Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 13, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

8:00 am
05/13/22 05/13/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> for more than a century, tens of thousands of indigenous children were taken from their communities and forced into boardi schools run by the u.s. government, specifically the department of the interior and religious institution. amy: a new report by the interior department has documented the deaths of 500 indigenous children at indian
8:01 am
boarding schools run or supported by the u.s. government, but the actual death toll is believed to be far higher. we will speak to indigenous writer and historian nick estes. then to mexico, where three journalists have been killed this week, bringing the toll to 11 so far this year and making exit code the deadliest country in the world for journalists behind ukraine. >> the wave of murders against the journalistic profession has become uncontrollable. today just as we are protesting here in mexico city, we on the sad news that two of our colleagues were taken from their lives in veracruz. it is carnage against journalists in our country. amy: then russia is threatening to take retaliatory steps after finland's leaders announced plans to join nato, ending decades of neutrality. all that and more, coming up.
8:02 am
welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden has ordered u.s. flags flown at half staff as the white house marks one million deaths from covid-19 since the first cases were detected just over two years ago. pres. biden: today we mark a tragic milestone here in the united statesone million covid deaths. one million empty chairs around the family dner table. each, irreplaceable. replaceable losses. amy: president biden spoke from a virtual white house summit on the pandemic where he called again on congress to pass funding to combat covid-19 at home and around the globe. biden initially requested $22 billion from congress in march, a figure rejected by public health advocates as too small. the request is now for $10
8:03 am
billion and remains stalled on capitol hill. meanwhile, u.s. covid-19 hospitalizations continue to rise. on thursday, states reported over 115,000 new cases, likely a significant undercount, due to an increase in home testing. united nations says more than 6 million people have fled ukraine since russia launched its invasion in february. a further 8 million people are displaced inside ukraine. this comes as ukraine's military continues to climb successes against russian forces. video footage released today appears to show a russian ship on fire in the black sea after it was hit by what ukraine's military said was a missile. i know washington, d.c., kentucky republican senator rand paul delayed a vote thursday on a bill to give an additional $40 billion in military and economic existence to ukraine, by far the largest foreign aid package in decades. paul is demanding a special
8:04 am
inspector general the given oversight of the aid money. his objections are likely to push a vote on the measure into next week when it is expected to pass. meanwhile, moscow has warned finland over its plans to join nato. kremlin condemn then move as hostile and right and special -- retaliation. we will have more on finland and nato expansion later in the broadcast. in climate news, an investigation by the guardian has found the world's biggest fossil fuel companies are quietly planning scores of oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts. the guardian's report on so-called carbon bombs found the short-term expansion plans of companies including exxonmobil, gazprom, and saudi aramco will produce greenhouse gases equivalent to a decade of carbon
8:05 am
dioxide emissions from china, the world's biggest polluter. that's enough to shatter the paris climate agreement's goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius. the biden administration has canceled plans to auction off oil and gas drilling rights in three regions of the u.s. the decision will halt development affecting two parts of the gulf coast and roughly 1 million acres along the south coast of alaska. climate justice groups welcomed the move but said more urgent action is needed. a member of the group earthjustice told cbs news -- "the scientists are telling us the time to shift from fossil fuel energy is not years from now. it's today. we need to end offore oil leasing." the house committee probing the january 6 capitol riot has subpoenaed five republican congressmembers, including house minority leader kevin mccarthy, after they refused to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation. also subpoenaed are zona congressmember andy biggs, alabama congress member mo
8:06 am
brooks jim jordan of ohio, and , scott perry of pennsylvania. january 6 committee member adam schiff spoke to reporters on capitol hill thursday. >> somewhat involved in the effort to overturn the election, the sum at the rally before the attack. one has had publicly president called him to resend the election. they clearly have relevant testimony. amy: "the new york times" reports a federal grand jury has issued at least one subpoena as investigators look into trump's mishandling of classified documents. the probe centers on the 15 boxes containing government documents trump took to his mar-a-lago resort when he left office in 2021. according to "the washington post," those documents include items that were clearly marked as classified, including several labeled "top secret." he's really forces fired stem grenades and assaulted mourners caring the casket up slain
8:07 am
palestinian-american journalist shireen abu akleh in jerusalem today. israeli authorities ambushed palestinian mourners before they could even leave the premises of a hospital for procession to her funeral service. they were forced to place the casket inside a car to be transported for services. this comes two days after she was shot in the head while covering an israeli raid on the jenin refugee camp. on thursday, the al jazeera network published new video evidence that palestinian fighters were not in the vicinity of shireen abu akleh when she was shot in the head, and that israeli troops had a clear line of fire on her position. palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas spoke at a state funeral for shireen abu akleh held thursday in ramallah. >> we called these really occupation authorities fully responsible for her killing and will not be able to tell the
8:08 am
truth with his crime. we would like to point out that we reject and have rejected the joint investigation withhe israeli authorities because it mmitted this crime and because we don't trust them and we will immediately approach international court. amy: is officials have approved -- israeli officials have approved more than 4000 new homes in illegal israeli settlements in the occupied west bank. in response, the israeli group peace now blasted the decision. she tweeted -- "the state of israel took another stumble toward the abyss and further deepened the occupation. it's bad news for israel and for anyone who cares about the people in our region." in chile, francisca sandoval, a 29-year-old journalist who was shot in the head while covering a workers' day march on may 1st, has died of her wounds. sandoval was reportedly shot after a group of men opened fired on the protesters. two other journalists were also wounded. sandoval is the first journalist to be killed in the line of duty
8:09 am
in chile since the u.s.-backed pinochet dictatorship. in argentina, thousands took to the streets of buenos aires thursday to protest the country's soaring living and food costs. they're demanding the government of president alberto fernandez improve social aid programs and have spoken out against argentina's repayment of a $44 billion debt with the international monetary fund, which they say largely burdens the people. this is one of the protesters. >> today more than 300,000 people are going to be on at the plaza to demand of the national government that there be no more hunger, no more misery. we want genuine work. we clearly say no to the international monetary fund and the foreign debt. amy: the protest in buenos aires came just days after president alberto fernandez announced he will seek reelection in 2023. north korea has announced its first covid-19 death. state media made the admission friday as it reported some
8:10 am
350,000 north koreans have been treated after an explosive nationwide outbreak. sri lanka's embattled president reimposed a nationwide curfew and swore in a new prime minister thursday, just days after his brother stepped down from the role amid massive protests over nepotism, corruption, and a devastating economic crisis. the move did little to quell public anger, and opposition politicians joined protesters in rejecting the appointment. >> this is seriously going against the wishes of the people. we want to say publicly the president appointing the person rejected by the people and not an independent person and those lawmakers who support it will be rejected by the people. amy: at least nine people have been killed since supporters of the sri lankan president gotabaya rajapaksa attacked protesters on monday. more than 300 others have been injured. at least 11 haitian asylum seekers have died after their
8:11 am
boat capsized near the island of desecheo, located off the west coast of puerto rico. at least 31 others have been taken into the custody of the u.s. coast guard. this comes as a growing number of people continue to flee haiti due to worsening gang violence, political instability, poverty and the impacts of the climate crisis. rights groups are condemning texas republican governor greg abbott over a joint statement he made with the national border patrol council criticizing the biden administration for providing asylum-seeking children in u.s. custody with food. governor abbott's statement on thuray read in part -- "while mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store shelves in a panic, the biden administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border." carl takei, a senior staff attorney at the american civil liberties union, responded on twitter -- "i can't come up with the words to describe how despicable and
8:12 am
inhumane this is. every child, regardless of whether governor abbott and border patrol agents consider them our child or not, deserves food and love. we should be shutting down these cages, not turning them into even more horrific places." a u.s. appeals court on wednesday ruled california's ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to people under 21 is unconstitutional. a dissent was written by judge sidney stein, who said -- "i remain committed to keeping deadly weapons out of the wrong hands. student safety on our campuses is something we should all rally behind and sensible gun control is part of that solution." the two conservative judges who ruled in the majority were appointed by donald trump. the senate voted 80-to-19 thursday to confirm jerome powell to a second term as chair of the federal reserve. powell assumed the role in 2018 after he was nominated by president trump. he's promised to combat u.s.
8:13 am
inflation, now at a 40-year high and vermont independent senator bernie sanders has revived his bill to provide medicare for all u.s. residents. the measure has 15 senate co-sponsors, all of them in the democratic caucus. sanders unveiled his proposal thursday at a hearing of the senate budget committee, which he chairs. >> it is not acceptable to me nor to the american people that over 70 million americans today are either uninsured or underinsured. as we speak, right now, this moment, there are millions of people in our country who would like to go to a doctor, who have to go to the doctor, but simply cannot afford to do so. this is unacceptable. this is un-american. and this cannot be allowed to happen in the wealthiest country
8:14 am
on earth. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a new report by the interior department has documented the deaths of 500 indigenous children at indian boarding schools run or supported by the federal government in the united states, but the actual death toll is believed to be far higher. the report also located 53 burial sites at former schools. which were run for over a century. the report marks the first time the department of interior has documented some of the horrific history at the schools, known for their brutal assimilation practices, forcing students to change their clothing, language and culture. the report was ordered by interior secretary deb haaland, who is a member of the laguna pueblo. her grandparents were forced to attend boarding school at the age of eight. she spoke on wednesday. >> for more than a century, tens
8:15 am
of thousan of twin we taken from the community's and forced into boarding schools run by the u.s. government. pacifically the department of the interior and religious institution. when my marnal grandparents were only eight years old, they were stolen from their parents culture and communit's and forced to live inoarding schools until the age of 13. any children like them never made it back to their homes. the federal policies that attempted to wipe out native identy, language, and culture continue to manifest in the pain tribal community space today, including cycles of violence and abuse, disappearance of indigenous people, premature deaths, poverty, and loss of wealth. mental health disorders and substance abuse. recognizing the impacts of the federal indian boarding school system cannot just be an
8:16 am
historical reckoning. we must also chart a path forward to deal with these legacy iues. the fact that i am standing here today as the first indigenous cabinet secretary is testament to the strength and determination of native people. i am here because my ancestors persevered. i stand on the shoulders of my grandmother and my mother and the work we will do with the federal indian boarding school initiative will have a transformational impact on the generations to follow. amy: that was interior secretary deb haaland. on thursday, matthew war bonnet, who was brought to a boarding school on the rosebud sioux indian reservation in south dakota at the age of six, testified about his experience before the house subcommittee for indigenous peoples. >> my boarding school experience is very painful and traumatic. i remember when i first got to school, a priest took us to a
8:17 am
big room which had six or eight bathtubs in it. the priest took all of us little guys and put us in one tub and described as harwith the big brush. the brush made our skin in our backsides all raw. we had had our haircut. they put all of the little guys in the same dormitory. we were together first through fourth grade. at nighttime, could hear all of the children crying. amy: to talk more about the history of indian boarding schools run or supported by the u.s. government, we are joined by nick estes. writer historian, and author of , the book "our history is the future: standing rock versus the dakota access pipeline, and the long tradition of indigenous resistance." he is a co-founder of the indigenous resistance group the red nation and a citizen of the lower brule sioux tribe. nick, welcome back to democracy now! talk about the significance of
8:18 am
this new interior department report. >> thank you so much for having me, amy. as you can hear in the voices of the people, secretary holland, this is a very emotional experience for a lot o indigenous people in this country and it should be an emotional experience for nonindigenous people in this country. this is quite historic moment in time. although, it is not new news to indigenous people, it might be new ns to those who are hearing this horrific genocidal process that has taken place. i think -- there is a reason why the forcibly transferring of children of one group to another group is an international legal definition of genocide. because taking children or the process of indian child removal has been one strategy for terrorizing native families for centuries. from the mass removal of children from their community's
8:19 am
to boarding schools as this new report lays out from e communities into their widespread adoption and fostering out to mostly white families -- which happened primarily in the 20th century -- this is in a historic report in that regd becausa document i think for the first time the federal government admitting to this genocidal pcess. of course, they don't use that language in the rept. many of the researchers, most of whom were indigenous, who did the legwork on this first volume, i think it will be the first volume of several volumes, to say this is a widesprea-- this was a widespread, systematic destruction, not just of our culture, but of our nations, as well as an open, you know, theft of land. i think that is important to talk about. colonialism isn't just about targeting native people because they hate our culture, our
8:20 am
language, or our religion, but this boarding school system came at a time when united states government and the turn of the 19th century to the 20th century was looking to consolidate its western frontier through an act that resulted in hundreds of millions of acres of indian territory being opened up for white settlement and using indian children as hostages. that is the language of the policy at the time. that is the language they were using. they were saying, we're going to use these children as hostages for the "good behavior" of their people. amy: you visited and reported on one particular indian boarding school, the carlisle indian industrial school in carlisle, for savannah, that was opened in 1879. can you talk about that as an example of what took pla around this couny? >> carlisle really became the
8:21 am
archetype of off reservation indian boarding schools. in fact, the carlisle indian school, the first classes that entered were from lakota people, my natio specifically the pine ridge rosebud agencies because we had put up historic resistance against the act. it was a way to essentially break the tribal bonds of our people. so that first-class that went documented in luther standing bears two autobiographies that he wrote from the rosebud sioux tribe, he talked about these schools as not being so much schools but as prisoner of war camps they did not learn e abc's or language and mathematics and things you would expect to learn at schoo they learned a discipline. -- military diipline. colonel pratt was a militar
8:22 am
man. this was a sange arrangement between the u.s. military and the department of interior to run this off reservation boarding school but the militarized discipline became instilled in many ofhe off reservatioboarding schools, as well as invocation of u.s. patriotism, flag worship, and religious obedience. and so the first classes that went to the carlisle indian school, according to the testimony of luther standing there, who is part of the first incoming class, hafted not even return home. many of them died at th school. it is kind of this number to call this educational institutions or schools themselves when you did not ha very many people graduating, let alone surviving the dire conditions of those schos. in this report, they document the forced labor -- unpaid labor
8:23 am
of native children was used essentially subsidize the lack of resources that the federal government was not providing to indian education at this time. it was a horrific experience for those who did not make it out, but also horrific experience for those who did ta it out. to this day, at the entrance o the carlisle indian school, there is cemetery of hundreds -- gravestones. many tribal nations,ncluding the rosebud six tribe, have been working on returning their ancestors. some of them have been successf. but it is also important to point out some of the children th died there are from tribal nations that don't, you know, have protocols around not disturbing their ancestors when they are entered io the earth. so this is a very delicate situation. it inot just problem wh the federagovernme but als the u.s. militar it is an active milary -- it
8:24 am
is important to point that out, too. amy: nick estes, research by preston mcbride at dartmouth college has suggested as many as 40,000 native american children died government run boarding schools around the u.s.. this report is saying 500. can you talk me about this discrepancy? >> think in the press briefing by the department interior yesterday, it was pointed out by deb haaland as well as secretary brian new lynn that this was a eliminary report and they have identified over 53 marked or unmarked grave sites at these various off reservation boarding schools come on reservation boarding schools. i think it is a delicate matter because for example, the rapid city indian school in rapid city, south dakota, the burial
8:25 am
sites are actually within the community itself. there have been housing projects that have been built over the burial sites. a lot of people are reluctant to identify them publicly because of the history of grave robbing at a l of these sites. i think what preston is saying is very true that this is an undercount because it is an initial survey of specific gravesites. but i think as this investigation goes underway and more documents becom available for the public, we are going to see those numbers continue to rise. it ivery tragic. i think it is important to point out this initiative began last june when several hundred native children's graves were found in canada. but where are the helines now about all of the surveys that a lot of these first nations are doing at these sites anthe numbers are in the thousands
8:26 am
right now but it is not making headlines. i think it is important to pay attention to this as it unfolds into really listen to a lot of the native elders as well as the researchers who have been doing this historically. this is not new news to us. we don't have a definitive number. all we have is the common experience of the boarding school system as it has affted every single american indian in this country. amy: do you have reservations about the report? in fact, it is true the interior department report said they expect to find thousands if not tens of thousands of deaths, but you're talking about a report that was released by the interior department and worked on by the bureau of indian affairs within that, which actually ran the whole boarding school system. at the new development, of course, deb haaland is in charge, the first native american cabinet member in u.s. history. >> i think it is important to point out that deb haaland, i
8:27 am
think she has been in this position forust over a year now and one year in t face of a century and a half of genocidal indian policy is not that much when youhink about how history unfolds. but also i think it is important to point out that the perpetrator of this crime ainst humity is now going to be thedjudicator of justice, so to speak. and there were questions of deb haaland's office yesterday about what reparations look like on behalf of tribes. they are modeling their truth and reconciliation pross off the canadian model. it is important to point out that commission only came about because of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of residential school survivors. i would say that department of interior has a poor track record in terms of adjudicating an
8:28 am
accounting for its own crimes. we can look at the settlement that happened in 2011, you know, excuse me, the bker who was from the blackfoot nation did a forensic audit of the united states and found the federal government had mismanaged $176 million of individual indian moneys and the department of interr awarded itself, because still considered boards of the govement, the point billion. that is a must pennies on the dollar of what she had accounted for in terms of damages that we were awarded. it is no coincidence that indian people are ithe same department that managed this wildlife and federal lands. we have -- i heard earer in the broadcast that the department of interior this kind of going back on this overt
8:29 am
federal using program, but it is not just the question of indian boarding schools. indian boarding schools were one facet of a larger process of dispossessionnd theft of indigeus peoples lands and resources. the indian boarding school system was actually using treaty annuities and federal fds that was meant for indian education for this genocidal process. and this money was gained through the selling of our land to white settlers. it was also gained through the dispossession of those lands by the federal government itself. so there is a lot of accounting to be done here. the report itself identifies 39,000 boxes of materials federal government has. i think it is or 9 million pages of documents that need to be reviewed. so allocating just $7 million in
8:30 am
this investigative process over a century and a half of tennis auto policies is kind of a drop in the bucket in what needs to happen. but it is important to point out representative davis, democrat from kansas, and also from in a digitization herself, has a bill going through congress right now that will open up i think more federal money for an investigative process that will look at only to the federal dian boarding school syste but also look into the role of faith groups -- specifically, the catholic church and its role in these genocidal educational policies. amy: we will certainly continue to follow all of this. before we end, i want to ask about leonard peltier, the 77-year-old native american activist who has been imprisoned for 46 years for a crime he says he did not commit.
8:31 am
he was a member of the american indian movement, convicted of involvement of the killing of two fbi agents in a shoot out on the pine ridge reservation in south dakota in 1975. his arrest and trial marred by prosecutorial conduct, withheld evidence, coerced and fabricated eyewitness testimony, and more. amnesty international has long called him a political prisoner. in late april, hawaii senator brian schatz asked attorney general merrick garland about calls to grant him clemency. >> final question, easy one, what is your position on clemency for leonard peltier? >> this is a matter that goes into applications, go to the pardon attorney who makes recommendations to the deputy attorney general and the president. so i'm not going to comment on that. >> can you comment on where we are in the process? >> i assume but don't know that
8:32 am
an application has been made. i don't even know -- i have not read about this in the press, so i don't know anything more about it and what i have read in the press. >> and this does not cross your desk? >> certainly not as an initial or even secondary matter, this goes to a part attorney in the deputy attorney general. i'm not saying i would not be involved, but certainly it has not crossed my desk. >> thank you very much. amy: nick estes, can you talk about leonard peltier? you currently cowrote a piece about leonard peltier. >> it is important to point out first of all leonard peltier is a product of the federal indian boarding school system. he -- his name was mentned in the prs conferce yesrday on this particar initiive. in effect, also important to point out during her tenure as a congresswoman for new mexico, deb haaland was a strident
8:33 am
advocate for leonard peltier's release. we are seeing a growing momentum around the question of leonard peltier's continued unjt imprisonment and the obama administration had an opportunitto correct the course of history in releasing leonard peltier or granting him clemency because that is the only option on the table right now for his release. but hes an elder, an indian elder to his community. turtle mntain h a plan in place so that once he is released, his housing and is taken in by the community self yo hav representate ruth buffalho was ufor reection w has beea strint advoce foreonard peltr,ho tks to leonard peltie on a weekly basis.
8:34 am
so you have this massive support from indian country, from elected officials, to tribal governments advocating for his release. and if we want true justice and it is country, whether it is for the boarding school system, something that leonard peltier himself was fighting against, part of the ameran india movement, then we also need to no only advocate for his release, but advocate for a full congressional investigation into the conditions that led to the shootout at the jumping bull property in 1975 and the multiple, the dozens of deaths that have gone uolved on the pi ridge indian reservation during the so-called reign of terrorollowinghe occupion of wounded knee in 1973. so this is an open wound for indian cntry, an open wound for the federal government, and his committee is advocating for healing as the first step of that process is to grant him clemency. at thipoint, no reason other
8:35 am
than vindictive revenge for him to be imprised. he survived covid. he is in poor health. the man deserves to be with his people. amy: why don't we end with his voice. by the way, his new attorney is a former chief judge from tennessee. i spoke to leonard 10 years ago. leonard, this is amy goodman from democracy now! i was -- >> oh, hi, amy. how are you? amy: hi. i'm good. i was wondering if you have a message fopresident obama? >> i just hope he can, you know, stop the wars that are going on in this world, and stop getting -- killing all those people getting killed, and, you know, give the black hills back to my people and turn me loose. amy: can you share with people at the news conference and with
8:36 am
president obama your case for why you should be -- your sentence should be commuted, why you want clemency? >> well, i never got a fair trial, for one. woulnot allome to puup a defense d manufaured evence, mafactured witnesse torturewitness. you know, the list is -- just go on. i think i'a very gd candidate for -- after 37 years, foclemencyr house rest, at ast. amy: i was speaking to leonard peltier at a public forum a day after a major event at the beacon theater had taken place in his honor and to raise money for his support here in new york city. nick estes, thank you for being with us writer, historian, and , author of the book "our history is the future: standing rock versus the dakota access pipeline, and the long tradition
8:37 am
of indigenous resistance." co-founder of the red nation. you can link to all of our interviews with leonard peltier as well as my questioning of president clinton at the time, whether he would be granting clemency and you hear leonard peltier himself talking about -- asking president obama for that stuff now the question is, what will president biden and attorney general merrick garland do? next up, we go to mexico, where three journalists have been killed in the last week, bringing the total to 11 so far this year, making mexico the deadliest country and of the world for journalists behind ukraine. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
8:38 am
amy: vivir quintana. the central character of the song is mexican journalist miguel angel lopez velasco, who was murdered in 2011 along with his wife and son in veracruz. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we stay in mexico right now, where three journalists were killed this week within a in what has become the deadliest year for journalists in the country. in the eastern state of veracruz, yesenia mollinedo falconi and shayla johana garcia olivera were fatally shot by two men on board a motorcycle outside a convenience store monday.
8:39 am
45-year-old falconi was the director of the online news site el veraz. olivera, who was 24, was a reporter at the same outlet. over the past year, falconi had publicly spoken about receiving frequent death threats over her work over the past year and a half. news of their deaths came as journalists across mexico took to the streets protesting the murder of yet another reporter, this in the northern state of sinaloa, luis enrique ramírez, a columnist at the newspaper el debate, covering local and state politics among other issues. the 59-year-old was found killed last thursday near a dirt road in the city of culiacán, wrapped in black plastic and with severe head wounds. this week, journalists gathered in outrage in mexico city. >> the wave of mergers against the journalistic profession has become uncontrollable. today just as we are protesting here in mexico city in tijuana and cena loa, we learned the sad
8:40 am
news that two of our colleagues were taken from their lives in veracruz. it is caage against journalists in our country. there are no guarantees. the mexican state is not providing guantees so that we can freely exercise journalistic exercise in mexican territory. amy: and this is mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador responding to the three most recent killings during a news conference this week. >> investigation is already underway. we will soon have a report. what happened is unfortunate and stand and embrace to the family members of the victims. amy: he has come under intense criticism. a total of 11 journalists have been killed in mexico so far in 2022. the other eight are armando linares lópez josé luis gamboa
8:41 am
margarito martínez lourdes maldonado roberto toledo heber fernando lópez jorge camero juan carlos muñiz for more, we're joined in mexico city by jan-albert hootsen, dutch journalist and mexico correspondent at the committee to protect journalists. welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about this spate of killings in the last week? three journalists, two at one organization and one in another state, who they are? >> thank you for having me. these were journalists who mostly work for small or regional outlets. for example, maria martinez, an online talkshow. another worked for a local new show, local news website. so mostly what they have in common is they work for smaller outlets. they work in smaller community. as such are extremely visible,
8:42 am
highly visible, and easy to trace down which probably added to the risk they were running as reporters. amy: you have met with some of the family members. can you tell us what they have said? also, some of these reporters who were murdered actually raised concerns come having gotten death threats before come all the way up to amlo, the president of mexico. >> specifically lourdes maldonado who was murdered earlier this year, travel to mexico city last year and actually told president lópez obrador she felt threatened, felt her life was at risk and she had applied for protective measures from the baja, because of state government. other reporters, one who was murdered, worn about the risk he was running as a reporter just weeks before his -- about too muchefore he himself was
8:43 am
killed. these are reporters who are aware of the fact they are running risks, that they may face reprisals for the reporting, which is usually about organized crime or corruption or abuse by the authorities. as you mentioned yesterday i spoke with the brother of yesenia mollinedo falconi who was killed in veracruz, and he told us his family feels extremely exposed, that they have been in touch with federal and state authorities but did not feel the response has been woefully -- did feel the response has been woefully insufficient. the brother of yesenia is a report himself and also focuses on organized crime and corruption and abuse by authorities in the region where he is working so he like the other reporters who would killed, is keenly aware he is running extreme risks. amy: jan-albert hootsen can you tell us more about yesenia and
8:44 am
sheila as well as luis enrique ramirez? this is astounding. there is a lot of attention being paid to the journalists in ukraine, but we're talking about three in the last week, three reporters, and that brings 11 just this year and we're only in may. >> the numbers are staggering. we are dealing with what might be the deadliest year in modern mexican history for the press, comparable to 2017 when the number of reporters killed in february and march. specifically, the three latest cases, i know yesenia and juan worked for small local news website in the southern part of the state of veracruz called el veraz. it focused mostly on local politics and the going on.
8:45 am
yesenia also covered organized crime in the past. her brother told me she stopped covering organized crime several months ago after she had received numerous death threats. she had reported several years ago but also in the last year. juan, we know he started working with yesenia a few months ago. she already had press credentials. she was supposedly hired as a camera operator. another focus mostly on local politics but was more widely known as a gifted and talented political columnist for one of the bigger newspapers in sinaloa. luis enrique ramirez was more widely known amongst journalists in a country as a protégé of well-known writers and journalists.
8:46 am
he was very critical, independent mind and very well liked by his readers and his colleagues. amy: you are traveling to sinaloa today because it is the fifth anniversary of the murder of javier valdez. talk about the significance of that and five years later, another journalist killed. >> javier valdez was one of the most well-known journalistsnd in mexico, especially of those working outside mexico city metropolitan area. five years ago it came as a shock for a lot of people -- he was killed five years ago and it came as a shock for a lot of people. he was the recipient of an award that we give o each year and he was a personal friend of mine. i knew him for about 10 years before he was killed. i think the consequences of his death are still echoing into the here and now because when such a
8:47 am
high profile journalist is killed, likely killed because of his writing about organized crime in sinaloa then it means very few generalists are not at risk here. amy: i want to go for a minute to javier valdez speaking at that awards ceremony were just talking about, the international press freedom awards when he got it from your organization the committee to protect journalists in 2011. >> i have been a journalist the past 21 years and never before have i suffered or enjoyed it intensely, nor with so many dangers. in the state of sinaloa, it is dangerous. invisible line drawn by the bad guys who are drug trafficking and field stream with explosives .
8:48 am
this is a war, yes, the one controlled by the narco's but the citizens are providing -- the mexican and u.s. government -- the evidence is visible within and outside of the government. amy: that was javier valdez speaking in 2011 when he was receiving his international press freedom award. jan-albert hootsen, as we wrap up, many journalists are very critical of the mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador for not doing more. what can be done? what are the demands being made right now? >> i think it is not an easy question to answer what can be done because the problem is so widespread and so deeply ingrained in mexican society. but i think the best way the mexican government can go about this in answering your question about what are the demands is first and foremost he should invest far more heavily in law
8:49 am
enforcement, prosecutors, and police, best practices -- specifically addressing the components that are very particular to the murders of journalists. he should also improve the security of journalists by strengthening institutions that have been created to protect reporters and human rights defenders. and something that specifically president lópez obrador has to do, stop polarizing, antanizing journalists in creating this divide betwe mexican citizens and reporters. because right now, his attitude toward the press makes it a lot haer for us to convey the urgency of the problem that a crime against a reporter is a crime against the entire country. amy: jan-albert hootsen, thank you for being with us dutch , journalist and mexico correspondent at the committee to protect journalists. next up, rush is threatening to take rotella torrey steps after finland's leaders announced plans to join nato.
8:50 am
stay with us.
8:51 am
amy: "police state" by pussy riot. bandmember maria alyokhina escaped from russia to lithuania this week. she was disguised as a food delivery person evading police , staking out the apartment she was staying in. the band is now going on tour in support and solidarity with the people of ukraine. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. finland's president and prime minister announced their support thursday for finland to join nato, ending decades of neutrality. the leaders called on finland to apply for nato membership without delay. finland shares an 830-mile border with russia. sweden is also expected to join finland in seeking nato membership, something few discussed previously. russia threatened rotella tory steps -- retaliatory steps.
8:52 am
the new york times reports it increases the prospects of a broader war between russia and the west. we go now to berlin, germany, where we are joined by reiner braun, executive director of the international peace bureau. historian and author who has campaigned years against nato. can you talk about this decision made by finland's president and prime minister and the significance of this? it looks like sweden is at their side in this. >> a significant change in the security system in europe. it is the break k of a contract. finland has a contract with russia. the first 201948 and the second one in 1992. finland is not canceled the
8:53 am
treaty so they're going against the treaty which is in a legal action they're doing. the second point is the relationship between central europe and nato and russia but the military spending is about 50 to one now, now 80 to one and it is of his russia will be reacting. so we have come again, a continuation of the escalation in the center of europe, and this is not peaceful. what could be the next moldavia -- the next japan? what about the reaction of russia? bring more nuclear weapons to the border of poland and water countries. pele from both sides will suffer so it is definitely a step in the wrong direction
8:54 am
which is not helpful for coming to a new security architecture after hopefully ending as quick as possible the war in ukraine. we need a negotiation and for finland, which has a history of neutrality -- finland was a country of an agreement. there was a meeting in helsinki. give independent active position, bringing east and west together only for joining nato took him from being a very small part in the nato architecture. this is really an on political and unsecured he stepper secured system in europe. amy: can you talk about the letter that you helped cowrite both to president putin and president zelenskyy of ukraine calling for cease-fire?
8:55 am
>> for us, may 9, historical day which would make your free from fascists. the country that has been the most victim, soviet union, which includes russia -- the letter was to say when you make your speeches, 8, 9, you should come together and negotiate force. in the tradition of the victory and should think about how you can combine the people of these two countries. they have so many things in common, so many things in common . so many things together in the language, agriculture, education . and we have to overcome the
8:56 am
horrible split between these two countries. in the first point we are calling for was and is cease-fire. may 8, nine pass and it is a pitye nnot start the negotiations. but we will continue working on cease fire and i think we need more international pressure for these negotiations. and r me, the pope was sending an interesting and hopeful sign -- i hope other political leaders, maybe macron or xi from china can bring these two countries together at the same table to negotiate. amy: can you explain the peace summit you in a number of other groups are planning in june in spain? >> there is a nato summit. nato is the biggest majority spender and the world. 60% of thehole money which is
8:57 am
spending worldwide is from the nato countries. these nato summit will send signs in the wrong direction, more militarization, more actions against russia and china . we want to protest and convince more part of the public that this is the wrong way. this is a way in a new nuclear war. we cannot do these kinds of politics when you want to overcome climate, hunger. hunger becomes much stronger since we have the ukrainian war. how will people in africa survive? we want to say signs that we ne an alternative politics. the summit is for making
8:58 am
propaganda -- we have to take in account the securitynterests of all countries and we need nationally and internationally a process of disarmament. it is not possible to spend any longer two dollars trillion of people are suffering. amy: reiner braun, thank you for being with us, executive director of the international peace bureau. german peace activist, historian and author who has campaigned against the u.s. airbase in ramstein and against nato. that does it for our broadcast. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
8:59 am
9:00 am

12 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on