Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Step Up for Al Giordano and Narconews.com if You Can

Time to step up for a friend of mine. Dear all. My friend, Al Giordano, moved to Mexico in the late 1990s to watch the revolution in the south play out down there. He quickly wound up realizing that the key issues involved drugs/money/corruption. To lend his hand in getting the word out, he started Narconews.com, a website devoted to uncovering the drugs/money/corruption. With few resources, few helpers, he got the website up. And he got people like me to report on nefarious goings on in Peru when I had the Cold Beer Blues Bar there. I'd write; he'd print, and over the course of a couple of years we stopped at least three U.S. black-ops from happening; I got/he printed/Shoemaker took the proof photos of what really happened with the missionary plane shootdown in Peru. And Al brought a lot to the table himself: Enough that he was brought to court in New York in a landmark lawsuit that he won against a corrupt banking operation. Good Latin American drug war writers wrote incisive stories. He was the only English language site reporting on the goings on, not just in Mexico but throughout Latin America, the Islands, South America. He got Bill Conroy aboard and boy, did that reporter open some cans of worms. And then he started a School of Authentic Journalism, a once a year shot at bringing in young reporters/videographers to meet with experienced drug war journalists. And to make it available to those young journalists, he offered as many scholarships as he could. I was invited a couple of times as a teacher but since he'd given all his money to the students, there was no money to fly me down there, and since journalists are notoriously underpaid, I never attended. I regret it because I'd love to have that credential on my resumé.
    Over the years, Al's gotten by with the help of a donor or two who made ends meet. That means getting Al enough money to make his food--which, if you read his stuff on Facebook looks pretty darned good--keep a roof over his head, keep the narconews.com website running and pay for the annual School of Authentic Journalism.
    Well, this year he's stuck. He's a proud man who is asking for help who would not ask unless it was for a good cause. The school has produced a lot of good journalists who have not been co-opted by corporations, a lot of journalists who break stories nobody else has.
     So here's the deal. Go to the kickstarter campaign below and give him $5-$5000 bucks--yeah, most of you can only afford $5 but I had a moment of wishful thinking--and let's keep the school and narconews.com operating.
     And if it matters, when my leg was being eaten away by bacteria two years ago, Al found $1000 for me. All I had in the bank for him today was $20. Not a fair exchange at all, but proof that he's one of the good guys.
    Here's the donation site:

1 comment:

Bill Freimuth said...

Done. Thanks for the heads-up, Peter.