<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 September 1, 2014 | Issue #47


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Give Narco News a Hand to Help it Survive

“The funny thing is that although the commercial reporters claim not to take Narco News seriously, they seem to be very up-to-speed on what it’s saying...”


By Laura Del Castillo Matamoros
Narco News Managing Editor

October 23, 2007

Dear Readers:

Life sure has its ironies. Just two months before finding out that I would again be returning to this corral of journalism’s black sheep, a well-known freelance journalist here who writes for the foreign commercial media told me during a job interview, with obvious disdain, “if you ever want to work for the Miami Herald, you’d better not mention that you worked with Narco News.”

Yes, well, maybe he was right. Having Narco News on my resumé has made me a persona non grata in my country’s labor market, especially inside journalistic circles. But the truth is I feel the same for them, so I guess we’re even.

I still remember when he talked to me of the “project’s lack of seriousness,” its “scant credibility” and the “little recognition it receives,” not to mention that it had “a very defined agenda.”

And I don’t know what you think, kind readers, but it seems to me that an project that isn’t “serious” would not have won a libel suit that the bankers of Banamex brought against it for revealing their CEO’s connections to drug trafficking. Or that if it had “scant” credibility, it would not have broken one of the biggest cases in Latin America of U.S. law enforcement corruption in recent memory – the alleged links between the DEA and Colombian narcos – leaving other media, including the Miami Herald, behind to play catch-up.

The funny thing is that although the commercial reporters claim not to take Narco News seriously, they seem to be very up-to-speed on what it’s saying…

As for superficial prestige and recognition from inauthentic journalists, those are things that don’t interest Narco News much. Besides, this newspaper is accustomed to being the badly-dressed wierdo at the journalism office party, where the only thing that counts is appearances and empty boasts.

The thing is, authentic journalism doesn’t know how to disguise reality. It doesn’t have time to get dressed up. Especially not as Plan Colombia devastates a country already nearly finished by the abuses committed by its own government; or when Felipe Calderón’s Mexico is close to following the same example; or as long as the United States is willing to prop up that farce comprised of its two favorite wars – drugs and terror.

Of course, I tried to explain all that to the mainstream journalist, but he wasn’t listening. He doesn’t like Narco News. He didn’t like me or my work. But that was to be expected. Traditional journalism – which favors “not having an agenda” but is dedicated to repeating whatever the official sources say – always reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone, in order to keep up appearances for the system that feeds it and keeps it alive.

Narco News doesn’t care about forming part of this parasites’ party. (And in that sense, Mr. X the journalist was right; I will never by on the Herald’s payroll.) But of course, that costs us.

Would you be willing to give a hand to the badly-dressed guy at the party, to give him a chance to survive outside and keep reporting on what happens there, where the world is still turning?

If you would, please send your donations to:

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

or you can make a donation online:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org

Thank you,

Laura Del Castillo Matamoros
Managing Editor, Narco News

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