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THE NAFTA GANG: The story and the furor

 

A LETTER TO OUR SUPPORTERS

 

November 27, 1999

Dear Supporters/Subscribers,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We also would like to call your attention about a serious situation that threatens our right to free speech and has even cost the life of a journalist.

Enclosed you will find a newspaper article describing a legal demand made to our publication by the Laredo National Bank (LNB) in Texas. Laredo’s demand for $10 million and the right to pre-screen anything we write about them represents a serious threat to free speech and a free press. El Andar has refused to retract our article because its assertions are based on exhaustive research and documented facts.

Laredo National Bank is owned by the Hanks, a Mexican family long linked to drug cartels, crime and corruption. Bodyguards for the family have even been convicted of murdering a journalist who offended one family member.

Numerous U.S. investigations — by the Justice Department, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve — have looked into the Hank family and its activities here and in Mexico, and have found ample evidence of criminal activity, yet Laredo continues to freely do its business in the U.S. In fact, Laredo’s president Gary Jacobs has been invited by two different administrations as a guest at the White House!

Please help us show Laredo National Bank and the Hanks that they cannot silence journalists and others who look into their activities — not with legal threats, and not even with murder.

The Washington Post, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other media organizations have received similar legal threats from the Hank family. Of course, they possess far greater resources than a small Latino magazine like El Andar.

We want to spread the word about this because we have been threatened. But there are far greater issues at stake for all of us who value free speech, truth and an end to “white-collar” violent crime.

We have a Legal Defense Fund (LDF/El Andar) in place, and a contribution from you will be greatly appreciated.

Atentamente,

Jorge Chino, Publisher, jorge@elandar.com
Julie Reynolds, Editor, julie@elandar.com

 

THE NAFTA GANG