Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Tells US Spy Story Differently in English & Spanish, Ban in Translation

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 5 -- This UN now tells different stories about the same event to its English and Spanish-speaking audiences. Some call it dishonest.

After Latin American foreign ministers from MERCOSUR raised US spying to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN News Center's Spanish version published an article that Bolivia's Ambassador Sacha Llorenti tweeted, and the Argentina Mission to the UN re-tweeted, here. The article emphasized what the ministers said, at a stakeout after meeting Ban.

But the UN's English language UN News Center's report focused on Ban, making him look committed although on the topic of US spying he was quoted in a meeting in Iceland as saying that Edward Snowden "misused" his position and information. The UN insisted it was a private meeting -- another form of saying different things to different audiences.

  So did Ban Ki-moon raise in the afternoon to new US Ambassador Samantha Power the spying issue, that he heard about in the morning from foreign ministers Elías Jaua Milano of Venezuela, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, Héctor Marcos Timerman of Argentina, and Luis Almagro, Minister of Uruguay?  (The UN's Media Alert did not mention Bolivia)

 They spoke also about Argentina's sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, the blockade of Cuba and, at Ban's request, Haiti.

  One still wants to know if the Haiti discussion addressed cholera, which the UN brought to the island and then denied all claims about. This Inner City Press will be pursuing.

Footnote: At the stakeout, as another media began with a question, Pamela Falk of CBS shouted louder invoking the name of the UN Correspondents Association -- ironic, since it or at least its first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters has been demonstrably shown to spy for the UN. Story here, Charbonneau & UNCA audio here, document here.

  UNCA should not get the first question in a sit-down press conference, including because it gives it only to those who pay in money. But at a stakeout like Monday's it's even worse: a question was inappropriately grabbed for UNCA, and wasted on a softball.

 Meanwhile the Department of Public Information, which gives UNCA this special status and attacks others for it, didn't have the video archive of the MERCOSUR stakeout online even as of 1:33 pm, then provided bad quality audio and did not respond to questions why from the new Free UN Coalition for Access. And so it goes at this UN.

  As translated by, yes, Google Translate, here's the UN's Spanish lede: "August 5, 2013 - The foreign ministers of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), said today the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, his outrage at the overall illegal spy system made ??by the government of the United States. After meeting with Ban at UN headquarters, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua, spoke to the press along with the foreign ministers of Argentina, Hector Timerman, of Brazil, Antonio Patriota, of Uruguay, Luis Almagro, and Bolivia , David Choquehuanca. "This practice is absolutely in violation of international human rights to safeguard the sovereignty and independence of countries. And far beyond, is a violation of fundamental human rights of citizens of our country and of all countries of the world by violating the sacred right to privacy of the families, citizens and the citizens of the world," he said."

Here's the lede of UN English: "5 August 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today met with a group of South American foreign ministers who voiced their concern to the United Nations chief about reported large-scale surveillance programmes. Mr. Ban noted, as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had stated recently, that UN human rights mechanisms had pointed to important rights and privacy issues at stake in connection with surveillance." 

Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]