<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, 2017 | Issue #55


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The Work and Safety of Journalists at Narco News Depends on Your Support

The Training and Support Network that Your Donations Help Provide Make It Possible for Us to Report to You from Mexico and Elsewhere


By Kristin Bricker
Reporter, Narco News

December 16, 2008

Reporting from Mexico on the drug war, human rights and democracy isn’t always easy and too many big media reporters aren’t able to do it accurately or independently. In 2006, I learned from experienced Narco News reporters on the road in Northern Mexico many of the skills and tools that I use today.

Since the summer, I’ve been your full time reporter on the ground in Mexico, and I’ll tell you a little bit about that work, but first an important reminder:

Narco News needs to raise $10,000 by the end of 2008 in order to keep bringing you the reporting you’ve come to expect from us. We’re one-third of the way toward that goal since a week ago. Throughout our eight-year history, you’ve come to depend on us as your accurate and consistent source for information and analysis of democracy and the drug war in America.

Every single news story on Narco News is made available to you for free. Our priority is to make sure you get the information you need be well informed and to do your organizing in your city or community. But getting the news and information to you costs money. In the past you’ve provide us with the resources we need to keep reporting the stories that matter to you, and we know we can count on you to keep us publishing through 2009.

Please make a contribution right now online at:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org

You can also make your tax-deductible donation to Narco News by sending a check:

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

One of the major stories I’ve been reporting is on the impact of Plan Mexico (also known as the Merida Initiative), the US government’s doomed military aid package that will exacerbate violence associated with Mexico’s drug war. While the drug war has claimed over 7,700 lives in Mexico since its president, Felipe Calderon, deployed the first troops in December 2006, it has failed to stem the flow of drugs across the border. The US government wants to support this failed strategy with its infamous training and armament. In recent months, we obtained and published the official Plan Mexico spending plan that US officials hadn’t published. Much of my reporting has documented the rising repression against social activists, as in the case of APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca) supporters that were falsely accused of murdering Indymedia journalist Brad Will.

Working with Narco News has allowed me to translate and provide original analysis on the corruption in Mexico that reaches into the highest levels of government. This, combined with Bill Conroy’s reports on the US government’s complicity in the Juarez House of Death scandal and work by other journalists makes Narco News the most comprehensive source of corruption-related information in the drug war.

We don’t write the “drug violence porn” you find in the corporate media. That’s because we aren’t trying to use decapitated heads to sell papers; our reporting makes the case to transform drug policy in the United States – the biggest drug market in the world – so that drug producing and transport countries will have the space and opportunity to also transform their policies, not to mention the lives of their citizens.

2008 was an exciting year at narconews.com. While Al Giordano tackled democracy in the United States, reporting the historic US elections, Bill Conroy reported on the US-Mexico border, which has turned into a true war zone. Bill’s extensive sources and whistleblowers in US law enforcement agencies have trusted him above all other journalists to bring you documents and information on governmental corruption in the drug war. Most recently, Bill used a leaked DEA PowerPoint presentation to provide us with a frank view of how US law enforcement agencies are aware that further militarization of Mexico is not likely to make us any safer. On the contrary, it may just further strengthen the “Military Cartel.”

At Narco News, you find drug war information that you can’t find anywhere else. In July (thanks to a tip from Bill) I was able to expose Risks Incorporated as the US/British private contracting company that taught torture courses to Leon, Guanajuato, police as part of their training for “combating organized crime.”

As a young journalist, the difference between authentic journalism and the fluff that gets printed in the mainstream media has been the most enriching part of working with Narco News. We don’t answer to corporate sponsors or rich benefactors; we answer to you. I’ve developed contacts in social movements and activist organizations throughout the United States, Mexico, and Central America. These contacts are rich sources of information and tips, and I try my hardest to return the favor by reporting on these movements accurately and providing them with the information and analysis they need to keep up the fight.

Mexico is the most dangerous country in the Americas to be a reporter, and the second most dangerous country in the world—after Iraq. Reporters Without Borders reports that 44 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, and another eight have gone missing since 2003. If you’ve read some of my reports, you know that we’ve had our share of official harassment for this work we do. But Narco News has never been, and never will be, a media that allows threats to silence it. And with your help, its been able to train a new generation of journalists and construct a safety net around us that has so far been successful at minimizing and evading harm to any of us. But that takes resources, and that’s why we again turn to you.

So, please do contribute today:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org

Or send a check:

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

Thank you, in advance, for supporting authentic journalism.

Kristin Bricker
Reporter, Narco News

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