<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
 English | Español November 22, 2014 | Issue #45


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Publisher:
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Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
¡Bienvenidos en Español!
Bem Vindos em Português!

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Happy 7th Birthday, Narco News!

Those of Us Who Can’t Be at the Wednesday Anniversary Celebration in New York Can Still Show Our Appreciation with a Gift


By Bill Conroy
The Fund for Authentic Journalism

April 17, 2007

Recently, I checked over my finances and decided it was time to once again contribute something to a cause I believe in: Narco News.

So I committed to a $50 a month pledge to the Fund for Authentic Journalism. That’s $600 for the year.

Around my house, that’s not chump change. It means I will have to cut back somewhere else, But, in reality, it will cost me about $1.65 a day.

I recently stopped smoking cigarettes (again) – that’s about $3 bucks a day (in the Lone Star state) on a one-pack-a-day habit; so it’s some incentive not to start up again.

But if I did fail to completely kick the habit, I could turn to another strategy, say driving smarter. At nearly $3 bucks a gallon, all I’d have to save is about 4 gallons of gas a week to cover my investment in Narco News. That might be tough in pedestrian-unfriendly Texas, but I could certainly make a dent in my gas consumption by walking more and working to improve my sense of direction.

Or, I could shave $1.65 a day off our household grocery bill by clipping more coupons and buying less junk food.

The point is that I can find the money, with a little sacrifice, and it will actually make me healthier in the long run.

And what will I get in return? In my book, a healthier world.

Here’s a partial accounting of what Narco News has accomplished since its birth on April 18, 2000, on that score:

  • Narco News successfully defended itself against the legal guns of Mexican lender Banamex (now owned by Citigroup) and secured First Amendment rights for all Internet journalists.
  • Narco News chronicled the social movements that led to the downfall of two Bolivian presidents.
  • Narco News has exposed corrupt foreign correspondents in Latin America for their conflicts of interest – resulting in various firings and resignations.
  • Narco News helped to put drug-policy reform on the map in Latin America.
  • Narco News has trained more than 100 journalists throughout the hemisphere through its School of Authentic Journalism.
  • Narco News has fostered the growth of the participatory Narcosphere to more than 300 co-publishers.
  • Narco News provided the most comprehensive coverage of any periodical on the 2006 Zapatista Other Campaign tour in Mexico.

And that’s just a partial list of the payback I already got for my investment. But I fully expect that investment to continue producing dividends.

As evidence, Narco News is continuing to put my $1.65 to good use every day, as its recent string of victories shows:

  • A January expose about Associated Press Oaxaca correspondent Rebeca Romero’s conflicts-of-interest followed by her firing by the agency;
  • The mainstream media is increasingly picking up up on the House of Death series and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s growing problems as he tries to hold on to power;
  • The recent cancellation – three weeks after “Supermodels for Oaxaca” announced their campaign on Narco News – of Miss Universe 2007’s pageant in Oaxaca;
  • The publication of Nancy Davies’ “The People Decide: Oaxaca’s Popular Assembly,” the first Narco News Book.

So yes, I am far better off, as is the world, by putting my $1.65 a day toward Narco News, as opposed to spending it on cigarettes, junk food and gas. I’m feeling pretty good about this decision right now.

And on top of it, my gift is really a birthday present, which in the true spirit of giving, is not tethered to any expectation of payback in a monetary sense. It’s all about the spirit of celebrating life – in this case, the 7th Anniversary of a publication that has beaten the odds over and over again in the struggle to expose the truth.

On that note, I recently sent Narco News founder and publisher Al Giordano an e-mail wishing Narco News a happy birthday:

Peace and hoist a brew for me in honor of your 7-year trek through embargoed waters. That’s one hell of an accomplishment for any publication as you know, but particularly for one that has taken on the empire.

Now, I’d like to ask all of you, kind readers, to do what you can by making a “happy birthday” contribution to Narco News to keep the work going, to help make the world a little better place to live for all of us.

Do it today, online, via The Fund for Authentic Journalism website:

www.authenticjournalism.org

Or send your contribution to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism
PO Box 241
Natick, MA 01760

Sincerely,

Bill Conroy
Co-publisher, Narco News
Board member, The Fund for Authentic Journalism

p.s. If you are in New York and can attend the anniversary celebration Wednesday night, contact Al at narconews@gmail.com.

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