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April 18, 2005
Please Distribute Widely

Five years ago today a dreamer with steel hands gave us the breath of life. Al Giordano, authentic journalist, took his laptop and began to work, doing what he knew best: informing his readers about those facts and themes that the commercial media didn't dare to publish, refuting their fallacies and giving the opportunity to millions of people to know the real events that occur in our América. Sixty months later, hundreds of articles later, many victories later... here we are, bringing all the information, all the life that flows in our veins directly to your screens.

That Tuesday, April 18, 2000, Giordano published, before anything else, our "Welcome Statement," which through the years has become our law. We present this declaration of principles from that document:

"[Simón] Bolívar had a dream that the nations of Latin America would put aside their differences and fight together against colonial invaders. He also sought the support of conscientious citizens of the invading nations to counter the imposed rule over the American hemisphere.

"Narco News seeks to reawaken his dream. And although the very lands where Bolívar fought - Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela - are plastered under the boot of US drug prohibition today, NN places a special emphasis on another country: Mexico. As the first issue of Narco News goes to... cyberspace (we don't own a press, thus we don't claim freedom of it), the US Ambassador has just tagged Mexico as 'the world headquarters of drug trafficking.' Something is happening in Mexico that the officials in Washington DC don't like. But it's not drugs: it's the gallop of Bolívar's horse, pounding toward the north."

With these words, we open Narco News No. 37, our fifth anniversary issue, an issue that will speak of social emergency in Ecuador, of the continuing struggle in all our América, but also of celebration. As Al Giordano said in his "Welcome Statement" five years ago, "history is in the making… welcome to our dream."

Mexico may not be as central to our coverage as it was in the beginning, now that we count with a network of journalists and contributors in so many different lands. When Narco News began, for instance, the world was yet just beginning to get a glimpse of Venezuela's "Bolivarian" challenge to U.S. domination, of the nightmare that the then-newly passed Plan Colombia would develop into, of the heroism that would be shown in the face of repression in the Bolivian indigenous metropolis of El Alto, of so many dramatic struggles that have unfolded in the last five years.

But the outpouring of popular power in recent weeks in the capital of Mexico itself, to defend that country's fledgling democracy against the pre-electoral coup d'etat being carried out by the same corrupt powers that have always fought the Mexican people's dream of freedom and independence, shows that Bolívar continues "pounding toward the north," today perhaps more than ever. Today then, we present you with this important text from Al Giordano, to refresh our memories, but we also bring greetings from Oscar Olivera (spokesman for the Coordinating Committee for the Defense of Water and Life in Cochabamba, Bolivia) and from Blanca Eekhout (head of the Venezuelan television public channels Vive TV and VTV, and graduate of the 2003 Narco News School of Authentic Journalism). We also offer your some other texts be members of our community: George Sanchez, Gregory Berger, Teo Ballvé and Gissel González.

Read this material and all the histories that are now developing in our América:

And above all, we want to send you an abrazo enorme, a giant embrace, kind reader, because this newspaper of yours stays alive thanks to you and will stay alive for you as well…

From somewhere in a country called América,

Luis Gómez and Dan Feder

The Narco News Bulletin

© Scoop Media

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