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Narco News 2001

January 13, 2001

Narco News to Banamex Web Site Provider:

"Please DON'T Censor Our Adversary's Web Site"

To: Jared Stauffer, CEO,,,,
Internet Service Provider for Banamex/Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
217 First St
Jersey City, NJ 07302

From: Al Giordano
The Narco News Bulletin

Date: January 13, 2001

Re: Please DON'T censor our adversary's web site

Note: This communiqué is posted online at

Dear Jared,

As part of an effort of censorship and harassment by the banker Roberto Hernández Ramírez, his bank, Banamex, and the lawyer-lobbyist firm that he hired to sue and harass online and newspaper journalists, you have been contracted by Banamex and/or Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld to publish a web site at this address:


The web site, on your server, contains this message:

"Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. ('Banamex') has filed suit against 1) Mario Renato Mendendez Rodriguez, 2) Al Giordano and 3) The Narco News Bulletin. That case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Banamex has set up this web page as a means to deliver important documents relating to the the lawsuit to the defendants in the case. Clicking on the links below will display the documents and permit the user to save them, if desired."

I am writing to kindly ask that you NOT censor this web site that has been placed by our litigious adversaries.

At Narco News, we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Since April 18, 2000, we have published hundreds of news stories that reveal the facts about the present-day atrocity that is the US-imposed War on Drugs in Latin America. These journalistic reports can be found at

The web site that you have been contracted to provide includes the text of a lawsuit filed against Mexican and US journalists.

They are suing us because we reported the facts and told the truth about government-protected drug trafficking throughout América, including some stories about those in government and media who protected that activity on the coastal Caribbean properties of Mr. Hernández, owner of Banamex.

Today, we have placed a link from our web site to the site on your server so that all our readers across the world may read the false and unsubstantiated charges filed against us by Banamex through its lawyer-lobbyist firm Akin Gump.

The lawsuit speaks for itself. One need only read its hostile tone and its lack of facts to back its most serious allegations to see, clearly, that they have no real case. This lawsuit is a classic SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), and its perpetrators are already beginning to feel the consequences of their own censorious and immoral actions against us.

The lawsuit makes some allegations that would be actionable as libel if the Plaintiffs or their lawyers stated them anywhere outside of the protected realm of a court proceeding (thus, they have not repeated these knowingly false and malicious allegations in their statements to the press). But we believe, as First Amendment advocates before us have said, that THE ONLY SOLUTION TO HARMFUL SPEECH IS MORE SPEECH.

Your new clients do not share our commitment to free speech. Here is a case in point that, as an Internet Service Provider, ought to concern you deeply:

Last month, Mr. Tom McLish of Akin Gump sent a threatening letter to our Internet Service Provider, in Troy, New York, seeking to intimidate them into censoring our web publication. The good people at , instead of running scared and taking our site down, told the Metroland newspaper of Albany that Narco News is providing "a public service," and that will not censor us.

You may read that report at:

You may also read a Village Voice story that reports on Akin Gump's harassment activities against online freedom of speech at:

And you may read a free speech scholar's analysis of our case at:

We don't seek to win our battle for free speech through censorship. To the contrary, we write today to ask you NOT to censor the Banamex-Akin Gump web site - even if and when they ask you to take it down.

All the documents on that web site are public documents, property of the US courts, and thus, the American people. There is no copyright upon them. They are now part of the public record. Having filed them in a court of law, Banamex and Akin Gump have lost all claim of ownership on those words (indeed, the most truthful words in that complaint were taken from Narco News, and we thank them for providing more readers for the facts and truth we publish, and for making these texts available at yet another Internet site).

Thus, if Akin Gump or Banamex comes to you - now that we have, once again, turned their bitter litigious lemons into the sweet and refreshing lemonade of Free Expression - and if they ask you to take the site down, we call upon you to maintain the site as a historical archive of how huge companies in the private sector try to use their money and power to censor the Internet, the Press and Freedom of Expression.

Finally, we hope that your wealthy clients paid you in advance for the web site, and that perhaps you can find a worthy free speech organization like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, or another charity of your choice, to support with the funds of those who, in bad faith and hostility to freedom, seek to censor the Internet.

Thank you, Jared, for your time and consideration. We wish you continued success.

For an Internet that stays proud and free,

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano
The Narco News Bulletin

May We Serve You Another Lemonade, Attorneys?