tv Democracy Now PBS April 10, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
04/10/15 04/10/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we may be able to say the statements given today by president barack hussein obama could open a door to start a new year of relations among venezuela in the free and sovereign latin america and the empire of the united states. it could happen. amy: venezuela reacts to the united states announcements it is backtracking on calling venezuela national security threat. the move hums as president obama hints u.s. could also remove cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. cuba is set to attend the summit of the americas for the first time an obama could meet with
president castro. we will speak with latin american history professor miguel tinker salas an economist mark weisbrot. in an exclusive, we speak to the father of one of the 43 students missing from the mexican state of guerrero since late september. he is calling on the obama administration to end its multibillion-dollar aid program to fund the war on drugs in mexico. >> what i would tell to president obama is to stop supporting -- the weapons, the arms, with those weapons that are supposedly supporting the war against drugs those arms are being used to annihilate our students. amy: an explosive new report reveals the federal government
secretly tracked billions of u.s. phone calls years before the 9/11 attacks starting in 1992. >> this is the earliest example we have seen of u.s. government collecting data on americans in bulk without suspicion that you are linked to a particular crime. they provided a sort of legal blueprint for the much broader telephone surveillance program the nsa launched after september 11. amy: we will speak with usa today reporter who broke the story, brad heath. from the infirmary and a pennsylvania prison, we will hear mumia abu-jamal commenting on the police killing of walter scott in south carolina. all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has warned of a "epic humanitarian catastrophe" in a palestinian refugee camp invaded by the self-proclaimed islamic state in syria.
speaking thursday, ban said yarmouk resembles a death camp. >> the refugee camp is the deepest circle of hell. after more than two years 18,000 posting -- palestine refugees are being held. the refugee cap is beginning to resemble a death camp. the residents of yarmouk including 3500 children, are being turned into a human shield. they face a double-edged sword. amy: palestinian officials have rejected the possibility of joining with the syrian government to oust the isil militants. the statement from the palestine liberation organization contradicts an earlier statement from the plo's envoy to syria
suggesting the palestinians join in military action. iran's supreme leader ayatollah khamenei has said there is no guarantee of a final nuclear deal after iran and world powers reached a historic framework agreement last week. in his first comments since the agreement was reached, khamenei declared all economic sanctions on iran must be lifted on the day any final deal is signed and that foreign inspectors would not be allowed into military sites. >> if you ask me if i support or oppose the nuclear agreement i neither supported nor oppose it, because nothing's happened yet. nothing has been done yet. the whole issue lies in the details that they're meant to discuss one by one. amy: ayatollah khamenei's remarks may be designed to placate hardliners opposed to the nuclear deal. negotiators will seek to reach a final agreement before a june 30 deadline.
in the u.s., massive tornadoes have torn through illinois and other swaths of the midwest, destroying homes and leaving heaps of debris in the street. at least one person was reportedly killed in illinois, were most of the town's buildings were damaged. south carolina authorities have released footage from a police dashboard camera from the day north charleston police officer michael slager fatally shot walter scott. slager is charged with murder after a bystander's cell phone video showed him shooting scott in the back as he fled. the dash cam video did not capture the shooting but does show slager approaching scott's vehicle after pulling him over for a broken brake light. the two conversed in after slager returns to his cruiser scott gets against iran. his family has said he may have fled because he was behind on his child support payments.
meanwhile, activists in north charleston are calling for a citizen review board for police and city officials, saying the shooting is evidence of a longstanding pattern of racial bias. walter scott's brother anthony said the pattern applies to people of color and the poor. >> i wouldn't just say it is an african-american thing, it could also be a minority thing. it would be a racial profiling type of thing. in the city of north charleston. if you are an hispanic or if you are, i would say, low income white american, they would be affected just as well. as an african-american. but i do think they stereotype in the city of north charleston. amy: that is the brother of walter scott who was killed by police officer michael slager. municipal courts in st. louis county, missouri have agreed to adopt a uniform standard for fines and court costs. the move is part of an overhaul
following the fatal police shooting of michael brown in ferguson and a justice department report which accused police of acting as a "collection agency" to run the city off exorbitant fines. the municipal court in ferguson issued over 10,000 more arrest warrants in 2013 than there are people in the city, mostly for driving-related offenses. in mississippi, two young, white women have been sentenced to prison for their role in the 2011 murder of an african-american man. shelbie brook richards and sarah adelia graves admitted to recruiting fellow teenagers to travel around the mississippi capital jackson looking for black people to assault. both were in a pickup truck when the driver ran over james craig anderson, killing him. richards admitted she yelled a racial slur and encouraged the driver to beat and run over anderson. the driver was previously sentenced to 50 years in prison, and five other white men received lesser terms. on thursday, richards was sentenced to eight years and graves to five years.
here in new york, ramsey orta, who filmed the police chokehold death of eric garner in staten island, will spend another weekend at rikers island jail after a prosecutor demanded scrutiny of donations used to pay for his bail. orta's supporters raised nearly $40,000 to pay for his bail bond so he could be released from rikers, where is being held on a drug charge. but orta's lawyers say the district attorney demanded a "bail source" hearing to determine if the funds were obtained illegally, even though they were publicly raised through the website gofundme. orta and his family say police have targeted them over orta's filming of garner's death. to see our interview with ramsey orta's attorneys and his aunt you can go to democracynow.org. in sacramento, california, an african-american activist is facing up to four years in prison for "lynching," after she
allegedly tried to pull a fellow protester away from police. under a 1933 california law designed to protect black people from white mobs, the act of attempting to free someone from police custody is defined as "lynching," a felony offense. the law has been used repeatedly against activists, including maile hampton, who was arrested for her actions at a black lives matter protest against a pro-police rally. on thursday, protesters packed a court hearing to support hampton, who returns to court april 30. following an outcry, local and state officials have vowed to remove the word "lynching" from the law. president obama has arrived in panama to attend the summit of the americas along with other leaders from canada, central america, south america, the caribbean, and for the first time, cuba. obama and cuban president raul castro are reportedly due to meet informally at the summit, marking the first time presidents from the two countries have sat down since meanwhile, on thursday, obama 1956. announced the state department
has finished its review of whether cuba shoulbe removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, but said he would wait to act until receiving final recommendations white house advisors. >> as you know, there is a process involved in reviewing whether or not a country should be on the state-sponsored terrorism list. that review has been completed at the state department. it is now forwarded to the white house. our interagency team will go through the entire thing in the present it to me with a recommendation. that hasn't happened yet. amy: fights broke out ahead of the summit wednesday when anti-castro cuban demonstrators tried to lay flowers at a bust of cuban patriarch josé martí near the cuban embassy in panama city, and were confronted by a group of pro-castro activists. cuban delegates also protested over reports that former cia-backed paramilitary officer felix rodriguez, who was sent to
kill guevara in bolivia in 1967, was meeting with opposition groups in panama city. we'll have more on the summit after headlines. an immigrant rights activist who was deported six months ago after warning he could be killed if he returned home to mexico, has been fatally shot in the mexican state of guerrero. constantino morales reportedly served as a police officer in mexico and denounced drug trafficking before coming to united states, fearing for his life. he was deported in september after being denied asylum twice. he leaves behind six children. morales' former group, iowa citizens for community improvement called on congress to pass immigration reform saying -- "there are too many of these preventable stories." hillary clinton is poised to announce her candidacy for the democratic presidential nomination as soon as this weekend. the move comes as a new investigation has revealed
clinton's close ties to a canadian oil company with a history of alleged violence in colombia. the international business times reports while clinton was secretary of state, she backed a colombian free trade pact she previously opposed over concerns about labor rights, after the founder of oil giant pacific rubiales pledged millions of dollars to the clinton foundation. the founder, frank giustra, now serves on the foundation's board. labor leaders say clinton ignored accounts of attacks on union organizers in colombia instead, backing the trade pact which benefited guistra and other foreign investors. the former governor of rhode island has announced he is exploring a run against clinton for the democratic presidential nomination. lincoln chafee served in the senate as a republican and later became governor as an independent. he became a democrat in 2013. he has criticized clinton over her support for the iraq war. his father also served as a
senator and governor of rhode island as well as secretary of the navy. georgia has agreed to end its blanket ban on hormone treatment for transgender prisoners after the department of justice intervened on behalf of a transgender woman denied hormones for three years. the justice department voiced support for ashley diamond's lawsuit over deprivation of the hormones she took for 17 years before her imprisonment. state officials say diamond is now receiving the treatments. nineteen people have been arrested at yale university in connecticut for their role in a sit-in to call for the school purge its nearly $24 billion endowment from fossil fuel corporations. the students want school officials to reopen the discussion after deciding not to divest in august. \yale's endowment is the third largest in the country. students there join a growing number across the country who are demanding divestment from companies that drive global warming. the massachusetts institute of technology hosted a debate on
divestment thursday. student activists covered the windows of a university building with colored paper spelling out the word "divest." harvard feet week against on monday. that is the divestment efforts of students and professors at harvard university in cambridge massachusetts. imprisoned journalist and former black panther mumia abu-jamal has spoken out from behind bars about the police killing of walter stt in h caroli. he rose from his infirmary bed to record the commentary after a fellow prisoner wheeled in a tv so he could watch coverage of the shooting. in a democracy now! exclusive he discussed his reaction. >> remember the young man who allegedly shot, not killed, two cops in ferguson several weeks ago? every politician in america leapt at the chance to call the kid a punk an thug.
what do you call slager? even though he has been fired, he is called officer or mr. slager. he killed a man for traffic citation. the ca punk, a predator or apig? this is mumia abu-jamal. amy: special thanks to noelle hanrahan at prison radio for that recording. his supporters say the remains civil say he remains severely ill. today his supporters have called a national day of action to demand he be allowed to see a diabetes specialist. he's in prison for the murder of daniel faulkner, but always maintained his innocence.
and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: the news about south carolina just continues with the release of the -- cam video. you wrote your commentary today in "the new york daily news." juan: i think one of the things that i tried to stress in my column is that how many more of these heartbreaking videos are we going to be exposed to across the country before change occurs in policing in the country. i think the critical thing to understand is not only the videos of the actual encounters were african-american males are killed by police, but also what happens in the moments afterward. we've now seen several of theset. tamir rice video where the
12-year-old boy is shot by a policeman who arrives within two seconds of his getting out of the car. but then for four minutes after as the boy lying on the ground three police officers justine around, walk around, no one provides him any kind of aid until an fbi agent, who happens to be in the neighborhood, comes along and he begins to administer cpr to tamir rice. amy: and when his sister comes running over -- juan: he gets she gets ankle. they prevent her from getting to her brother. then you have the situation with eric garner in the staten island video. or not only half a dozen police officer stand around as eric garner is gasping for breath but then even when the ems, the paramedics arrived, they waste four crucial minutes while the e walking around not treating him. those four paramedics were
eventually suspended for their actions on that day. then of course, now we have the south carolina situation where once again, after officer's leg or -- officer slager shoots scott, another officer arrives and they stand around. they check the ones. they talk on the radios and discuss, where is my vehicle but they don't administer any kind of aid to walter scott. and then people wonder why the black lives matter movement has grown and spread so rapidly across the country, when people are seeing these videos were people were shot are not even given immediate aid. amy: and police use their force to prevent bystanders from administering aid. when you look at ramsey orta who remains in rikers island the only person arrested around the eric garner case, though in
an unrelated charge, he is the one who video. when you look at that video and listen, bystander saying, help him, helped him. the police use their authority to prevent anyone to help him. juan: the people wonder why there are such anger spreading across the country. a we will continue to follow this story and link to your column at democracynow.org. juan: president obama has arrived in panama to attend the summit of the americas along with other leaders from canada central america, south america the caribbean, and for the first time, cuba. obama and cuban president raul castro are reportedly due to meet informally at the summit, marking the first time presidents from the two countries have sat down since president eisenhower met with cuban president batista. -- castro. meanwhile, on thursday, obama announced the state department has finished its review of whether cuba should be removed
from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, but said he would wait to act until receiving final recommendations white house advisors. he could make the announcement at the summit. congress would have 45 days to decide whether to override it. the move would allow the two countries to reopen their embassies and move forward on historic efforts to normalize relations that were announced in december. amy: meanwhile, the u.s. faces other tensions at the summit over its recent sanctions against cuba's close ally venezuela. an executive order signed by president obama last month used the designation to sanction top venezuelan officials over alleged human rights abuses and corruption. this week, the u.s. announced it was backing off its move deeming the country a national security threat. i an interview with efe news obama sought to tone down the confrontation saying -- "we do not believe that venezuela poses a threat to the united states, nor does the united states threaten the venezuelan government." venezuelan president nicolas maduro responded thursday. >> we may be able to say that
the statements given today by president barack hussein obama could open a door to start a new era of relations among venezuela in the free and sovereign latin america and the empire of the united states. it could happen. amy: meanwhile, fights broke out ahead of the summit wednesday when anti-castro cuban demonstrators tried to lay flowers at a bust of cuban patriarch josé martí near the cuban embassy in panama city and were confronted by a group of pro-castro activists. cuban delegates also protested over reports that former cia-backed paramilitary officer felix rodriguez, who was sent to kill guevara in bolivia in 1967, was meeting with opposition groups in panama city. the last picture taken of che guevara alive in october 1967 shows rodriguez standing on his left. elsewhere, pro-venezuela protesters rallied. >> we are also defending is the
right of free determination for the people. it seems a bit disrespect to conspire against another delegation in the middle of a summit. i wouldn't do it. amy: we're going to go to break and when we come back we will be joined by two people talking about the significance of this summit of the americas. juan: i just want to correct, on that lead, the last meeting of american president was with batista, eisenhower with batista, not with fidel castro. amy: we will be back on the story of the oas summit in a moment. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: topics expected to be on the agenda at the summit of the americas gets underway include trade, security and migration. panama's president juan carlos varela called on heads of state to put aside their differences. amy: well, for more, we are joined by two guests. in claremont, california, miguel tinker salas is a professor of latin american history at pomona college. his new book is, "venezuela: what everyone needs to know." you can read the introduction on our website. and him washington d.c., we are joined by mark weisbrot, co-director of the center for economic and policy research and president of just foreign policy. his article in "the hill" is headlined, "obama could face disastrous summit due to venezuela sanctions." welcome both of you back to democracy now!
let us begin with miguel tinker salas. on the eve of the summit, what's going on around the possibility of venezuela being put on the terrorist list and president obama pulling that from that saying they don't consider while they originally said they do consider, venezuela right to national security, what is behind all of this? >> i think fundamentally the changes in latin america. the reality is, the summit is at a crossroads. it begins in 1994 presided by bill clinton as a proposal to implement the free trade for the americas, take nafta into the entire region. the reality is, by 2001, you have hugo chavez at the summit criticizing free trade for the americas and the imposition of an asymmetrical order. by 2005, that entire process is derailed when you have the fundamental changes in brazil argentina, bolivia, and ecuador. the summit is really at a
crossroads in terms of what it seeks to accomplish. the u.s. is trying to regain ground by establishing better relations with cuba and coming into the 20th century, in fact, 21st century but the reality is the arrogance of the u.s. on the question of venezuela threaten to derail the entire process again. so i think what is behind all this is really, what is the role of the summit of the americas and the oas at a time in which you have other institutions in latin america like the union of south american nations and the committee of latin america caribbean nations, that do not include the u.s.? i think it is really at a crossroads in terms of what its future will be. juan: mark weisbrot, what about the americas is no longer the backyard of the united states as it was historically known as, an area that was exploited and dominated by washington? >> no, that is right. the obama administration hasn't
really recognize that. that is the big thing. the president of ecuador responded to the march 9 sanctions of executive orders saying, this reminds us of the darkest hours of our america when we received dictatorships from imperialism. and don't they understand that latin america has changed. and they don't. that is been a problem all along and the problem with the summits. in 2012, and mcgill gave nice history, in 2012, everybody said coming including the president of colombia, the was a going to be another summit without cuba. obama comes along in december and says, well, we're going to give them a christmas present and begin the process of normalization -- normalizing relations with cuba. the new comes with the sanctions on march 9 step everybody realizes, well he is not really changed anything at all. you get these statements with
everywhere in the hemisphere except for u.s. and canada saying, he's got to rescind this executive order. so now you see the white house backing off and you see the white house saying, well, no, we not only said venezuela was an extraordinary threat to national security, but we actually declared a national emergency because of this thread. that was written in the executive order. now the white house says no, it is not a threat at all. first of all, what does that say about the rule of law in the u.s.. this was an executive order. they had to put that in their because the laws there for reason. you're not supposed to impose unilateral sanctions. unless there is a real security threat. this was a real defeat for them. they are backing off, just like coming into the 21st century on cuba, backing off, but they still don't really recognize
that there is a new reality in the region. that is why i think it doesn't look that good yet going for it. amy: among those attending the summit is u.s. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, roberta jacobson. last week, she said she was surprised few countries had defended u.s. sanctions against venezuela. >> i was -- i will confess, a bit disappointed there weren't more who defended the fact that, clearly, this was not intended to hurt the venezuelan people are the venezuelan government even, as a whole, and did not more clearly explain or elucidate as we did for them in advance -- because we did talk to governments in advance on the sanctions -- that this was really very, very nearly
targeted. amy: in march come all 33 members of the community of latin american and caribbean states known as celac expressed opposition the u.s. sanctions against venezuela. miguel tinker salas, your response to one of the representatives, the u.s. representative, of course, president obama will be there, too, in panama? >> i think it mirrors what happened in the 2012 summit in colombia. there's a certain arrogance behind the statement that you are disappointed about the fact that latin american leaders did not support the u.s. on sanctions. did they really think that latin american leaders are going to ally with the u.s. and support sanctions against venezuela? they make what a size venezuela privately, they -- lumia mexico, clearest allies that u.s. has, maker to size venezuela, but they're not when a publicly expressed that criticism. if the u.s. is disappointed, it reflects an arrogance concerning
latin america and the inability to comprehend how the recent has changed. this is not just about venezuela will stop this is about latin america, a region declaring its independence. it's respect for the rule of law, it's respect for sovereignty, it's respect for democratically elected governments. and i think when roberta jacobson and others in the administration or the washington think tanks criticize other leaders in latin america, it is a refusal to recognize the extent to which latin america has changed, to which it is not willing to be the backyard to which there other players in the region. china is an important economic factor in the region, so are european countries. i think it really does reflect that sense that latin american is still our backyard, therefore, they're really trying to backpedal because they want to avoid a repeat of what happened where obama was isolated on cuba, isolated on immigration, isolated on the question of the drug war,
criticized by friends and foes alike, and came back and fired his national security advisor on latin america. i think there should be some heads to roll as a result of what is happened, the debacle the u.s. is gotten itself into. i think it reflects the arrogance that still exists on the part of the u.s.. juan: mark weisbrot, on the issue of damage control that is been occurring in the last week or two, we reported yesterday here on the decision of the united states government to extradite -- to general casanova who is linked not only to torture, but then to the killings of the churchwomen, the four churchwomen in el salvador in the decision to initiate extradition proceedings against colonel morale is it was indicated in the killing of spanish jesuit priests now
facing potential trial in spain. so you have these two acts just in the days before obama heads to the summit and also the reports that secretary of state kerry sent an emissary to venezuela to try to patch things up privately. can you talk about that? >> yeah, i think they really realized they made a big big mistake. miguel is right. they live in some kind of bubble. i don't of who they're talking to a news governments. i remember talking to a foreign minister a couple of years ago i won't mention his name or country because it was a private conversation, but he said, you know when the u.s. is going to do something in africa, they at least talk to the governments in the region and ask them what they think about it. they don't even do that in latin america. this is how everybody sees it. there's a huge gap between what any government knows in the
region about u.s. policy and what you have in the media. therefore, what most people know. it is enormous. in 2009, and i'm thinking about this because you might get a handshake and a picture between raul castro and president obama in this summit, and you had that with -- had that with obama and chavez in 2009. it went all over the place, and actually upset the administration's right-wing ally. so the very next day, they poured cold water all over it and made sure -- with some insults, and major this wasn't going to lead to any song of relations. then there was the military coup in honduras in 2009 in june. after that, after the u.s. did everything it could to support
to make sure that cusa exceeded and to legitimize the elections that nobody else in the hemisphere would recognize for that dictatorship, that was really it. then everybody realized, this wasn't going to change. this was really as bad and possibly even worse as the bush policies in latin america. amy: i want to interrupt from moment before we really get into the significance of cuba being there. you wrote about hillary clinton's involvement in the coup, or at least in support of the coup in honduras. this weekend, she will be announcing that she will be a candidate for president of the united states. can you briefly summarize as secretary of sta, what was her position at the time? >> it was interesting. she would not say, like a couple of days after the coup, she was asked by the media if restoring democracy in honduras, which she
said she supported, meant restoring the democratically elected president. and she wouldn't answer that question. of course, the white house have put out a statement on the day of the coup, which didn't even oppose the coup. that whatever diplomat in washington, of course, that was the strongest statement you could make in the 21st century. amy: the ousting of's ally a -- zelayah. >> yes, there's every reason to believe what they did in 06 months following it. in her book, she very much it minutes she acted with others, her few allies in the oas, i think she's the word render the question of zelayah's return moot. i think that is the main reason why you have the community of latin america caribbean nations
without the u.s. and canada, specifically because of her manipulation of the oas to stop them from taking stronger action, which everyone else -- just about everyone else in the hemisphere supported, to restore zelayah to office. juan: miguel tinker salas, i would like to ask about the issue of cuba. this is president obama speaking thursday about whether the u.s. will remove cuba from its terrorist watch list. >> as you know, there's a process involved in reviewing whether or not a country should be on the state-sponsored terrorism list. that review has been completed at the state department. it is now forwarded to the white house. our interagency team will go through the entire thing and then present it to me with a recommendation. that hasn't happened yet. juan: miguel tinker salas, what about this removal of cuba from
the list of nations sponsored terrorists? >> a list the was created at the cuba on it. i think it is a political fig leaf on the part of obama. he wants to be able hide behind something, come to the summit, deliver something. the reality is, the u.s. -- cuba for the u.s. became an impediment. it creates in isolation in the region. the u.s. has other interests in the region. they would really like to have discussion about the transpacific partnership, an alliance about the free trade for the americas promote what are really their economic interests. the issue of cuba is a vestige of the past, part of a cold war legacy. it has both national implications in the u.s., but it has international implications more portly. the u.s. is isolated on cuba in the u.n. it is isolated in latin america and isolated in europe, africa, asia. the cuba issue has become an impediment, a block for the u.s.
in the region. so the u.s. has increased its military presence in the region. it would like to really have a discussion about the economic interests. i think jettison the old policy while china maintained sanctions, trying to keep cuba on a terror list, really put it in a contradiction. latin americans reject the idea of the u.s. putting latin american countries on the terror list. they also reject the u.s. putting latin american countries on the list of which ones are allies on the drug war when the u.s. is the largest consumer of illegal drugs in the world. sort of a hypocrisy. i think there's a rejection to that. that is why you had the unit of south american nations committed in latin america and caribe and nations -- caribbean nations, and had such a rejection to the obama policy of sanctions on venezuela because the real effort was to make and as well a the new cuba, to relieve sanctions against cuba to open relations with cuba, to normalize relations while at the same time, keeping some aspect
of sanctions against venezuela placating the right and the west, placating the right within the democratic party, and the whole issue has backfired and threatened to derail the entire summit. amy: we want to thank you for being with us. we will continue to cover this historic summit taking place in miguel tinker salas is a professor of latin american history at pomona college. his new book is called "venezuela: what everyone needs to know." you can read the introduction on our website, and we'll link to his article in the progressive headlined, "u.s. alone once again at americas summit." and thank you to mark weisbrot co-director of the center for , economic and policy research and president of just foreign policy. his article in "the hill" is headlined, "obama could face disastrous summit due to venezuela sanctions." clearly, the u.s. has pulled back on those. when we come back, democracy now! exclusive. a father of one of the mexican young men who disappeared in the state of guerrero last september. stay with us.
americas commences, several u.s.-based latino groups and university officials have signed a letter to president obama questioning his response to the 43 students missing from the mexican state of guerrero for over six months. the letter notes -- "in venezuela, during protests in february and march of 2014, 43 people from both sides of the political spectrum died. in mexico, 43 normal school students were disappeared by government forces. why should on incident serve as a precedent to impose sanctions while the other is overlooked?" amy: mexican authorities say local police acting on the mayor of the goal of attacked the students and turn them over to bring members and killed and incinerated them. so far only one of the remains of the students has been identified. two relatives of the missing students who live right here in new york recently joined us in our democracy now! studio for a radio-television broadcast exclusive. antonio tizapa is the father of jorge antonio tizapa legideño, one of the 43 missing students. we were also joined by amado tlatempa, cousin of another
missing student, jesus jovany rodriguez tlatempa. i began by asking antonio what he thinks has happened to his son. >> what has happened -- he moved here together with his other companions. what we don't understand is why they did it. they are young. they are students. from a normal school from -- from a rural normal school for teachers. they are young people. 90% of the students that are disappeared our first year students.
they only had two months of being integrated into the school . the reason for why they don't appear, we don't know. and that is why we are here. so that they can give us an explanation through this medium and other mediums that can pressure the government. i think -- thank this medium, i thank democracy now! [captioning made possible by democracy now!] because it is the first is given me the opportunity to speak to the american audience. thank you. juan: the government says the youths are dead, but you still believe that your son may be
alive? >> absolutely. 100%. like the rest of the parents, we are sure they are alive. independently, that what others say, that is completely false. we know that they are alive. we know they are holding them alive because they are being detained. we don't know the reason. amy: what has the mexican government told the families? why don't you believe it? >> because the government felt this is ok -- this is a closed case. however, there is no evidence. there is no evidence that show us -- that prove with the government says happened. and while there is no proof, we maintain that they are alive
100%. juan: tell us something about your son. what were his hopes and rains? -- what were his hopes and dreams? >> well, his dream was to continue studying. he had various options. one option was to go to mexico city also to study in a normal school, or to stay where we are from. he went to do the exam at the school where he said, if i have a choice, i want to stay here because i want to stay close to my mother and my family. as his father and his mother said, it is your decision, son.
we are here to support you. and he decided. he loved the relationship with children. that is why he wanted to make the decision to become a teacher. amy: i want to bring amado tlatempa into this conversation. you're the cousin of one, perhaps two young men, who went to the school who were the did -- abducted? and you grew up with them? why would the government target the students? >> this is an old problem that has decades of the school in the government because the students fight for their rights to gain a better life, to gain better
housing for better food, better education. what they do is they take to the streets to be heard. in the government treats them like delinquents. so this is a problem that is been going on for decades. amy:, can you tell us about your cousin jesus and tell us about growing up in tixla? >> we were born and raised. there are not many opportunities for progress. that is why the majority of the use --youth look for that type of school where school is almost free, but lately, the mexican
government has privatized education so only the people with more resources have access to education. this is the repression, not against the middle class, but against the poor. juan: antonio, i want to turn to a clip of your wife speaking about your son in a video that was produced -- >> i am the mother of a missing student named jorge antonio tizapa legideno, 20 years old. we are originally from here, a small town, apparently tranquil, but now corrupted, like many cities, by the delinquency of the government. my son worked driving a van.
at 3:00 in the morning, you do good work. sometimes i would go with them so you was not alone. if not, i would tell him, be careful. we had a time when a lot of yout were killed here in tixtla. he has a young daughter who is one and half years old. we did not ask that this was going to happen full what we're waiting first return of our children. you're going to keep looking. we're not going to stop. amy: your wife is one of the leading organizers for the students. what message do you have living in the united states to president obama and our relationship with mexico? >> well, what i would tell to president obama and is to stop
supporting [indiscernible] the weapons, the arms with those weapons that are supposedly supporting the war against drugs , those arms are being used to annihilate our students. i asked him to stop that aid. that is what we ask of him. the parents and all the citizens of mexico, because we are going through very difficult situation, it is not possible that just because one of the students they assassinate you. so please, no more aid to mexico in the weapons system. amy: if you could talk about the history of the school and its significance in mexico? >> yes, of course, with
pleasure. like i have commented, i am from here and what i can say about the normal rural school, it is a school that was created specifically to help the children of the fieldworkers. in that way, integrate the most marginalized people. the students that attend these schools are set from regions where there is no water, no electricity, and no way to get to school. they have to walk four to five hours to be able to get to school.
and also to educate people. because there are some places where people can't read practically. and in that way to instruct the people and also to understand the laws that we have. the story of the school was that it was founded many years ago with that goal in mind. juan: what are you hoping now that the united states government could do to be able to assist you in finding the solution to what is happened to your son and to the other youth? >> i am hoping that the government will open its heart. the government of the united
states will open it's hard and put some pressure on the mexican government and at the same time, the parents of the united states that are doing some conferences at the school, to bring to light this case so that there is more pressure on the mexico government so there is a solution. at the same time, we have also -- the mother of my child was one of the people who went to geneva at the united nations to build international pressure. that is really the only way we can attain a resolution. so this is the invitation we make to our american friends so they know the problem that is happening in our country
mexico, and we appreciate -- we're so thankful. amy: and your final message antonio? >> my message? well, as a father, i think -- thank everyone here. please, don't forget to support. believe me. it is very -- it is very difficult. the situation i would not wish upon anyone. thank you for your support. amy: antonio tizapa, father of jorge antonio tizapa legideno one of the 43 students missing from guerrero since september. and amado tlatempa, the cousin
of jesus jovany rodrigues tlatempa. the mexican government has said they are dead, killed by drug gangs. a number of the parent of the students are traveling in the united states and caravans, condemning u.s. government for its role in the drug war. they believe the students are still alive. special thanks to the translator. amy: with juan gonzalez. juan: we end today's' show with an explosive new report that reveals the federal government secretly tracked billions of u.s. phone calls years before the 9/11 attacks. according to "usa today," the justice department and drug enforcement administration collected bulk data for phone calls in as many as 116 countries deemed to have a connection with drug trafficking. amy: the program began in 1992. for more, we are joined from washington, d.c. by brad heath the "usa today" reporter who broke this story headlined "u.s. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades." welcome to democracy now!
explain what you found. >> the justice department, sell revealed it had been gathering metadata for calls to designated foreign countries. they left a lot of unanswered questions. what we found in looking at it was that this is a program that was older than i expected and ended up being a lot broader than i expected. i guess it is no surprise overloing that colombia and mexico, but 116 countries is a pretty expansive list. for a long time, they were keeping records of basically all calls from the united states for those places, at first, to try to find drug cartels and the network in the united states then a become a much more expansive thing. the case they revealed it was a guy charged with trying to export electrical equipment to iran.
not a drug case at all. and the thing that really surprised me the most was that when the doj and the dea for said they have been doing this, a lot of people speculated well, here's another example of war on terror tactics that are being applied to domestic law enforcement. and it is actually the other way around. this started 9.5 years before september 11 in george h.w. bush's administration and this was the blueprint for a lot of what nsa started doing after september 11. amy: brad heath, we willing to your report. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
- i find it very rewarding to make bread. you know, it does take time, but it's really not complicated to do. and if you don't have the time to make a classic baguette you could always make a delicious soda bread. this is the way i do mine. take about a pound of all-purpose flour which is 3 good cups and add salt 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. remember, there is no yeast in there. and slowly add 1 1/2 cup of milk. mix with a thick, heavy, sturdy wooden