Thank You Jim and Ellen Fields

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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About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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10 Responses to Thank You Jim and Ellen Fields

  1. Debi says:

    Well done Beryl – nicely said!

  2. Jody says:

    Hear, hear! Thanks, Beryl. Succinct and the right thing to do.

  3. NARCO NEWS says:

    Thank you, Beryl, for the opportunity to address the libelous and defamatory statements by Louis E. Ravela Navaer (as he is known in a California state court restraining order against him as well as a federal court judgment finding him guilty of stalking, defamation, portrayal of individuals in false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, with a judgment of more than $250,000 in damages and attorneys fees against him: this individual has obviously harrassed, stalked and defamed others before he started in on the Fields, and has been brought to justice for it).

    Jim and Ellen Fields are good and honest people who have never supported any “terrorist” organization or anything like that. The accusation is so silly as to be laughable. They have supported *journalism* about a 2006 speaking-and-listening tour by the Zapatistas of Chiapas, which are notably *not* on the US government list of terrorist organizations and in fact are legally recognized by the Mexican government as involved in an ongoing peace process, a government which furnished federal police security for the Zapatista spokesman during that six-month 2006 national tour, which was reported also by every major national and international news organization in Mexico, just as Narco News reported on it. Would Mr. Nevaer accuse the New York Times and the Washington Post of supporting “terrorists” because they reported the same story?

    Finally, Mr. Nevaer’s maliciously false statements that Narco News “supports drug traffickers” are evidently false to everyone who has read our online newspaper over the past ten years. To the contrary, our reporting has investigated and exposed hundreds of cases of drug trafficking and related official corruption in many countries (not just Mexico) including the United States. We invite anyone interested to simply review our reports at and draw their own conclusions on the honest and authentic journalism we practice every day. Given that Mr. Nevaer – who we do not know and have never had any contact with – is the only party here that has been judged guilty of serious crimes, including defamation, we find his claims about others to be non-credible and lead us to question his emotional stability and credibility.

    - Al Giordano, publisher, Narco News email:

  4. richard pauli says:

    The Inter-net-tubes are so wonderful for getting closer to authentic information and journalism. Thanks for showing some wonderful resources.

    I might point out a few other links – for general background

    And keep in mind that WikiLeaks has had its domain taken away… but still remains active Something all digital journalists and readers should know – how to continue to publish despite attempts at censorship and shutdown.

    Wikipedia has some excellent overview
    Also note

  5. EJ Albright says:

    I am not privy to Sr. Navaer’s e-mail (nor do I wish to be), but I must join the chorus of supporters for Ellen and Jim Fields. We have never met, but corresponded for several years, and they have kindly given of their time and resources when I asked.

    They are a good for Mexico, a good for Yucatan, a good for the ex-pat community. More than almost anyone else, they promote understanding between peoples rather than division.

    – Josh

  6. Well, I for one have been a big fan of Ellen’s cookies for many years.

    Although I am not a big fan of her tired and out-of-date red-and-white color scheme, which even extends to her otherwise enjoyable holiday “gift baskets,” I have to admire her for baking and working with chocolate chips in the tropics, which must be a hell on earth.

    I’ve long wondered if Ellen weren’t an American CIA agent because her involvement with the Zapatistas no doubt included massive donations of her irresistible cookies and a lot of very good peer-reviewed studies have shown that glucose is a powerful mood-regulator and can in fact reduce violent and aggressive behavior in individuals who are prone to that sort of thing, such as people who make armed rebellions. I mean, you don’t have to be G. Gordon Liddy to see the obvious connection.

  7. Rainie says:

    Well done Beryl.

  8. Reg says:

    Thank you Beryl! I add my voice to the supporters of Jim and Ellen. The State of Yucatan should be acknowledging the great work that they do here, along with Yucatan Today and many, many other people and organizations, whose work often goes unnoticed by the local press.

  9. kathie says:

    Thank you Beryl. Some intelligent insight into the Truth is very important right now. Thanks Ellen, jim and Reg for all that you do for our community.

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