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Narconews: Hispanic Feds Seek Conroy Investigation

Hispanic Federal Officers Want "Bully" Agents Investigated for Intimidation of Bill Conroy

June 6, 2005
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There are, apparently, still many people working for the United States government who respect democracy and press freedom. As we have reported in Narco News, journalist Bill Conroy has been recently pursued by customs agents from the Department of Homeland Security demanding he give up his source for a leaked internal memo. The Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association (FHLEOA) has now sent a letter to that department's head, as well as other top law enforcement and security officials in the Bush administration, defending Conroy and requesting an investigation into those agents' actions.

"For doing his job well as an investigative reporter, for the benefit of the entire nation," writes FHLEOA President Sandalio Gonzalez, "Mr. Conroy has now been targeted for retaliation by DHS bureaucrats in what can only be described as a blatant display of bully tactics, intimidation, and abuse of authority that threaten the freedoms all Americans hold dear."

Read the full text of the letter:

The letter is also posted on FHLEOA's website ( FHLEOA is a multi-agency coalition of current and former federal agents.

... AND....

Conroy Update, More Weekend Reading in The Narcosphere

June 4, 2005
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The new reports are streaming into the Narcosphere and we can barely keep up. We have kept you informed with up-to-the-minute reports from Luis Gómez and Jean Friedsky, live from the streets of La Paz. The movements for gas nationalization and authentic democracy, for a new vision of Bolivia free of the grinding poverty that has afflicted it for centuries, are relatively quiet for the moment, having vowed to renew their siege of the capital on Monday. In the meantime, take a look at some of the stories you may have missed in the last few days:

- Our correspondent Bill Conroy looks at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, part of the Department of Homeland Security) officer's recent appearance on NBC's Dateline program, for clues into why that agency has been pressuring him to give up his source on a story for Narco News. Joseph Webber, from ICE's Houston office, complained of problems the agency is having in cooperating with the FBI, an interdepartmental turf war on which Conroy has reported. Conroy writes:

"Could it be that the real reason certain ICE officials -- and others, possibly in the U.S. Attorney's Office -- want to know my sources is because they are in fact under investigation themselves, or fear as much, and want to know who their enemies might be? It sure would be convenient for them to have such a list, if that is in fact what is happening."

Conroy also reveals some interesting details of Agent Webber's past. Read the full report:

- Charlie Hardy, writing from Venezuela in response to our interview with Eva Golinger earlier this week, describes some interesting developments in that country. First, President Bush met personally with Maria Corina Machado, head of the anti-Chávez political organization Súmante and implicated in the 2002 coup. "Ms. Machado saw nothing out of the ordinary in her meeting with President Bush," writes Hardy. "After all she had also met with President Zapatero of Spain and President Lagos of Chile. What she didn't mention is that those presidents also met with President Chávez, something President Bush has shown no interest in doing the past five years."

Hardy also mentions, among other things, the release of a letter from Venezuelan human rights organization PROVEA to the U.S. ambassador, citing concern with recent statements on Venezuela from U.S. officials. The letter is significant because PROVEA is well known for its political independence and strong criticism of the Chávez administration. Read Hardy's full comment, here:

- Narco News Copublisher and School of Authentic Journalism Graduate Gissel Gonzales presents an interview with Bolivian social leader Oscar Olivera. Based in the city of Cochabamba, Olivera is a veteran social fighter, having led the victorious struggle against water privatization in that city in 2000's "water war." He has been one of the most effective organizers and articulate defenders of the current struggle for gas nationalization. Speaking of those who have been convinced by government and right-wing propaganda not to take part in the recent protests, he tells Narco News:

"...if we don't understand each other, and those people don't get involved in the struggle for the collective good, which means fighting for the recovery of the hydrocarbons that will give us a future for the us and for our children, for the next 40 years, I think we are doomed. Without us, they will continue to live as slaves."

Read the interview, with Spanish audio and a new English translation:

- Finally, Stephen Peacock reports that just as Bolivia erupts in chaos over conflicts in the ownership of hydrocarbon resources, the U.S. government has begun investing in hydrocarbon exploration in neighboring Peru. The new initiative will grant nearly $1.3 million dollars to one or two private contractors to find new sites for private oil and gas exploitation, and non-U.S. companies are excluded from bidding for the contracts. As Peru's government tries to follow the model as Bolivia's, will Peru's people also take a cue from their neighbors in resistance? Read the full report:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin

© Scoop Media

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