tv Book Discussion on A History of Violence CSPAN June 19, 2016 7:00pm-8:45pm EDT
>> >> for the newly released a second book called a history of violence. this work is hugely important but for the english-speaking public of the united states the circumstances of central america as they make their way to mexico into the united states is a humanitarian crisis. with many dimensions riding with investigative journalism they are bringing the circumstances to life in
your honored and delighted to have him here with us as part of our distinguished guest to be introduced by diana in a few minutes but first i will handed over to sofia. >> the first published the beast in english it was one of the most critically acclaimed books ever. vice huge feed in journalism we are based in brooklyn and london and we see this as critically important and the tent - - critical for the of composition of refugees in central america at large. thank you so much simic into
those who made this happen our moderator and the author of performance in recently published by duke university press and the recipient of numerous awards including the guggenheim fellowship lowe's of the vice president of the of the association and incoming president in 2017 also founder and director of this is to of politics and to introduce our speakers and participants. [applause] we are very excited about this conversation
today, pierre. if you all have microphones. we will be speaking spanglish tonight if you have trouble with that raise your hand. we will try to work it out. it is an honor to introduce the first on-line newspaper in latin america in with the second edition from 2012. writing articles for his project investigating game violence in latin america in
2008 he was the national journalists and then awarded the human rights prize at central american university. most recently is the author of how to cure violence. and of course, the books are for sale here burkhardt publishing for novels his most recent is sacred name about one and discriminate back to work at a novel
writing that the interior circuit interested. [laughter] a guggenheim fellow at the new york public library is written for "the new yorker" in "the new york times" and teaches one semester at trinity college every year. and a journalist investigative reporter and correspondent and a staff writer for "the new yorker". and reporting on latin america and profiles of
it will make a few preliminary remarks to restore. to say a few words about my will colleague oscar martinez i really consider him the great journalists of our time. there's so much i could say but briefly of keywords the violence comes after the bees which is interesting with the journey of migrants and also takes is back to the world to provide that
kind of journalistic narrative. in just a few of the things or the ideas in this is how he is a great artist. with an unbelievable portrait more so than joseph conrad. or any but the you can think of this really makes us confront the abyss. when you are reading in the beast it is the only route that they can avoid the migration in checkpoints in the highway.
and hector chronicles at the light at one point to seek the prophecy of the future. we're used to save the authority of the police these are local people farmers and ranchers to realized the people that are traveling through their area they're unlikely to go to the police they don't want to be deported that we can do whatever they want to them. and so they did. that was horrifying. anything any human does and
great examples of bravery and resistance. and gives food to the migrants along the way. this is a dark darker truth. so it fills me with joy to read it because was finally encounters truth. that is why i read maya rather rare writer that can bring us the truth. that mix of bravery and artistry and also tells us
to seize the terrible journey in every single time across the border to get into the united states is a great victory that we should justin and up and cheer. every single one has to be so brave himself. just to make you feel so proud of the human spirit. they don't understand why they do that. but the great love that drives them. the trauma goes through so much.
but he is so eloquent to portray of what is left behind. that these are our brothers and sisters all around us. they have risked so much and really are the heroes of our society and the last thing i will say especially to confront so eloquently as described this is all our problem. everybody is so complacent in this situation we see it
is the person as braving these situations not only these reporting skills, but the writing talent to bring a the chronicle's from extraordinarily harsh and usually neglected reality. we have been there for a long time and it is getting worse. i don't mean this is a chicken little statement but it has always been overlooked with debt national-security the brutalization to ward off
has too many as possible but the government tended to side with the others in those countries that visited evil upon those - - among those populations. allen of anybody was given asylum in this country i think nobody was. possibly one or two. of a human type that's something you were saying about what happens to people and what he recounted that happen to sell american refugees. this was happening then. and it was happening in the 1980's.
those their reach the american border just as no goes up to the security forces not only re-read but also sexually assaulted before being murdered but the degree of sadism that went on that has never been punished for castigated but it is still in the air the war was ended in the '90s following of model of spain but in this case there wasn't a 40 year dictatorship over time. and as we have seen in all the countries that was used
debate we seem to have your of once they cross the border. i coverdell salvador i met frank their many years ago. but after a time didn't want to go back. but i went back because his brother and a friend who helped found the team of young reporters there is very unique can't quite extraordinary they have heart and passion and soul. i think there is a lot of a
curve. it is completely justified. he controls it better than others. i think is driven by the deep indignation and was born three years into the war i would have to say returning to his country it was worse before there was a war, if you went out you knew who was killing hugh. so there were the notional ideas but now, even more people are dying. very few people are put behind bars for this barbaric crime that they
organized this is a country vet serial killers walk free to know they are walking amongst them sometimes sitting at the same bar uh or cafe or sometimes even see them in the uniform. that is what we left behind but it was finally built after the earthquake in 86 united states built the biggest in the sea in latin america. ice huge white elephant that sits there with no real purpose that the war was over and then it was the fault in to the insurgency
and many others in the hemisphere that would make safe for democracy are now failed states in their own type of narco war. and that itself is worthy of an interesting discussion. >> i could go along for a longtime i feel well represented it is an old-fashioned term but be a patriot in the old-fashioned sense that nobody uses anymore. to have its entire destiny taken away to shoot up -- to
be chewed up that any of us would want to live in. >> when i go back to el salvador and just as reporters 30 years ago the very same people that they need zero or chronicle that can be turned on a dime including those that write about them. there is a great deal of moral courage it is in the much greater way all around
and when i say a peaceful society but it has a singular component. but it isn't how we become a violent society or how can we be so violent? last year as an example that it is slow if you can defend me. so one out of every 972 people has that flowed to the united states. >> if that was in the states it would have been $330,000.
is for the little group of people. >> i don't know how to say the most murderous country in the world right now. but has those are the sites go to trial to have a little possibility. i don't know to tell you a number of homicides so the construction of the state in guatemala, they flee from that equations and have no response as they tried to
leave for natural reasons. of lot of years ago so they talk about that type of the equation. so it tries to put life on the darkest corner of our society. to think that those people experiment since 20 years ago of our corner of our society so that is what i tried to do with the book that is different if there
is a country so violent you can read about these specific equations. saudia like to get close. and i think francisco will talk a little bit about bad but myself a question why this book is important in the united states. and i will be honest it is not my main goal. because recently, i am not talking about people who don't live here but you.
and to the offices of the when and that it supported one side. and then turning into a goodwill ambassador. with the spanish your no evil see no evil but that transitional justice was not contemplated. in to have a major shift. there was also the gulf war and there were some rights around then that had to do with america's frankenstein. noriega and panama. those were the only two wars that became the interventionist power.
so in my expense there was the media. i begin to use e the rest of the world. in the intervening years of this happening. after the soviets were pushed out of afghanistan and that i covered with of the last battles a 99. and nobody was looking. and after 9/11 day when home. and as a nation politically
in for all of the occasional incursions through the campaign through trump's remarks of the undocumented kids this is what takes a hallmark the bench for america to react and they will not reacting to know washington reacts. the alternate land of free speech propelled by and large it is a true statement. and two incredible degree oriented and this is the main reason why. so as ronald reagan did once about upon a time. this is important and it is
up version of of greasy tonight because they don't have to confront did they feel they're in a big island with a confusing wild world with water to crisis at a time. but also would bar will not get looked at. and the times that i have been to editors as a journalist he would say i think there's a great story to be done and i am talking
and the region of the country may be tans and gentle to the story. that is why the key is unique. of a straight up and recording of any members treated think of across this country with the news brief or even a news feature but it doesn't just have the same impact. "this is it". i had a conference here had what has happened in all of the country's? to some degree and a half in
57 years ago. i would bet in the last year-and-a-half president reagan. [laughter] or president obama that there is more positive coverage. or for that time any of the mainstream in the last year and a half. what does that tell you? that editors take their cue from the white house. pretty much. this whole policy is in the state.
to c43 students in mexico but two years of persistent coverage non-indian stream press breaking one aspect of this story for another after another. and they were incredibly important. and that is tremendous. in something that i found it so fascinating when sean penn and blah, blah, blah. [laughter] and a fantastic chapter in the book with a policeman
are murdered in get wiped out. when he goes to put this in that order any right about where the problem is all the prosecutors or enforcers the united states has an obsession it comes one after the other. because then it is the endless supply. and what he should talk about he talks about the challenges like guatemala or how counterproductive of
your strategy so why didn't the your time gore "the new yorker" and how does that affect the core? >> i will try to complement that great explanation with experience. i remember three years ago i watched an article for a national newspaper said in that moment with the editor there were not born in central america. and i remember that the
editor said that is the headline, i think it is incredible. it is basic information about guns in the south of california. chronicled what you have talked about i remember guatemalans of extradited then it and in guatemala i ask the former minister of security who is now hiding somewhere, i asked him if he
was extradited out of america he said no way he is like the referee in he did not kill a lot of people he is low priority the priority of our government. so they give me helicopters to catch him. and aias can in that moment if you can use those resources to do something about security in guatemala, would you? he is his answer was against the fight of the debt numbers is is like being in a very tough neighborhood in of guatemalans.
started in 2003 in el salvador and after that came the super strong hand and the super -- no, that -- yeah, in fact, it exists. in 2003, there embassy of the united states in el salvador was with that kind of politics more than a decade before. they know that doesn't work so in some moments we feel like a kind of experiment in the issue of security. i think that happened during five years in terms of issues involved with government members or organized crime. but i think that in central
america we the journalist don't do our work -- we didn't do work for like a lot of years. we didn't say nothing about that. we didn't understand gangs in 2003 because we don't use to go into the neighborhoods. so i think in guatemala and honduras that is a huge part of the problem, too. >> i think in fairness it is also true that a lot of people have been killed doing this. we were working with a filmmaker, i cannot remember the year, where he did the -- and he goes back and got killed two weeks after we saw him in chapas.
it has never been an easy task even if you decide you are going to talk to those people. >> yeah, i just have to say in my particular case i am privileged because if i say i need two more months they are going to answer me take three months. but in a lot of countries like mexico or honduras for example, the media don't kill the journalist but put the gun to his head because if you are a journalist and your newspaper makes coverage of the concert of brittany spears and the next day you cover football and in the afternoon you have to go to a place controlled by the organized crimes. that is your responsibility but not by you for the newspaper to do that. there is a lot of journalist who go to places without
understanding anything because in central america a lot of owners of newspaper, and huge radios, or tv channels think that journalist is like work in the pizza shop and you have to deliver the product. and i think that is the reason because a lot of journalist in honduras, for example, die because they have no support. in mexico, too, for example. mexico, some journalists, his salary is 30 pesoes per day. that is like 2.50 per day every day. and they have to use part of that salary to put gasoline in his car.
how you can intellectual work under that principle is not thinkable. >> taxi driver? [speaking in native tong tongue] >> i cannot help mention this. you find it remarkable. you think of the breakthroughs. there is the free lance journalist who has been wearing the same clothes for five years. there is one that discovered there was no fire at that dump talking to the dump workers. a bunch of at uc berkeley was
run out of the country and the petition of the federal police in the case. and now it turns out free-lance photographers on a roof top accused of planting evidence. >> should we open up to questions from you all? yes. i think this mic is over here. if you want to go over to the mic that would be great otherwise we cannot hear. >> hi, thank you all for being here and thank you for the work you have done. i just want to touch on an issue alluded to this in the introduction. a brief comment about alluding to the fact if we look in our own country you can see those things happening.
there is a book i read called ghetto side which is very much like reading oscar's work. it is about murders in los angeles on the south side. the points she came to were completely the opposite of the current understanding of what is the problem in the ghettos. so this woman wrote a book that came out about a year ago and completely destroyed all of the operating principles about how the police and justice system should work in the policing of criminal behavior in the criminal ghettos. it is a substantial and important argument. she basically argues there is no justice system in these areas but the homicide rate has dropped in the ghettos but stayed the same in the black communities. the killers are not brought to justice.
there is simply no operating justice system. here we have a reporter who has turned the entire discussion of the politics and the method of reducing homicides in the united states, which is very substantial in these communities, and if we look at that and look at the operating principles of the drug war or the discussions, is it potentially parallels or similarities that can be drawn and where the journalist stand in this conversation? >> yeah, there is a lot of models that are wrong, for example. but you have this year two weeks ago -- >> the united nations general on
drugs -- the drug summit. >> but there is solid information that the war against drugs is based on nothing. and i think that in el salvador it is a great example of how not to construct a country. we have all of the ingredients and you say no, no, no, if you want a good society. but i think it is -- not now, years ago you would solve the problem with just guns and bullets. it is obvious it is an issue of guns, it is a problem of identity, too. it is a group of things. not just a violence problem or a
security problem. but they are still applying the same method. i don't have an answer. i suppose that maybe the media is not strong enough in those countries and the denounce is not too strong or maybe the society is so divided. that is something very common in central america; that anything happens. sometimes, you can shout things and you know that a lot of people feel it, and nothing happ happens. we have a very sleep society. guatemala is not the best example in the last year because they have been taking to the streets but in el salvador that is what is it is like. for example, we had a truce
between government that was started in march of 2012. with the truce, the army size reduce like half. but the opinion of the society about the politicians came down, too. people don't like the -- the interest is not less dead. the interest is less dead but with bullets killed them all. that is typical of the central american society. resolve with bullets. not with dialogue. we don't want dialogue. we want to kill these guys and that is the solution we will put forth. >> i want to ask oscar a question. sorry. after you. i was following up on what he was saying. >> my question is basically
about the ideas of the guilt and innocence that are constructed around who is a juvenile versus an adult. this plays out in terms of how our foreign aid money is delivered in central america with an emphasis on youth and children in particular as though they are somehow the ones who can be rescued and are victims of circumstances whether than making proactive decisions to commit violence and therefore guilty entirely. the same with the attention such of it was that was given to the child migrants here. it was only the youngest ones -- i was in washington in those days and people were just saying they are younger and younger and younger as though this the manager -- the thing that matters and forget about the
older people and in their 20s. how do you distinguish younger ones are victims of circumstance and then they turn 18 and must be treated as criminals on both sides of the border. >> it is going to be very complicated but thank you for your question. i am going to try to do my best. okay. yes, i watrote articles for my nation about central american children. they were not child in central america. a guy was 17 years old and entered america and maybe he is more adult than a guy of 30 in another part of the world. mostly that guy is from the rural areas. but i think that is question about that crisis of child
migrant was the wrong question. the people asked what changed and i think that the question is what thing never changed. it is like, a lot of people in central america have a perception of the violence and it increasing in el salvador because the truce went down in guatemala and the solution about the political system. that is my opinion, of course. they have several reasons to think that in honduras. but in the lowest of the reform here in the united states, not going to happen, if it does it includes a lot of people. make that a lot of people thing it is great.
of course, this play as role in that. they started offering services because it was cheaper. you come to the border and you don't have to walk through the united states. your question was what am i doing with my journalist abilities and that attention to the population. >> the distinction between helpless children and adults. >> i don't if i am doing a lot about that distinction. i think it is very important to explain the life of the young people in central america because it is a very complicated age. if you have 20 years or 23 years
it is probably that members stopped to get involved with gangs. but between 10-17 you will suffer a lot of pressure if you live in a neighborhood with the control of guns. you are going to suffer a huge or you are going to have a terrible life as a teenager because you will have to go with your mom everywhere. they have to pick you up off the school bus, you have to be in the house all of the time. so it is not a good place to be a young guy. it is not a good place to dress like a young guy. it is not a good place to live like a young guy. you have to try to understand the population, of course, i hope that the message was not,
okay, let's seek out the young guys and forget about the other people, no. but i think it is important to focus on these people. i don't know if i answered your question but i try. >> just a really quick question. guatemala, put the president in jail, a lot of politicians in jail and gets a lot of military. we know this because of the international commission department, united nations against organized crime. el salvador and honduras are they asking to succeed and would it make a difference? >> i think so. i think it is like international commission against corruption and impunity establishes in guatemala in 2000 under the
commander of the united nations. so, yes, i think it is necessary. i don't understand why honduras is giving steps to that. i don't know if honest steps but in el salvador, no. in fact, honduras asked for a -- they showed preference to honduras and said honduras had a problem with displaced people, internal refuges. el salvador did not meet that situation. they said no, we don't have a problem with internal refuges. we didn't need the help of -- >> the agency for refuge. >> i understand my el salvador doesn't want that but we need an
external in a country like el salvador. we have two strong political parties in el salvador and they are never going to be agreeing on mostly anything. right now they are agreeing security, some security loss, but because the left government made a great play, they show a video where members were decapitated in el salvador. so who wants to say no to the reform of love? >> it became viral. >> but if we talk about corruption, if we talk about things like secession, in
guatemala the former prosecutor in guatemala, we don't have anything like that. the highest politician we have right now on the process it is -- i don't know to say that in english. substitute congressman. that is the highest level. i mean, it is a joke. >> if you could speak to the issue of not so much as a journalist but in a society perspective in terms of central america. i say this only in the context of the triangle countries. we have the situation in belize that is similar to the situation of el salvador with belize being
expelled. in nicaruaga there is gang work there. the revolution had a totally different experience in terms of state and violence. an anti-gun but in the communities you see that in the homicide rate. that is the first question. what is the contextt of the s t state and our culture and violence? the second is, most people here to the extent they don't know, are americans. the fact is we have the whole slew of other groups in the region that are also coming here. new york itself, in the bronx, mom is living in queens.
i don't know if you can speak to that from the point of origin from these groups. >> i don't know too much to say about that. i never made that difference between one and another group. i understand that is more something i have to do here. there is a huge difference from being from guatemala than young guy from the capitol of el salvador. there is a lot of indigenous people who can not speak spanish. i suppose that it is twice complicated to create a good life here. but i started last year to make some coverage here with the
communities of arrival. i published three articles now and i think i am working on the next two years on central america and violence. that is my answer. i never made a difference but i know that, for example, in the community of honduras, people from the frontier, i didn't in the caribbean, but in the first year of the investigation team, we covered nicuaraga and how violence is not so violent. you had a recent war, you were poor but not violent. i have an opinion. i don't have the answer but i
have an opinion. my opinion is tat because one side one the war, say in the one way, that group of people today run the government nicaragua and i think in honduras we don't have a network of society. you have ten young members who control neighborhood with 2,000 habitants. how you going to explain that because we don't talk to the neighborhood, we don't go into the streets. we don't do anything. we don't react. for example, there is one guy from el salvador, one of the little ms-13, they have to
tools. he tried to escape from prison, from a judge, and he tried to hide in nicaragua and the people saw a weird guy and called the police and the police arrested him without helicopters. they just needed somebody to call them. in el salvador a person can walk wherever they want in the community and anybody is going to call. [speaking in native tongue]
and the second one is how good has the reception of the book been in spanish. >> my first answer is no. i never used that way of seeing things when i covered migration. i never focus on indigenous population. i made the effort, but that is trying to make coverage of what is being done. the road in mexico is changing all of the time. i never give that distinction. i was shocked when on the
border, the state of the north of guatemala, border with mexico, the government said in 2012 there is leaving a lot of nodical communities in a protected area. they went there to those communities and they showed the locals like a huge success of the government. when i went there to show who people moved from that area. it was indigenous who live there because they don't have the land to go -- if you see a plane near you and a guy said i will give
you a $100 if you put it down you will do it. that is normal you do it. that is fair. you have to do that if you live like these kind of people. yes, there is chronicle about life. in guatemala, like in mexico, it is easier about the migrants because they don't matter, they don't vote. in guatemala, it is easier to lie about indigenous population for the same reasons. [speaking in native tongue] >> i suppose it will be in spanish this year? >> some chronicles but we make
up our process like for months. but in the united states -- [speaking native tongue] >> i thought that anybody is going to read the book -- it is a book that talks about nobody. it is a book about people from another country who cross another country. nobody want to read about that kind of thing. but i think it had a good receptive in the united states. when people read the books, it happened with both books, sometimes i don't understand the
people say hey congratulation for writing the book. where appreciate the information -- i. or people say why did you do that. ? it is a scary book without no solution. >> i think we have time for three last questions and then we will have to start wrapping up. >> my comment is related to what you mentioned. do you see hope for el salvador and for the region in general? and what solutions do you think -- or what steps could be taken to stem the violence? >> that is a variety of opinion. that is my opinion. my answer is no. i don't see hope. i don't see any particular signal of change in my count
ray. i don't see politician to understand how to better the problem. i don't think solutions will apply for the real problems. i just see the same thing i saw all of my life. so, sorry, but my answer is no. >> hi. [speaking in native tongue] >> why is there so little mention of the failed -- and how it has affected both mexico and central america. >> complex to explain. i think mexico is developing now with controlling the south border in the most tiny part of
your country. my answer isthis doesn't explain all of the migrants. it is a proximation involved with the organized crime. when i say organized crime i mean mexican government. if organized crime had no contact with government it is not organized crime. if you are organizing crime in mexico and you don't have contact with the government you are not crime. >> there is this fabulous art activist we work with closely in
mexico who talks about organized crime which are the drug dealers, disorganized crime which is the government, and then you have like the transnational crime which are the ones we haven't talked about the transnational corporations exact technologies and all of this tacking land away from people and displacing and killing people. you have all of this crime only the organized crime is what gets attention. >> in mexico, the mexican organization of the 28 crimes that you can commit under the convention of -- they don't commit just one.
[speaking in native tongue] very quickly, how can we understand what is happening in terms of violence? not only looking at central america, which is very important, but also in terms of what is happening in mexico and latino america. how can we understand in this economy, what is the purpose especially in the context of mexico to the united states. we can see some of the files for
the last 20 years. you mentioned in 2007 when we saw the migrants coming and in one of them you talk about nobody. -- nobody can save the migrants. >> thank you for your question and please help me to add ingredients. it is a huge question. i would write a book with just that answer. in the north of central america, you cannot compare costa rica and panama with el salvador.
that is not fair. in central america, i think the biggest problem is the construction of the state. >> that is why the first chapter of the book, the construction of the state in central and north of central america, the state was made to protect a particular group of people. that is a huge problem. [speaking in native tongue] >> i think that is a huge problem. the society was built with that kind of state. in the last seven months, i
covered two police massacre in el salvador. we had to leave because the publisher of one of the massacre of eight people in a coffee plantation -- the please said there was like a cross fire. but she had just one bullet inside her mouth when they found her. last week, for example, the department of state, mentioned that massacre on the human right report. but we found she survived the massac
massacre, she heard her son begging for his life. and you know what happens? she never denounced. she stuck with hus. she is a mother who hear how the police killed her son and she just talked with journalist because we found her. you have a mother who doesn't believe in the state even after they kill her son. what can happen when a mother goes with journalist and after we publish the story it is very
i want to thank everybody else here. thank you so much. oscar can sign books. they are on sale here and there is a student 50% off. so we can have a traffic in books. >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> booktv tapes hundreds of author programs throughout the country all year long. here is a look at events we will be covering this week.
dana lash is at our studios on monday in new york city for taping of our weekly author program after wards. she arguse the united states is dividing itself into two countries. coastal america and flyover america. she will be in conversation with fox news contributor guy benson. tuesday, the nation magazine's michael smith will discuss his life and political education as a young black man in america. then on wednesday, at brook line book smith in brookline, massachusetts, former news week whitehouse correspondent recalls the public upheaval that hook place in the united states in the '70s. and mary eberstat on friday will argue people of faith are experiencing widespread discrimination because of their beliefs.