The Narco News Bulletin
of our country is América"
Sunday, July 9,
Vicente Fox Today?
not with US Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey....
with Ambassador Davidow (that was Friday)...
"Vicente Fox Quesada
and his family traveled yesterday on a vacation to the island
of Punta Pajaros, Quintana Roo, property of Roberto Hernández,
president of the banking group Banamex-Accival...."
Narco News must be making this up... The
largest newspaper in Mexico is reporting that the President-elect
is on the most famous narco-property of the Caribbean?
El Universal continues:
"Fox left Mexico
City at midday to the Toluca airport. At 2 p.m. he boarded a
private Cessna airplane, license number 650EASPC, to be taken
to the city of Cancún, Quintana Roo. At 6:55 p.m. a helicopter
transported Fox and his family to island of Punta Pajaros, located
three hours by land and sea from the principle tourist zone of
But isn't that
where the old boss Zedillo vacationed with the "narco-banker?"
El Universal continues:
"One cannot arrive
easily at the island of Punta Pajaros. Armed people guard the
island 24 hours a day. This place is frequented by President
Ernesto Zedillo, who this weekend also happens to be in Quintana
Peninsula -- 43 kilometers of beach where tons of cocaine have
been unloaded, owned by narco-banker Roberto Hernández
Ramírez" SOURCE: the daily Por Esto! (Mexican Courts Ruled
"All of these reports were based on the facts.")
...to the Coca Peninsula
Fox's New Summer Home?
La Jornada Has Confirmed the Story:
By Correspondent David
Sosa, Cancún, Quintana Roo, July 9, 2000: Sunday afternoon, president-elect Vicente Fox
returned to Mexico City to restart his activities after vacationing
this weekend in a residence of his friend Roberto Hernández,
president of the banking group Banamex-Accival.
The mansion is located on the island of
Punta Pájaros, near the protected nature reserve of Sian
Ka'an, where, according to close sources, he went diving, fishing,
walking on the beach and using an aqua-motorcycle.
Accompanied by his four children -- Ana
Cristina, Paulina, Vicente and Rodrigo -- Fox arrived at the
airport of this tourist destination in a white Dauphin helicopter,
license number XACCI, appearing to be property of the banker,
who was a studying partner of the next president in the Ibero-American
University campus at León, Guanajuato.
...the media was prevented from getting
near anyone, including leaders, militants and candidates of the
Alliance for Change who accompanied Vicente Fox in these days.
Although one story had circulated that
president Ernesto Zedillo met with his successor, this was not
confirmed... The residence of Roberto Hernández in Punta
Pájaros has served to host President Ernesto Zedillo and
his family on diverse ocassions when they have vacationed in
-- from La Jornada, July 10,
The Facts About
the Narco Property
of the Story the NY Times Failed to Squash
1996: The daily Por Esto!, Mexico's third most-read
newspaper, reports that the Caribbean beachfront properties of
banker Roberto Hernández Ramírez, of BANAMEX and
the Forbes list, are operating as a key entry point for hundreds
of tons of South American cocaine.
by Gonzalo Subirats of Por Esto!
1. Por Esto!
Reporters inside Roberto Hernández properties in 1996,
investigating what local fishermen reported as a huge cocaine
trafficking operation protected by the owner. The cocaine boats
entered by night into these estuaries and unloaded their illicit
cargo, later to be sent North to the US in small airplanes.
2. BANAMEX president Roberto Hernández Ramírez.
3. The private airfield from which small planes fly
north on Hernández properties "without any governmental
4. 200 kilos of cocaine seized on "Punta Pajaros",
owned by Hernández, the exact place where Mexico's President-Elect
chose to spend his vacation 120 hours after winning the July
2, 2000 elections, as guest of the banker Hernández.
February 1997: Por Esto! journalist
Renán Castro is offered a bribe of $300,000 US dollars
to denounce and discredit the story. An authentic journalist,
he refuses the payment and continues his investigations.
March 1997: The Por Esto! newspaper files criminal charges
against Roberto Hernández Ramírez for narco-trafficking,
destruction of the environment by the cocaine operation on a
federally-protected nature reserve, and destruction of ancient
Mayan ruins of Chac Mool on the Hernández properties.
The office of
Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo reacts not by investigating
the facts on the banker and presidential-pal Hernández,
but with a campaign of harrassment and threats against the journalists,
and their family members, of Por Esto!
within the Mexican federal government. The Armed Forces begin
more aggressive patrolling of the waters along the Caribbean
coast of Quintana Roo. Smaller and competing cocaine traffickers
begin to switch their routes from the Caribbean to the Pacific
Ocean. But presidential orders come down that the Armed Forces
are forbidden from entering the properties of Roberto Hernández
Ramírez. President Ernesto Zedillo continues vacationing
with Hernández at "Punta Pajaros."
vendettas break out between Quintana Roo governor Mario Villanueva
and Roberto Hernández over coastal real estate in the
by Gonzalo Subirats in Por Esto!
1. Por Esto!
editor Renán Castro questions Hernández properties
manager Bobby Seattles, who later, with Hernández, files
criminal charges against Por Esto!, its publisher, editor,
reporter and photographer for "criminal trespass" and
"defamation." A Supreme Court Judge, in September 1999,
threw out the lawsuit with a finding "All the reports in
Por Esto! were based on facts."
2. One of the small aircraft that the newspaper witnessed
taking off from the Hernández private airfield at "Punta
1997-1998: The citizens of the Yucatán
Peninsula express their outrage about the impunity with which
cocaine trafficking on the banker's properties are protected
by the federal government. They speak out against the official
attacks on freedom of the press. More than 100 town councils,
indigenous organizations, unions, church groups and sporting
associations pass resolutions denouncing the cocaine trafficking
and the attacks on Por Esto!
Thousands flock to public
assemblies held every two weeks by Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, publisher and editor of Por Esto!,
in different towns and cities, to show their support. (Menéndez
is the only newspaper publisher in Mexico or North America who
subjects himself to direct public comment and criticism and prints
the transcripts of the assemblies in his newspaper.)
to the Maya indigenous populations is the destruction of the
ancient ceremonial center of Chac Mool by the cocaine trafficking
operation on Hernández properties, and the environmental
disaster caused by cocaine trafficking garbage that is left upon
the formerly pristine Caribbean beaches in the Sian Ka'an Protected
Photo by Gonzalo
Subirats of Por Esto!
Chac Mool, ancient
Mayan ceremonial center (300 a.d.) that has sustained serious
damage since the narco-banker Hernández bought the property.
Photos by Gonzalo
Subirats of Por Esto!
across beaches on the Cocaine Peninsula of Roberto Hernández
Ramírez, almost all of it Colombian-made and associated
with cocaine trafficking by narco-sailors: gas tanks thrown away
after use by Colombian shark boats, baby powder used by sailors
on long journeys, quick sugar food containers, glue containers
for fixing plastic cocaine packaging; products made in Medellín,
Cali, Baranquilla and Cartagena along Colombia's Caribbean coast.
These non-biodegradable products are the same brands as those
found on seized Colombian shark boats used to transport cocaine.
Hernández and the staff of Mexican federal environmental
secretary Julia Carrábias (wife of Federal Elections Commissioner
José Woldenberg) tried to convince the judge that these
containers just happened to arrive, one by one, upon Hernández
properties, brought by sea currents. They did not explain, though,
why garbage from coastal nations much closer than Colombia --
Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica or Panama -- were not
carried by the same mythical currents to the Cocaine Peninsula.
The people of the Yucatán peninsula laughed at this bureaucratic
maneuver. The judge didn't buy it and ruled against the federal
protectors of cocaine trafficking.
1998: US citizen Cynthia Robinson, threatened and chased
off her own land near the Sian Ka'an Nature Reserve, tells Associated
Press reporter Mark Stevenson that Bobby Seattles of the Hernández
organization tried to pressure her to sell her land to him and
implied she would be set up on drug charges by the powerful official
friends of Hernández if she did not cooperate.
AP does not publish the
story until September 1999 when the Supreme Court ruled that
the Por Esto! stories were "based on facts."
September 1998: NY Times reporter Sam Dillon,
always at the right hand of US and Mexican official sources,
goes to Quintana Roo to prepare his report on governor Mario
Villanueva, whom officials have already signaled will take the
fall for the now-exposed cocaine trafficking along this coastline.
Villanueva has already been in conflicts over real estate with
Roberto Hernández Ramírez and the brother of President
Dillon of the Times
interviews Renán Castro of Por Esto! in Quintana
Roo. He later criticizes Castro behind his back, implying that
Castro was not at Dillon's high level of journalistic talent.
One wonders, what would
a "high-level" journalist do if offered $300,000 US
dollars to squash a story? Would he or she refuse such a handsome
sum of money as Castro did? And if the market was offering $300,000
US dollars to a Mexican newspaper reporter to silence this story,
what might be the price of a ¨higher level" journalist?
Dillon declines the opportunity
to interview the formidable veteran journalist Mario Menéndez.
But he does go to Mérida, where Menéndez is located.
He meets instead with the sister of the banker Roberto Hernández.
February 1999: US President Bill Clinton arrives
in Mérida, Yucatán, two days after escaping impeachment
by the US Congress, to hold an anti-drug summit with Zedillo.
The host: Narco-Banker Roberto Hernández.
At that meeting, the head
of Hernández competitor Villanueva is traded for Mexico's
certification by the US as trusted drug-war ally.
The New York Times
mentions that the "anti-drug" summit is at the banker
Hernandez' hacienda. But withholds the facts from its readers
that Hernández was already the most famous accused drug
trafficker on the Yucatán Peninsula.
March 19, 1999: NY Times reporter Sam Dillon
makes an unsolicited call to independent journalist (and now
publisher of the Narco News Bulletin) Al Giordano to find out
"what he has" on Hernández. He threatens Giordano
that he will discredit both him and Por Esto! publisher
Mario Menéndez in the New York Times for publishing
Dillon admits during this
threatening conversation that he knew the charges against Hernández.
But even when President Clinton held an "anti-drug"
summit on the narco-banker's property, Dillon withheld that information
from Times readers.
Giordano faxes a complaint
with his notes on Dillon's threat to The New York Times.
No response until a year later when it is announced that Dillon and his wife
the other Times correspondent in Mexico, will be leaving their
posts and replaced; Preston goes next week and Dillon in September.
September 1999: Courts rule against Hernández
and in favor of Por Esto!
February 2000: The Village Voice Press
Clips column by
Cynthia Cotts tackles the contrasting approaches to this story
by Por Esto! and by the New York Times. NY Times
must realize by now that the story is not going away.
March 2000: For the first time in 40 years,
including a decade in which he was banned from entering the United
States, Mario Menéndez sets foot on US soil at the invitation
of the Columbia University Law School in New York City, and presents
the evidence of official complicity in cocaine trafficking. He
calls for the legalization
of drugs as the
only way to stop the corruption and violence. He meets hundreds
of important members of US Civil Society who express their solidarity with the Yucatán journalist.
April 4, 2000: The Acapulco Bankers Convention, with Hernández of Banamex
at the podium, offers clear support to Vicente Fox's presidential
campaign in Mexico.
Sam Dillon of the New
York Times, who accompanied Fox to the bankers convention,
then coronates Fox, the candidate of the narco-banker, as the
next president of Mexico. The NY Times makes no mention
of the speech at the Bankers Convention by presidential candidate
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas that called for bringing corrupt
bankers to justice, a speech attacked by Hernández as
"in very bad taste." Cárdenas announces that
Hernández is a "financial front man" for ex-president
Carlos Salinas, in exile and implicated in billions of dollars
in drug trafficking and money laundering. The NY Times
withholds that information from readers.
PRI candidate Francisco
Labastida brings Hernández on a campaign stop in Veracruz, where Hernández ends up
embarrassing Labastida and walking off stage in a huff.
The Narco News Bulletin
is born on April 18,
2000, and, on its first
day, publishes all of these stories.
May 2000: The news that the NY Times
has decided to replace Dillon and Preston at the Mexico bureau
launches a fierce international polemic.
June 7, 2000: National Freedom of the Press
Day in Mexico: Two-time National Press Award-winner Carlos Ramírez
dedicates his column
in El Universal and 25 other dailies to criticizing Dillon
of the NY Times. Dillon writes letter to the editor, trying to obscure the issue as a matter of the
date of his exit. Later, NY Times International Editor
Rosenthal tries to silence Ramírez. That effort fails miserably: Ramírez then
raises evidence that a Pulitzer prize winning Times story
by Dillon was disproven and notes that the Times is so rabid
to gag him because there is "a
Pulitzer at stake."
June 2000: The paper trail of millions of
dollars of money-laundering,
in the style of the narco-traffickers, by the Vicente Fox campaign comes to light. The disgraced
NY Times correspondents Dillon and Preston, filing some
of their final stories, are the only US journalists to defend
Fox and claim that the charges were not documented. Other US
journalists were more cautious given that the charges were documented
by bank checks. (Dillon and Preston say they will work on a book
about "Mexican democracy" once leaving the Times
bureau: Are they distorting the news to stay close to Fox?)
July 2, 2000: Vicente Fox wins Mexican Presidential Election.
July 7, 2000: Vicente Fox meets in Mexico City
with US Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow.
Fox then meets with former
US Ambassador James Jones, former employee of a company backed
by presumed drug trafficker Carlos Hank González and recently
hired by the Washington law firm of Mannatt and Phelps, owned
by the US Narco-Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and former
US Democratic Party chairman Charles
After meeting with the
two US operators, Fox hops on a plane, then a helicopter, and
according to El Universal, heads for Punta Pajaros on
the Cocaine Peninsula as guest of the Narco Banker Roberto Hernández
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