by Beryl Gorbman,
The Yucatan Yenta
Merida Yucatan just hosted the annual conference of the InterAmerican Press Association, including news reporters from all over the world. The common theme that ran through the entire conference was freedom of the press, and anger that 66 Mexican journalists have been killed since 2000 by drug interests and there hasn’t been a single arrest for these murders. The newspaper people want to be able to write the truth without fear of recrimination by anyone.
My friend Louis Navaer published a group email today denouncing Ellen and Jim Fields for supporting the Zapatistas and an organization called Narco News. He said that the Fields are harmful to Mexico. They publish one of the finest websites online today, called Yucatan Living.
The Narco News Bulletin is a website advocating for freedom of the press. A look at their site will show you that their purpose is supporting a free and safe press in Mexico and all of Latin America. Louis says they support the drug interests, but in fact, they oppose them completely.
Narco News runs a training school for journalists. They have the support of UADY and many other organizations and businesses for their work. The Fields’ company, Yucatan Living, is among their supporters.
The activities Louis mentions that the Fields participated in are from an article published on Narco News in 2006, when YL briefly hosted some of the young journalists in Merida. Another more recent article in Narco News acknowledges YL’s help, as they also acknowledge the Hotel Trinidad, Luz en Yucatan, Los Almendros and many other businesses. They also especially appreciate support by journalists from Por Esto! ( a Merida newspaper). I think the Fields are in good company.
YL does not support the Zapatistas. They support freedom of the press. They are not engaged in money laundering because they accepted money from Brazos Abiertos. BA paid YL for web services. Period.
I can’t think of any foreigners who have contributed more to Merida than Jim and Ellen Fields. Their website is vivid and inviting enough to zap any office worker in the US out of his chair to pack a bag for a vacation here.
YL’s humorous but informative articles on septic tanks, nationalizing your car, etc. have been helpful to thousands of foreigners who live here, me included. All of their articles are beautifully executed. Their photography is spectacular.
After the many years that YL has been published, you can find information on just about anything in Merida by typing a keyword into their search box.
Last year, I mentioned to Ellen that no one had a good list of the dates of all the village fiestas (I wanted a list because the fiestas are so much fun to go to). I had tried to put one together, and had a lots of bits and pieces, but Yucatan Living had a complete list up within a week.
The Fields are not communists. They in no way undermine Mexico or Merida. They do not support the drug trade. They are not in any way harmful to this city. They contribute more than almost any of us.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”
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