<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
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The Mérida Summit begins on February 12th...

Who Is Coming to Mérida?

Confirmed and Invited Guests at the Drug Legalization Summit


By Al Giordano

January 28, 2003

Who is coming to América’s first drug legalization Summit?

Who is coming to “OUT FROM THE SHADOWS: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century,” February 12 to 15, 2003, at the Autonomous University of Yucatán in the Mexican city of Mérida?

Partial List of Confirmed Participants:

Senator Carlos Gaviria, Colombia, former chief justice of the Supreme Court, who wrote the 1994 decision decriminalizing personal drug use, is coming to Mérida.

Congressman Evo Morales, Bolivia, 2002 presidential candidate, leader of the Six Federations of coca growers in the Chapare region of the Amazon, is coming to Mérida.

Dr. Jaime Malamud-Goti, former Solicitor General to the Supreme Court of Argentina, author of “Smoke and Mirrors,” is coming to Mérida.

Congresswoman Margarita Percovich, Uruguay, is coming to Mérida.

Congressman Felipe Quispe, Bolivia, El Mallku of the Aymara nation, is coming to Mérida.

Don Andrés Vasquez de Santiago, Mexico, 93, of the Indigenous National Congress, is coming to Mérida.

María Mercedes Moreno, Colombia, of the Mama Coca organization, is coming to Mérida.

Ethan Nadelmann, United States, director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is coming to Mérida.

Mario Renato Menéndez Rodríguez, México, editor and publisher of the nation’s third largest daily newspaper, Por Esto!, is already in Mérida.

Congressman Fernando Gabeira, Brazil, is coming to Mérida.

Fernando Buendía, Ecuador, secretary of international relations for the Pachakutik party, is coming to Mérida.

Congressman Dionicio Nunez, Bolivia, leader of traditional coca growers from the Yungas region, is coming to Mérida.

John Gilmore, United States, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), plaintiff in “Gilmore vs. Ashcroft,” is coming to Mérida.

Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar, Mexico, author, columnist for La Jornada, former political prisoner in Bolivia, and mathematician, is coming to Mérida.

Nelson Palomino, Perú, leader of coca growers’ movement, is coming to Mérida.

Gustavo de Greiff, Colombia, the former Attorney General who brought down narco-kingpin Pablo Escobar, former Ambassador to Mexico, fellow at the Colegio de México, is chairing this summit in Mérida.

Maximilien Arvelaiz, advisor to the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is coming to Mérida.

Oscar Oliveira, Bolivia, internationally renowned labor official, leader of the Coordinadora de Agua in Cochabamba, is coming to Mérida.

Ignacio “Nacho” Gómez, Colombian journalist, winner of the 2002 International Press Freedom award in New York, is coming to Mérida.

Renato Rovai, Brazil, editor of Forum magazine, Sao Paulo, is coming to Mérida.

Jeremy Bigwood, United States, advisor to the government of Ecuador in its efforts against drug war herbicide spraying, is coming to Mérida.

Rosemarie de Achá, Bolivia, human rights attorney, is coming to Mérida.

Baldomero Caceres, Perú, coca scholar, is coming to Mérida.

Carola Mittrany and Helena Klang, Brazil filmmakers, will be premiering their documentary La Folha Maldita (“That Damn Leaf”) in Mérida.

Ricardo Sala, Mexico, editor, vivecondrogas.com, is coming to Mérida.

Luis Gómez, Andean Bureau Chief, The Narco News Bulletin, is coming to Mérida.

Alvaro Garcia, Bolivia, author and political strategist, is coming to Mérida.

Sara Cantera, Leopoldo Rivera, Lino Cambrón, and other members of the Mexican Association for Cannabis Studies (AMECA), in Mexico City, are coming to Mérida.

Beatríz Fregoso, Mexico, journalist with El Economista, is coming to Mérida.

Carlos Martínez Rentería, Mexico, publisher of Generación magazine, is coming to Mérida.

Marco Perduca, Italy, of the Transnational Radical Party, is coming to Mérida.

Dave Borden, United States, director, Drug Policy Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), is coming to Mérida.

Valerie Vande Panne, United States, conference organizer, writer, is already in Mérida.

Luis Alejandro Astorga Almanza, Mexico, professor at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM), columnist for La Jornada, is coming to Mérida.

Gary Webb, United States, author of Dark Alliance, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, is coming to Mérida.

Attorney Tom Lesser, United States, free speech and civil liberties attorney, is coming to Mérida.

Attorney Juan Ramírez, Mexico, free speech and civil liberties attorney, is already in Mérida.

Michele Stoddard, United States, professor and author, is coming to Mérida.

Maria Botey Pascual, Catalunya, novelist, Columna Press, Barcelona, is coming to Mérida.

Stephen Marshall and Anthony Lappe, United States, winners of the Sundance Film Festival award for documentary filmmaking for “Crack the CIA,” produced by Guerrilla News, are coming to Mérida.

Annie Harrison, United States, drug war and technology journalist, is coming to Mérida.

Alex Contreras, Bolivia, biographer of Evo Morales, TV, radio and print journalist, is coming to Mérida.

Blanca Eekhout, Venezuela, newscaster, Community Television Catia TV, is coming to Mérida.

Ugo Vallauri, Italy, author of “Media Activism,” is coming to Mérida.

Adriana Veloso Meireles, Brazil, IndyMedia journalist, is coming to Mérida.

Dr. Francisco Fernández, Mexico, chairman of the anthropology department, Autonomous University of Yucatán, is already in Mérida.

The 26 Scholarship Students of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism are coming to Mérida.

The 26 Professors of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism are coming to Mérida.

A laptop, donated by Krist Novoselic to the students at the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, is on its way to Mérida.

A steel guitar, coveted by narco-bankers who never succeeded in getting it, is on its way to Mérida.

Yucatán Civil Society is already in or near Mérida.

I will be in Mérida.

INVITED GUESTS (Partial List)

Secretary of State Nina Pacari, Ecuador, is invited to Mérida.

Dr. Mildred Camero C., Venezuela, anti-drug czar, is invited to Mérida.

Leonardo Costa, Uruguay, advisor to the President, is invited to Mérida.

Congressman Gregorio Urias, Mexico, is invited to Mérida.

Luis Eduardo “Lucho” Garzón, Colombia, 2002 presidential candidate, is invited to Mérida.

Ambassador Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, Mexican Ambassador to the European Union, is invited to Mérida.

Presidents Lula da Silva (Brazil), Jorge Batlle (Uruguay), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela) and Lucio Gutiérrez (Ecuador) and their designees are invited to Mérida.

Roco, Mexico, musician, with Maldita Vecindad, is invited to Mérida.

And our most important invitee:

You… are invited to Mérida.

Register to attend the Out From The Shadows summit in Mérida by clicking this link

Full Disclosure: The author wishes to acknowledge the material assistance, encouragement, and guidance, of The Narco News Bulletin, The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, publisher Al Giordano and the rest of the faculty, and of the Tides Foundation. Narco News is a co-sponsor and funder of the international drug legalization summit, “OUT FROM THE SHADOWS: Ending Prohibition in the 21st Century,” in Mérida, Yucatán, and is wholly responsible for the School of Authentic Journalism whose philosophy and methodology were employed in the creation of this report. The writing, the opinions expressed, and the conclusions reached, if any, are solely those of the author.

Apertura total: El autor desea reconocer la asistencia material, el ánimo y la guía de The Narco News Bulletin, La Escuela de Narco News de Periodismo Auténtico, su Director General Al Giordano y el resto del profesorado, y de la Fundación Tides. Narco News es copatrocinador y financiador del encuentro internacional sobre legalización de las drogas “Saliendo de las sombras: terminando con la prohibición a las drogas en el siglo XXI” en Mérida, Yucatán, y es completamente responsable por la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico, cuya filosofía y metodología fueron empleadas en la elaboración de esta nota. La escritura, las opiniones expresadas y las conclusiones alcanzadas, si las hay, son de exclusiva responsabilidad del autor.

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