Skip to main content

tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  June 20, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

7:00 pm
nce. >> this radio carbon dating method can tell us if trade of ivory is legal. >> it could save a species... >> i feel like we're making an impact >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> i'm standing in a tropcal wind storm... >> ...can effect and surprise us... >> wow, these are amazing... >> techknow, where technology meets humanity! only on al jazeera america >> this is al jazeera america. i'm erica pitzi in new york. here are today's top stories. prayers in charleston - calls for healing, forgiveness and understanding as the community prepares to return to the church where nine people were killed in cold blood. and a newly discovered website may provide a glimpse into the mind of the man suspected of what may be the worst hate crime
7:01 pm
history plus anger on the streets of the u.k. as the government is ready to cut public spending shunned and forgotten - the number of refugees in the world creeps close to 16 million as the united nations marks world refugee day we begin in south carolina where members of the eman all a.m.e. church were allowed to return to their place of worship, the first time since wednesday's shooting that anyone other than law enforcement entered the church. jonathan martin joins us from charleston. we can see a lot of activity there. what is the general feeling where you are? >> moments ago police blocked off the street in front of the church as the crowd grew. police removed the crime scene
7:02 pm
tape, the yellow tape that was in front of the church for days. it was symbolic, important for a lot of people who are hurting, and despite the pain and fear are trying to move forward. >> reporter: for the first time since wednesday's mass shooting members of eman all's a.m.e. church stepped into its sanctuary. >> we walked in and prayed. we are people of faith. >> reporter: for many it will take time. the building has been turned up. for this man returning is a part of healing. >> it's not gone but going back in, knowing that i can go back in without stumbling. >> reporter: sunday morning on father's day mother emanuel will reopen for worship services without its paster clementa pinckney, one of nine killed during the prayer meeting on
7:03 pm
wednesday. the church leader will deliver their message. >> it will be a message of hope and encouragement, a message saying faith is stronger than fear. >> reporter: he said there'll be words of forgiveness for roothdylann roof, who left an online manifesto, photos of him with weapons and burning the american flag, and links to racist and anti-semitic writings. the fbi is investigating the site. dylann roof is on suicide watch. officials say it's standard procedure for someone charged with a crime of this magnitude. >> during a court appearance on friday, some of the families said they have forgiven dylann roof. for some mourners it is allowing them to do the same. >> the deep message that before you can have reconciliation, you have to lead into it with
7:04 pm
forgiveness. they really model that to us. for an historic church that survives storms fires and racism as members stood on the steps saturday they told us despite their pain their faith will allow them to rise again. >> that was jonathan martin reporting in charleston. now to robert ray, joining us from columbia where people are protesting the flying of the federal flag on the state capital building there. how many people are there, and what is the message? >> good evening, about 1500 by our guesstimate, and the message is "take down the confederate flag in the state of south carolina", you can see now, if we point up there, that is the confederate flag flying high not at half mast honouring the nine murdered. turning back to the state capital, you see the american
7:05 pm
flag at half mast. we talked to people earlier, half an hour ago and got their thoughts on why they came out. >> it is marginalizing the people it represents. that fact alone, it should not be here. >> i know what the flag stands for - it stands for racism division and racism and needs to come down off state popt, period. -- property period. >> reporter: it's not just folks on the ground in south carolina with opinionsment if you go to quit twitter, it talks of people wanting to take down the confederate demrag. mitt romney rites - take down the confederate flag at the south carolina capital, to many it's a symbol of racial hatred. remove it now to honour the charleston victims. former governor jed bush tweeted
7:06 pm
out that the confederate flag belongs in a museum, not on a pole in front of the state capital. we heard some young ladies talk about their thoughtsment i know it's impromptu, but we are trying to give people a sense of why you are out there, why are you out here? >> to show unity and have the flag taken down. >> why do you want it taken down? >> it represents a divisive south carolina. the united states flag is the flag that should be flown, the state flag of south carolina should be flown. >> reporter: thank you very much. she couldn't say it better. that's the consensus of the crowd here in south carolina. whether the rest of the states feel that way will come out in the coming days this clearly has movement. >> robert ray reporting live from the state capital.
7:07 pm
the church shooting has resurrected the controversy of the confederate flag. it's viewed by some as an important part of southern identity. others see it as a symbol of slavery. al jazeera's correspondent is in colombia. >> reporter: derek boils was shocked with what he saw, he had to take a picture. the confederate flag a symbol of racism flying as part of a memorial on the state house in south carolina days after nine african-american were killed in a black church allegedly by a white man with racial grievances. the flag was used by the confederate army thought to succeed from the u.s. to keep slavery through the -- slif ray through the civil war, and was adopted by ku klux klan and dylann roof pose with it in photos seen online. >> i think it's a symbol of
7:08 pm
hatred. it's disgusting and despicable that we have the flag flying on state lines much. >> the flag can only be removed from the legislature. supporters say it honours american history. the killing in charleston fuels the debate of whether it is appropriate. >> i see disrespect i see racism. >> reporter: on the other side of the capital is a monument honouring former u.s. sairnt strachan firman known for trying to clack the 1954 -- block the 1954 civil rights act. then there's the issue of current laws the u.s. attorney-general is investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime. here in america most states have statutes calling for tougher sentencing and penalties for crimes motivated by hate. not in south carolina this is one of five states with no local hate crime legislations.
7:09 pm
many say it's a symbol of a racially segregated past that lives on. >> people who hate people that have no tie into humanity. they believe that freedom of speech gives them the right to say anything, and not account for it. we have to change that. >> others say race relations here have improvement. >> everyone could do a little better, and make you know extra efforts. but overall. we are great strides ahead of where we used to be. >> back at the scene of the crime, it's hoped out of tragedy can come healing, racial understanding and an end to symbols that might prevent that a maunt is underway in -- manhunt is under way in new orleans after a police officer was shot and killed while driving a prisoner to gaol. authorities are searching for 22-year-old travis boyce, who they say shot and killed officer
7:10 pm
darren holloway. he was handcuffed from behind. he got his hands in front of him and shot officer holloway. when the car crashed, boyce took off. it's not clear if the gun was the officer's or whether boyce had one on him. possible sightings of two convicted killers that broke out of prison. the most recent sighting was two men walking near route 115 in vinly. a second corrections officer has been placed on leave in connection with the escape in the u.k. - tens of thousands protested a british government plan to cut government spending. is shut down traffic and sparked tensions with police. neve barker has more from london. >> reporter: it's the biggest and boldest challenge to the conservative government since winning a majority in the election last year. in the heart of the financial
7:11 pm
distribute a see of banners and slogans, it's the banking system that these people blame for exploiting the vulnerable. a system they believe is propped up by david cameron's government. >> there's people from every different cause, people campaigning over health education, housing - all these different things. what we are saying is we want a different society. we want to end austerity, we are terrified of what the government will do and want an alternative. >> reporter: through the center of the city past downing street here to the gates of parliament. the police on high alert for signs of truck. conservative party plans to introduce further spending cuts to pensions public services and social welfare has enraged the left wing. the conservative government says greater austerity is needed to stop britain living beyond its means and balance the books.
7:12 pm
>> trade unionists, environmentalists, students, civil rights groups celebrities, some of thousands that have gathered in central london united by one key aim, an end to austerity. >> there's so much wealth in this country that is shared proportionally. a lot more can be done by the rich. >> reporter: many here feel the conservative government is creating an unfair society, broadening the gap between rich and poor and want the economic recovery to be driven by cooperation instead of competition. top greek leaders today discussed strategy two days before a crucial summit of eurozone leaders. the prime minister and three senior ministers are expected to meet sunday to finalise new financial proposals. greece and lenders must agree on a number of austerity measures before new bail out money is released in hopes of staving off
7:13 pm
a default by the end of the month an al jazeera journalist has been detained in berlin at the request of egyptian authorities. he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in cairo's court for detaking and torturing a lawyer during the 2011 revolution. mansour is dismayed germany is cooperating with what he says is unjust orders. in response the acting director-general released the following statement saying: still ahead - painful reminders of hate.
7:14 pm
the charleston shooting conjures up members of a similar attack in the sikh community. next, a man whose father was killed in the wisconsin shooting and questions about four deaths in honduras - family members say the d.e.a. killed innocent people in the drug war stay with us.
7:15 pm
7:16 pm
back to the top story, the church shooting in south carolina. let's go to charleston where del walters is live. you are looking at how the city is impacting by changing demographics over the years. what did you find out? >> if anything can be said about charleston right now, the drums behind me is the drums of change. it's not easy. factor in race and it's harder still, and factor in homes that have been homes since the times of slavery, and you see racial
7:17 pm
gentrification. we met a man, joseph watson and had a grocery shop his neighbourhood is good evening gentrified. going from black to white. this is what he said. >> you have a company coming from wales buying up a lot of properties. >> wales. >> prince charles, tied in with him. >> that's not black. >> it's not black, it's totally white. they are looking at the historical value of the property here will soar. if they can buy it and represent it out for a certain length of time, they may intend to sell it. they'll get back three times what it was when they bought it. >> reporter: we met a city councilman by the name of robert mitchell, and he talked about education not confrontation. when you talk to robert mitchell, consider of the source. in the 1960s, he was a member of
7:18 pm
the black panther party, arrested protesting against the whites he now considers his new neighbours, this is what he said about gentrification. >> being around different areas, seeing what happened living here growing up hear but living away and seeing the change. i know how to put it in perspective. i know how to deal with it and stop it. i can't stop it i can slow it down. there's a way to slow it down. i'm in this position to know how to stop the development. i can't. if you meet the criteria of what the zoning states. i can say what are you going to do, what will i take back to the community to let them know what we take out of this. >> as you can hear race is simmering under the surface in charleston south carolina and when it comes to gentrification there's no easy answers or way to go about it. we hear the words over again.
7:19 pm
education, not confrontation. >> what can the city do to sort of combat the negative effects of ghentry fibbing ace. is there a plan in place at all? >> there is. one of the things that robert mitchell said is educate the people whose houses they might lose. tell them their farms have value. if there are groups of people coming as far away as england, who want to buy your property that means it's worth more than you believe. and think further into the nurt than for. how much it is worth today. if it's worth this today. it will be worth more 10 years from now. >> del walters live in charleston the shooting in south carolina reopened emotional wounds for those that lost loved ones in a similar attack three years ago. august 2012 a gunman opened
7:20 pm
fire in a sikh temple in wisconsin. the sooeb community is still healing. six were killed. >> reporter: members of the sikh community in oak creek found comfort by banding together and pushing forward. the laughter and smiles a contrast to what took place inside this tempel in 2012. white supremist wade michael page walked into the temple armed with a semiautomatic handgun, he shot and killed six people. he turned the gun on himself after a sniper wounded hip. that day his mother died in the temple. >> the first place i went strait to was where she was laying on the carpet. i sat in for a little bit. and then i learnt that they were going to discard the carpet because the bloodstains were not coming out. i told them that i want the piece cut out where she was laying. i kept the piece.
7:21 pm
i cut it out, have it at home. >> reporter: many of the sikhs say they have forgiven they say the day will not be forgotten. in the temple photographs hang on the wall a reminder of the bloodshed in the house. >> she believes in god. god gave her everything. when she asked for it she got it. she was a true believer. i wasn't. she found a way to connect me as well. now every time i come i know i will not only go to god, but also my mum. >> reporter: others needed the comfort of security to restore safety in the temple. the windows are bulletproof, and police are a constant present. touched by violence this once quiet community has been transformed, leading to engagement and act vis. >> reporter: this man lost his
7:22 pm
godfather, and they are advocates of gun control. >> we feel the pain by gun violence we don't want that pain felt by another person. we don't want that to happen again. >> reporter: sikhs say since the shooting that causes heart ache they have opened their doors to people of other faith and cultures, in an effort to be better understood. >> it's unfortunate that it took a tragedy like this to open people's eyes and put sikhism on the map. if it had to be that way, i'm glad that the six lives lost will be connected to that. they'll never be forgotten and joining us now to share his personal experience is the man whose father was killed in the shooting in wisconsin, three years ago. thank you so much for joining us. as we can see and hear you are talking to us from south carolina, having drove all the
7:23 pm
way from wisconsin, clearly this incident hits home for you. tell us why. >> well i mean obviously the attacks that happened on my family put us in a different perspective when it comes to feeling for people that lose their loved ones whether it be racism, which was our family or gun violence. and this is - to be here is amazing. so to be here for them to be here for their grieving period like the communities were there for us it's one of those rare moments in the history of the united states of america, i think. >> you know, some people are calling the accused charleston shooter a psychotic monster, and you said this kind of description is an easy way out. what do you mean by that?
7:24 pm
>> everybody it's a cop out to say someone is psychotic, and everyone impresses that upon us to say the person is psychotic. we lose the social coninstructs that make up cannes -- constructs of mankind to say someone lost his marbles. there are friends of mine asking me to forgive him, and i say it's not for me to forgive. but 21 years old, you are not a person that can fathom all of reality. if the constructs were that of racism and violence and getting a gun on his 21st birthday illegally, i might say. and "the washington post" had a great article on it god forbid our country has gotten to that point. >> after the temple shooting in wisconsin, you started a nonprofit. i see you are wearing the
7:25 pm
t-shirt. you have a team of people in charles tonne with you. how are you -- charleston with you. how are you hoping to help there? >> volunteer, grab stuff, take out the garbage, do the same stuff we do at our temples any time there's something like this. we are here. if anybody needs us just email we made it up yesterday and drove down. >> this is fresh for the people of charleston people of the a.m.e. church. august will be three years since the death of your gather in the temple he helped build. tell us about him, and the tragedy that happened at your place of worship. does time truly heal? >> i reflect tomorrow is father's day. and it's a sunday and it's a
7:26 pm
gigantic prayer day around the world in the christian faith, and the muslim faith, and the east indian faith. we have the temples on sunday. i pray that everyone around the nation bend on one knee and take a moment to reflect on all the things that we are doing together. to make the people into the peace makers that we want for the future. the people here - it's amazing to see them. you should just see them. it is peaceful. it is amazing. >> you know we heard that some of the family members of the victims said in court "i forgive you." and this is only just a few days after this happened. is that something - a feeling that you could have felt three years ago, a few days after the tragedy you
7:27 pm
experienced? >> it took me a long time to forgive. it took me well over probably two years, i couldn't say the person's name and to see a community come together this strong in the historic african-american american south, where the beats of culture, american culture are strong it's amazing. for them to forgive that quickly, [ speaking foreign language ] . >> thank you so much for joining us and opening up to us. live from charleston south carolina. thank you. as the nation mourns the tragedy in charleston south carolina, the issue of guns in america is front and center once again. in the next hour we take a deeper look at gun control.
7:28 pm
coming up, world refugee day. the u.n. sounds a warning as the number of displaced persons reaches an unprecedented level. stay with us.
7:29 pm
7:30 pm
welcome back to al jazeera america. in charleston members of the a.m.e. church were allowed to re-enter while the community begins a healing process. a website of suspected shooter dylann roof published his alleged manifesto a manhunt is under way now after a police officer was shot and killed in new orleans. authorities are searching for 22-year-old travis boyce, he was being driven to gaol and handcuffed but managed to shoot officer holloway tens of thousands in the u.k. streets calling for a cut to government spending guts. the government says austerity is needed to make up for debt.
7:31 pm
protesters say it tarts the vulnerable. the united nations warns of a new era for refugees. on world refugee day it says there are nearly 60 million people worsed to fully their homes. syria is the biggest contributor. its neighbour turkey bears the brunt. the government says it had little financial help to deal with the influx, and most refugee camps are overrun and under-resourced. bernard smith reports from south-eastern turkey these are the most basic of conditions for the latest refugees to arrive from syria. no running water, electricity, toilets or relief from the 40 degree heat. in this small park trees are the only shelter. the nearby camps these people want to go to are full. there's space in others but they are hundreds of kilometres away. >> we had everything we needed before the war, a home a car.
7:32 pm
now we lost everything. now we are beggars, waiting for handouts. >> translation: we suffer from everything here, no food. the children have been bitten by scorpions, i have a wound but can't get into hospital because i don't have i.d. more than 330,000ar accommodated in camps. what were temporary residence are permanent fixtures dotted along the turkey border with syria. turkey has overtaken pakistan as one of the largest refugee countries. turkey's aid agency says it has the capacity to increase facilities, should there be another influx of refugees. the turkish government said it
7:33 pm
had little support from other countries to cover the cost of hosting syrian refugees saying it spent $5.2 billion so far, providing food and water to these makeshift camps. >> everybody should be doing more. there are too few countries providing assistance to our relief and humanitarian efforts. it's a few western countries, it's a few - it's a couple of golf countries, but there are 50 big economies in acr, in north american europe and elsewhere. we need more resources. >> the u.n. says the massive suffering from syria's war made the middle east the largest producer and host of people forced to move from their homes 9.5 million syrians have been displaced in the last
7:34 pm
four years. many have sought refuge in the united states, but few have been given the opportunity. diane eastabrook talked to the only family trying to rebuild their lives in chicago. >> reporter: walking home from school this woman and her 9-year-old son are a world away from the chaos they left behind in syria four years ago. the civil war landed on her doorstep when soldiers forced their way into her home with guns drawn. >> they stole everything, they came to the house, carried the gun and said you must give us everything >> reporter: what came next was worse. >> they destroyed our house, my house was burnt. they burnt everything in the house. >> reporter: while the war raged around them. the family including her
7:35 pm
husband, fled syria for lebanon. last winter they came to the u.s. and settled in this chicago apartment with help from catholic families they have a 2-year-old son. her husband has a job in a laundry. life is looking up. the family is hand by the war. >> always the army. he is afraid. when he remember that night, he is very afraid. >> reporter: the united nations estimates roughly 4 million syrians left the homeland since the civil war broke out four years ago. most settled in neighbouring countries and europe. tougher homeland security limited the number of syrian refugees in the united states to about 2,000 by the end of this year. >> since the end of last year chicago is home to about 10 syrian families that left their homeland. most of those families settled in an ethnically diverse
7:36 pm
neighbourhood on the north side. >> chicago's cultural diversity is helping the family adapt to a new home. memories of the old home lingers. fatah ma greaves for a brother killed in the war. worried about another missing in syria, and misses the extended family she may never see again. >> this morning, i feel that i am alone here. no family from me or my husband. >> reporter: still, she is convinced america will provide a better future for her children. >> and bring us to here and we'll stay here. joining us now is gina she runs the near east foundations refugee programme in jordan thank you for joining us. your work focuses on giving refugees a hand up as opposed to a hand out. what do you mean by that?
7:37 pm
>> i think what is important to remember is refugees are trying to survive. earn a living close to four refugees from syria. both in jordan and lebanon. these people are trying to earn a living. so right now humanitarian assistance focussing on shelter, food, water, critical things that is needed. as the crisis enters into a fifth year and when we know crises are protracted meaning that a refugee is on observing for 20 years, we need to focus on how to build self reliance, how to help them earn a dignified way of earning a living, and not have them survive on handouts. how do you do that? >> the foundation does two things. one is we started a center a beacon of hope.
7:38 pm
it's a place where host communities and others can come together to learn training financial literacy access financial products to start home-based businesses. what we find is when we give refugees an opportunity to know better 87% choose to invest savings, the little that they have, in order to start home-based businesses. they get it. they know in the long term they need to find a way to survive. >> how much are they able to take with them. it seems they have the close on their back they don't have much with them. except their families, do peoplend up in the other countries or camps with much money to start that foundation? >> no, they don't. i mean some do have jewellery, or some have sold their lands before they come. they have some savings, the most vulnerable don't have anything. but what they escape with on
7:39 pm
their backs. what they have is the international community committed to ensuring they have protection and the opportunity to access dignified lies in the long term. it's our role and responsibility to make sure we do the two things hand in hand. >> let talk about the magnitude of the refugee crisis. you know how does this some pair to recent years? it seems it's truly something that we are reporting on almost daily, certainly weekly. how does it compare? >> so the u.n.h.c.r. just released numbers, and for the first time in the record of history, there's more people displaced today, close to 16 million, than any time history before. this is a staggering number. what the numbers don't tell us is every person that has crossed international borders to seek refuge and protection has done
7:40 pm
so in order to find a better way to help support their families and survive. so these people are looking - they are not looking for - they are looking for the critical aid in the initial days but they are looking for options, opportunities, so they can survive in the long term. >> are the majority of these people looking to go back home or when they leave, are they thinking that's it i'm now going to resettle my life start anew in a different country. >> i think most refugees face risks. they have difficult choices to make. most refugees want to go back. if you speak with them most say we would like to go back. syrians often say we don't want to become the next palestinian population. >> what is the reality of it can people go back eventually. are you seeing a certain percentage of them a majority
7:41 pm
going back. syria were there are, but over all. >> no over all a refugee is a refugee on everything for 20 years. in the 1990s, it was nine years. we saw a generation of children growing up in displacement and stateless. they are not able to return back. if people are trying to survive, they are strong they are incredibly resilient, living their days with determination to make it to the next day, how can we think about how do we help them do better and how do we give them more options, for the foundation, it's about giving them the tools, financial literacy, products and savings to do better in the future. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> more than 2.7 million children in the u.s. have a parent in gaol or prison according to pugh research.
7:42 pm
we have this preview of melissa chan's father's day story of a family's reunion with their dad and the emotional toll his incarceration has taken on all of them. >> reporter: with father's day around the corner we decided to look at one group of children that will not spend the day with their parent. according to pugh research more than 2.7 million children have a parent in prison. often the way the system is set up inmates are far from their family sometimes out of state. here we are in front of infamous san quentin prison. there's a californian organization called get on a bus, providing financial assistance or a bus to get families up here every year ahead of father's day. we had the opportunity to speak to some families including the moody family, it was a joyous and emotional meeting. >> i peel real great, a little
7:43 pm
nerve use, because i haven't been with my -- nervous because i haven't been with my family for a long time. >> no one should have a parent in here. everyone wants their parents to be home. sometimes that parent can't be there, you know. it's like...'s hard because he's not there, and i want him to be there for birthdays and holidays i want him to see me graduate. and the thought of him not being able to be there is hard. he is my dad. i do love him a lot. i want him to see those things. it was definitely an intense and emotional experience and in our report we'll take a closer look at the trauma these children go through. there's research out there suggesting that the children of those incarcerated have a greater chance of ending up in prison themselves. in the case of eric moody's
7:44 pm
daughter she is a teen that overcame the challenges that her family faced still ahead on al jazeera america - a demand for answers. hondurans want an explanation for the d.e.a. killing of four people. >> we've done it and that is why we are there. >> my life is in danger. >> anyone who talks about the islamic religion is killed. >> don't miss the exclusive al jazeera investigation. >> i can't allow you not to go into that because that is your job. >> only on al jazeera america.
7:45 pm
7:46 pm
tertaining. talk to al jazeera. only on al jazeera america. welcome back to al jazeera america john henry smith joins us with a look at what is happening at 8 o'clock. >> good evening, we'll take you back to south carolina emotions were high outside a church where nine were killed. there were protests in columbia and jonathan martin and del walters are in charleston. and a deeper look at the gun control debate renewed by the church shooting in the next
7:47 pm
hour honduras is a major drug route for cocaine into the u.s. three years ago four people were killed there in an operation involving u.s. drug enforcement agents. relatives and human rights activists say they had no links to drug trafficking. paul beban has been following the investigation and has this report. some of the video is disturbing. >> reporter: on the night of may 11, 2012 a long narrow river boat was motoring up the river in a nearby corner of the honduras river. it was headed for a jungle outpost. most of the 16 people on board were on their way home. all of them were about to be caught in the crossfire of the war on drugs. remote and roadless it is a haven for cartels and traffickers. cocaine arrives on the coast by
7:48 pm
boat or small plane, landing on the airstrips, clara and her 14-year-old son who finished school for the summer were two of the passengers. they approached the area at 2:30 in the morning, and clara awoke to the sound of helicopters, the shots began from above and i jumped up. i shouted out "where is my son" he wasn't in the front of the boat no one was there. >> another passenger was travelling with her two young daughters. she struggled to shield them. >> i thought how will i save myself, it's better for me to die here with my children. that's why i didn't jump out of the boat. i waited for the shot that killed me i was waiting for death. >> reporter: this person was at the back of the boat shot
7:49 pm
through both legs. >> by the time i realized what hapz they shot me. i don't know how i did it much the blood was in the water. >> the shots and helicopters were close enough to be heard: family members waiting for relatives rushed to the river. they say honduran and u.s. personnel were there. >> they had three guns point at my head one at each side one at the base of my skull. they said they would shoot me and get rid of my body. they asked where are the drugs, who is the leader where does he live. i tole them i was innocent here to look for my aunt. >> reporter: this man, when he got to the river, said he was ordered at gun point to take two men to the river, where a canoe
7:50 pm
was drifting loaded with drugs, with two men agents on board. >> translation: when we arrived to the canoe they told me to get close to it. which i did. they loaded it on to the boat >> reporter: witnesses say after the u.s. and honduran team loaded the drugs, they left without helping the injured. >> the americans went down to the river, got the drugs, and took them out in the helicopter. they saw very well that they were leaving people dead. >> four passengers had been killed. emerson martinez wanda jackson, canneda laria trap and clara woods 14-year-old son. the d.e.a. tells a different version of how and why those four people died that night. we reached out to d.e.a. headquarters. multiple times, but our request for comments were not returned.
7:51 pm
however, in documents obtained by al jazeera, the head of dea in honduras at the time jim kenny, gives a detailed account of the night of may 11th, 2012 to a group of american human rights workers visiting the honduran capital. >> it was explained that that night d.e.a. and honduran units were geared up as a drug plane was tracked from venezuela to honduras. the plane lands on an airstrip and unloaded by 30-40 men. many heavily armed. kenny says that more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine were transferred from a truck to a boat. that's when a team of antidrug agents landed in helicopters. kenny says everyone runs and the armed men abandon the boat filled with cocaine. after the d.e.a. and honduran agents get to the boat the motor fails.
7:52 pm
that's when the passenger boat carrying clara and 15 others closed in making action towards the boatloaded with drugs, and opened fire. kenny says: kenny says he is: line lip kenny makes it clear that: it took the people two days to recover all four bodies from the
7:53 pm
river. clara's son was the last. >> translation: when they found him and put him on the floor, he was full of water and his body rotting. i couldn't see my baby's face any more. i couldn't bathe him. he was swollen and soft. i put him in a bag, and that's how i had to bury him. they killed him like he was a dog. >> two honduran investigations acquitted all agents involved. for its part the u.s. maintained other than an internal inquiry, it would conduct no investigation of its own. two years later in may 2014 the department of justice and state department launched a joint investigation. >> what happened is a wake-up call for many here in america. in january 2013, congressman hank johnson of georgia wrote a letter demanding answers from the d.e.a. a letter co-signed
7:54 pm
by 57 other representatives from both sides of the aisle. >> the investigation as been ongoing for almost a year your officers sent newer letter asking for an update. are you satisfied with the pace? >> it's been a slow slog through what is indifference and which could be construed by some to be a cover up. >> are you concerned that there's a lack of accountability at d.e.a. the war on drugs has been a failure. here at home. and now we are starting to see the effect of that drug war south of our boarders and how its negatively impacting honest law-abiding citizens with nothing to do with the drug trade, yet they are out up in america's war on drugs. >> in may, we asked the state
7:55 pm
department for an update and got nowhere. >> it's been three years since four unarmed people were killed and others injured during a joint honduran antidrug operation. what is the status of that investigation. what is going on? >> so the investigation into that incident is still ongoing. as you said it's a joint investigation, and it involves the office of the inspector general at the state department and the inspector general from the department of justice. since the review is ongoing, we don't have a comment on the incident or investigation. >> any anticipation of when it will be completed. >> i don't have a time line for conclusion. we are still working on the investigations. >> reporter: the d.e.a. agents in honduras were part of a unit called a foreign deployed advisory support team a programme with roots in the u.s. military's effort to shut down drug trafficking linked to the
7:56 pm
taliban. critics say the military approach to antidrug operations has deadly consequences. >> the team active at the time in honduras the fas team came from teams existing in afghanistan, and that were inspired directly by operations that took lace in columbia where you a counternor cottic tack -- narcotic tactics coming together. >> reporter: in honduras the crime and violence fuelled by feeding america's appetite for drugs is impossible to escape. the country has the highest murder rate in the world. it is corrupt and chaotic. the mayor says his people are poor, and with few opportunities, some turn to the drug trade. >> translation: but to say we live off narco trafficking, drugs, that's a lie.
7:57 pm
i can say when they have come and offered work clearing landing strips the people cleared them that's the concern we had. what is the government going to do. >> reporter: congressional sources say the u.s. dispersed a small compensation fund to the victim's families without anything like a formal apology or administration of responsibility for the deaths victim's families say all they have are memories and mourning. >> reporter: she loved to walk along here, to stop and chat. now when i leave these not in her house, she doesn't come to meet me here i will never see her again. i go to the cemetery she doesn't rise up to talk to me. it's all over in the u.k. drama high in the sky. after the parachute of a red devil's parachuter failed to
7:58 pm
open. his team-mate caught him midair. the two ended up safely landing with a slash in front of hundreds of spectators. i'm erica pitzi in new york the news continues next with john henry smith. have a good night. psh psh
7:59 pm
8:00 pm
well this is al jazeera america. i'm john henry smith in new york, with a look at the top stories, the racially motivated south carolina murders sparks a call for the removal of the confederate flag from the couned of the state capital. a website of dylann roof gives the image of a man filled with rage and suppressed with rage. >> i'm del walters, in less than 24 hours, this


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on