Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Mexico: Giordano & Conroy vs. NYTimes & WashPost

Mexico: Giordano & Conroy vs. NYTimes & WashPost

January 26, 2005

The efforts of leading commercial journalists and U.S. drug warriors to derail the democratic process during the Mexican presidential election of 2000 provided some of the first material published on Narco News nearly five years ago. Today, we publish a new report by Al Giordano and Bill Conroy that reveals the same process is already gearing up as that country prepares for its next presidential elections in 2006.

Giordano and Conroy deconstruct two nearly identical stories published last weekend in the New York Times and the Washington post, perhaps the nation's two most influential newspapers. In them, correspondents Mary Jordan and Ginger Thompson, each papers' top simulator in Mexico, exploit the personal tragedies of a few Texas families to stir up old fears of narcos and kidnappers. They visit the city of Loredo, where several locals have gone missing across the nearby Mexican border. Rather than look into the real causes of these disappearances, they resort to the tired and inaccurate drug war narrative that dominates discussions on Mexico north of the border: these U.S. citizens, declare Jordan and Thompson, were kidnapped by Mexican narco-traffickers.

Giordano and Conroy write:

"The articles clearly did not serve the cause of the families. So who did they serve then? The truth? …the whole truth? …and nothing but the truth? Really?

"Or were the articles in the national 'newspapers of record' part of an orchestrated media campaign to invent a very different story, in which the reputations of these families and their missing got dragged through the mud as a kind of 'collateral damage' in the information war known as the 'war on drugs?'

"It's the eve of the 2006 presidential elections in Mexico, amigos. And the United States press corps, repeating the history of the 1988, 1994 and 2000 elections in Mexico, now sets out to find a sexy narco-connection to every story they publish or broadcast about the neighbor country to the south."

The authors go on to interview both the families of the missing who were betrayed by Jordan and Thompson, and several experienced border control agents... the kind of people who the reporters never bothered to talk to at all (their sole source for the "kidnapped by narcos" story came from a U.S. diplomat in Mexico). A former DEA agents tells Narco News:

"My sense is that this (the kidnapping of Americans) is something the drug traffickers would shy away from. That (their involvement) just doesn't make sense."

The authors also denounce the ways in which the commercial press in the U.S. "sexes up" any story about Mexico, especially near election time in that country, with horror stories of drug traffickers taking over the country and spreading chaos. "Mexico's drug war," warns Thompson, "has begun to move north of the border." Such meaningless statements do nothing to help Thompson's U.S. readers understand either the realities of drug trafficking under the U.S.-imposed prohibition, or what happened to the grieving families of Laredo, Texas. What they do accomplish, however, is to lay the groundwork for more U.S. interference in the upcoming election, where, as Giordano and Conroy report, "Mexico City's center-left and activist governor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador leads in opinion polls to the chagrin of Condoleeza Rice and company."

Read the full report, at:

We announced earlier this week a reshuffling of the staff here in the Narco Newsroom. With this report, our founder Al Giordano begins his return to being a correspondent - leaving, for the time being, the management of this ever-growing experiment in authentic journalism in the hands of the staff here in the newsroom; going back out into the field to better practice that authentic journalism he has preached these last few years. For Bill Conroy, this is another example of why he remains the best reporter on the U.S.-Mexico border, with sources that superstar journalists like Mary Jordan and Ginger Thompson can only dream of.

So stay tuned, kind readers... less than a month out, 2005 is shaping up to be a very interesting year here in the Narco Newsroom, in Mexico, and throughout this hemisphere of ours.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor, Narco News

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Julien Troussier: Loving Trump

It’s 3am. Cannot sleep. Restless. Slide to unlock. Open the New York Times App. Look for the latest incident. He did it again. He lashed out. Fear. Anger. Outrage. I needed to see this. I needed to check that the madness was still there. More>>


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Live Blog: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>


Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news