We are making assessments now. In the end, our decision on whether Narco News can continue publishing or not will come down to whether we have the minimum defense funds to answer the Banamex-Akin Gump complaint on the court deadline of April 9th.

If you have not made a contribution already to our defense fund, please do it today. Checks can be made out to:

Drug War on Trial
c/o Thomas Lesser, Esq.
39 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060 U.S.A.

It is not a slogan to say that whether there will be an issue #11 or a second year of publication for Narco News depends on you.

Regardless, whether issue #10 is the final issue, or the dawn of a new beginning for us and our now 25,000 readers a day, as always, your participation as correspondents in this project of authentic citizen journalism is necessary to inform Civil Society of what is really happening.

In these coming three weeks, we will be burning the midnight oil and pulling out all the stops to fight for our survival as we reiterate our existence - in the present - with Issue #10 of The Narco News Bulletin.

This publication has no advertisers, no compromises with power and no corporate owner. Our only capital is your trust, and our only investors are your eyes, hearts, minds, hands and pens.

With three weeks left to save Narco News,

salud y abrazo,

Al Giordano
The Narco News Bulletin

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