Friday, October 10, 2003

The end of Narco News. Today is a sad day for independent media. The Narco News Bulletin, produced by my former Phoenix colleague Al Giordano, will soon be no more.

For the past three and a half years, Narco News has offered an idiosyncratic, comprehensive look at the misguided US "war on drugs," told from a Latin American perspective. It's an issue that's not on all that many radars -- indeed, it's not on mine as much as it should be. But I always knew that Al and his "authentic journalists" were out there telling the truth.

Giordano writes:

It's been quite a ride. In these 1,275 days that shook América, we've witnessed, reported, translated, and participated in the growth of a visible drug legalization movement in Latin America where there previously was none. We've blown the whistle on attempted coups d'etat in Venezuela. We've walked side by side with, and reported from the fronts of, the growing social and indigenous movements that, from Argentina, to Bolivia, to Brazil, to Ecuador, to México, to Perú, to Venezuela, and elsewhere, have reawakened Simón Bolívar's dream of a Latin America united against impositions from above.

In December 2001, Giordano and Narco News won a precedent-setting First Amendment case when a New York judge threw out a libel suit brought by the head of Banamex, a powerful Mexican bank. Here is a piece I wrote on Giordano's victory; and here's an earlier piece that discusses the lawsuit in detail.

Giordano will continue to write his weblog, Big, Left, Outside, "Al Giordano's countercoup for authentic journalism, democracy and a free press."

Narco News will be missed, but I suspect Giordano will continue to be heard from, soon and often.

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