October 14, 2001
Narco News 2001
Yesterday, October 13th, Narco News published translations
of two articles from the Mexican press about the arrest of two
former Israeli military officers in Mexico City. While the translation
was accurate, we stated that the information had "not been
reported nor refuted by a single U.S. correspondent from wire
services or daily newspapers with offices in Mexico."
But according to authentic
journalist Ken Layne - www.kenlayne.com - who was, until very recently
when he was inexplicably let go from the publication, the best
reason to read Online Journalism Review (a web publication
of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of California),
other English-language news organizations did, in fact, publish
brief stories after the two Israelis were arrested, and made
those stories available to U.S. newspapers.
No news organization likes
to issue corrections, but authentic journalism demands corrections,
even if errors were innocently made. This is especially true
at an hour like this one, when so much of the media is publishing
unsubstantiated and soon discredited "official information."
We would rather correct our errors at Narco News than
try to save face.
Our statement was based
on our search of the websites of the English-language news organizations:
none of these stories were available to the public on the free
websites of the agencies - AP, EFE, AFP, Dow Jones and Notimex
- that did cover at least part of this story. But Ken Layne,
on his own initiative, utilizing the paid service of Dow Jones,
not available gratis to the general public, has learned that
the story was at least mentioned by these organizations and was,
in fact, made available to English-language newspapers.
Layne writes, "the
Dow Jones database shows five English-language wire reports on
Oct. 11 (two from EFE News Service, and one each from Dow Jones,
AP, and Notimex), one on Oct. 12 (BBC), and one today (Agence
Narco News thus regrets
our error in criticizing "all" news organizations,
when these five agencies clearly did offer coverage of the story.
Layne summarizes those
wire reports on his web site: "The wire stories say the
men work for a Mexican company called Private Security Systems
Development; that the company's lawyer says the men (both former
members of Israel's military; one a naturalized Mexican citizen)
have permits for their pistols; that the men were outside the
House of Representatives and on their way to a meeting to try
to sell their company's security services... the "nine grenades"
was a novelty cigarette lighter; that the "sugar industry"
workers were a bunch of farmers having a Sit-In outside the government
building; that said sugar farmers were annoyed by the men taking
photos of the area, which would be necessary if they were selling
private security services to officials who worked there; and
that the "bomb" consisted of some cables in a briefcase
one of the men carried."
Layne also states that:
"The most telling detail in this story comes from a BBC
translation of a Notimex report: 'The arrest of the two individuals,
one who said he was Mexican and the other Israeli, provoked a
huge police mobilization this Wednesday (10 October) at the Congressional
headquarters, known as the San Lazaro Palace.'"
Narco News apologizes to the aforementioned
news organizations for our statement that they had not covered
the story. As stated in our original commentary (below), we await
more information before speculating or analyzing which of the
now-conflicting news reports are accurate.
To read the full report
Layne's web site, click here. Maybe someday, after we win the Drug War on Trial case underway in New York, we
will be able to think about hiring an ace ombudsman like Ken
Layne. Meanwhile, we are grateful for his labor in deepening
Our original posting appears,
From somewhere in a country
Al Giordano, Publisher
The Narco News Bulletin
2 Israelis Arrested
A Story Censored
by U.S. Press
A Narco News Global Alert
Narco News Commentary: The following two stories,
from the daily Crónica
of Mexico City, October 12 and 13, 2001, have not been reported
nor refuted by a single U.S. correspondent from wire services
or daily newspapers with offices in Mexico. The stories are documented
with an official Mexican government investigation number and
quotes from the Israeli Embassy in Mexico City.
In the interests
of the public's right to know, Narco News publishes translations
of both stories, uncensored and unabridged. We are investigating
the situation and will provide analysis once more information
is available. Certainly, the information, as it stands, is inconvenient
to Washington wartime propaganda and the fact that U.S. media
has not reported it raises issues of press freedom and responsibility
that we will also explore in the coming days.
will investigate if
-- They were
armed with 9mm pistols, nine grenades, explosives, three detonators
and 58 bullets
-- They were
detained by sugar industry workers in the Legislative Palace
By Alejandro Páez
and Francisco Mejía
From Crónica de
Hoy, Mexico City, October 12, 2001
by The Narco News Bulletin
Attorney General is investigating and
interrogating two Israelis (one already a nationalized Mexican)
who were detained in the House of Representatives Wednesday with
two 9mm pistols, nine grenades, explosives, three detonators
and 58 bullets, to determine if they belong to any group connected
with terrorists or subversive groups.
Salvador Gersson Smike, 34, a retired
Israeli military official and nationalized Mexican, and Sar Ben
Zui, 27, of Israeli nationality, were held yesterday in the installations
of the metropolitan offices of the Attorney General, headed by
the assistant attorney general for criminal process Gilberto
Higuera Bernal. They were interrogated to clarify the source
of the arms that they carried and to determine if they are guilty
of a crime.
Up until now the authorities have not
declared about the status of investigation number PGR/11-15-01
and they will wait until tonight when the constitutional limit
for determining the legal situation of the arrested parties expires.
Both subjects were detained in the installations
of the legislative palace of San Lazaro when a group of sugar
industry workers that had met with the Speaker of the House,
Beatriz Paredes, left to discuss their issues in the lobby and
the two arrested persons arrived and began photographing them.
This activity and the form in which they
took the pictures (aiming their cameras below the belts of the
workers) generated tension among the sugar workers who proceeded
to demand their identification immediately.
The Israelis identified themselves as
press photographers, but they were not believed and the workers
overcame them and then discovered that they were armed with pistols
and other high caliber arms.
Isreali Embassy will
the arrest of Sar Ben Zui
By Francisco Mejía
Crónica de Hoy,
Mexico City, October 13, 2001
by The Narco News Bulletin
Isreali Embassy in Mexico has confidence
that its citizen, Sar Ben Zui, will be investigated in accordance
with the law and the consul, Elias Luf, is following the investigations,
his spokeswoman Hila Engelhart confirmed.
She said that the Embassy does not regulate
the entrance of Israelis in Mexico and doesn't know anything
about what the arrested individual was doing. She said that the
citizens of that country that come to Mexico, like all others
from Israel, are not required to have any special visa for their
As will be remembered, Sar Ben Zui Was
detained, with another subject, when both were allegedly armed
inside the House of Representatives.
According to statements by elements of
the legislative security staff, the suspects carried arms, explosives,
nine grenades, bullets and a detonator.
In a telephone conversation the spokeswoman
assured that the Embassy has confidence in the Mexican institutions
to do what is necessary to enforce the law. "We are waiting
to find out what happened."
She informed that the Embassy doesn't
have a program to monitor Israeli citizens who come to Mexico.
In any case, she said, the Mexican secretary of state should
have a registry of all persons who enter national territory.
She indicated that relations between the
two countries are very good and that tourism is promoted by both
Hila Engelhart recalled that it is not the first time that Mexico
has detained an Israeli citizen in its country, however, she
said that it is a situation that happens everywhere.
She reported that both countries collaborate
constantly to monitor exceptional movements that occur and said
that "in the case of the arrested Israelis, we hope the
situation with be resolved quickly."
Finally, she said that the Israeli Ambassador is monitoring the
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