How journalists caught Posada in Mexico
Campaign News | Tuesday, 21 June 2005
The daily Por Esto! found Posada Carriles on Isla Mujeres
By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
June 21, 2005
“He who protects a terrorist is a terrorist” -George W. Bush
Mérida, Yucatán, June 2005: On Mexico’s Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres, on March 14, Authentic Journalist Yolanda Gutiérrez Sagrero and photojournalist Mario Alonzo pulled the first threads on a curtain that now disintegrates in tatters. Sunlight now shines upon the darkest recesses and hypocrisies of George W. Bush’s so-called “War on Terrorism,” and thus, Bush’s terror war is in doubt as never before.
Gutiérrez, Alonzo, and their colleagues at Mexico’s daily Por Esto! tugged on the threads and found América’s most-wanted fugitive behind that curtain: Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban-born, Miami-fed, CIA-paid, confessed architect of the 1976 terrorist passenger jet bombing that killed 73 civilians, including the teenage members of Cuba’s Olympic fencing team.
Known as “the Latin American Osama bin Laden,” Posada Carriles, 77, has publicly confessed, as well, to bombings of civilian targets in tourist hotels, and additional terrorist acts. His trail of violence under a cloak of official protection goes back decades. A recent book even places him at Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, in 1963, at the hour when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated there. Whether or not he also helped kill JFK, Posada Carriles, with 40 years of collaboration with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is not somebody that the U.S. government wants talking too much, or too honestly, or too loudly about what he’s seen and done, and with whom, and on whose authority (dad’s, Mr. President?) to the press. Read it and weep, citizens of the United States: A terrorist named Luis Posada Carriles is blackmailing your president, George W. Bush, today in order to win “political asylum.” And, so far, the cowardly Bush doesn’t have the courage to stop him.
Ever since his pardon and release from Panamanian prison in the final hours of the presidency of Mireya Moscoso in August of last year, this terrorist successfully eluded an international manhunt.
He is wanted by the government of Venezuela (the country where he is a naturalized Cuban-born citizen) to face trial for the 1976 passenger jet bombing. He was free as an ocean pirate until the boat that took him to the United States washed up against the sandbars of Isla Mujeres, which, unfortunately for Posada Carriles (but fortunately for everyone else) is an isle where the flag of the Authentic Journalism renaissance waves higher than his own Jolly Roger.
The latest chapter in this saga of an international terrorist and those who protect him began with the March 14th report of what seemed to be a routine story about a shrimp boat adrift off of Isla Mujeres - poetically, it is also the island campus of the first Narco News School of Authentic Journalism - by Isla bureau chief Yolanda Gutiérrez?
A Terrorist Trawler Adrift
Another day on the job, another seemingly routine story to be reported: Early on the morning of March 14, journalist Yolanda Gutiérrez learned that a 90-foot shrimp boat was stranded near a sand bar off the shores of the island. She leaped into action. After all, the journalist Gutiérrez has steadfastly defended the nearby endangered coral reefs from environmental destruction, and the locals were worried that this boat adrift might do them more harm.
Her report, a local news story that would soon blow into an international scandal, in the March 15th issue of Por Esto!, began:
"ISLA MUJERES, March 14: A shrimp boat from the United States with five crew members aboard was stranded for various hours while it attempted to enter the navigation canal and drifted to close to shore, although sources of the Port Captain’s office said that it did not affect any coral reef zones.
“The boat named ‘Santrina,’ approximately 90 feet long and five or six meters wide, with license number 604553 went adrift at about 7:45 a.m. when it attempted to arrive in the Isla Mujeres port from the North.
“The crew and its captain, José Pujol, had left from the Bahamas and came to the island to stock up on food, water and fuel, in order to continue its route, which is unknown because the captain refused to speak with reporters?”
According to the report, the S.S. Santrina had “tried to make a shortcut around the buoys” that set the path that most boaters obey when navigating shallow ports. This kind of running of red lights of the sea is particularly bad form if, say, you are harboring a fugitive, or, worse, a wanted international terrorist: the crew’s own sloppiness (“to live outside the law you must be honest,” chicos!) and disregard for the maritime traffic signs has now led to an intercontinental uproar that strikes at the cornerstone of Washington’s fake war on terrorism.
There’s more to Yolanda’s report:
“Personnel from the Port Captain’s office coordinated the rescue efforts with the help of the S.S. 3 de Diciembre, a boat belonging to Javier Ayala Rejon, and two speedboats belonging to the tourist boat co-op of Isla Mujeres?
“The S.S. Santrina finally escaped from the sand bank at 12:30 p.m., near the concrete docks, where the crew immediately presented itself to the Mexican Marines who conducted a routine inspection with drug-sniffing canines?
“?the officials of the National Marine Park conducted an inspection of the area where the boat had been adrift to confirm that there had been no damage to the marine ecosystem? International Sanitary inspectors, immigration, and customs agents also inspected the boat?”
And there it stood: solid daily journalism on what seemed to be a small story but one important to the island’s residents who care deeply about the preservation of the local coral reefs.
Five Men Arrived, and Six Launched Out: According to local fishermen and witnesses, the S.S. Santrina left for Miami with an extra passenger on board.
Photo: D.R. 2005 Mario Alonzo, Por Esto!
In the following day’s newspaper, March 16, Gutiérrez filed a follow-up story: “The S.S. Santrina Continues Its Voyage Toward Miami.”
Authentic Photojournalist Mario Alonzo snapped pictures of the skipper and crew, and his latest models were none too happy about it, refusing to talk to the press.
Little did anybody know - until those photos received scrutiny across the Caribbean - that the remodeled shrimp boat was carrying a monster onto U.S. shores.
Two Weeks Later, a Terrorist Appears in Miami...
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