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tv   Sino Tv Early Evening News  PBS  December 10, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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♪ >> hello, and welcome to the "journal" on dw-tv. i am meggin leigh at the news desk. >> i am peter dolle with the business news. >> coming up, in his absence, jailed chinese dissident liu xiaobo was awarded the nobel peace prize in oslo. talks to find a climate deal in mexico are on a knife into on the summit's final day. >> and a joint currency, a common message. germany and france say they are in step on a plan to rescue the euro. ♪ >> the 2010 nobel peace prize
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has been awarded at a ceremony in oslo, but the liu xiaobo winnerliu, was notably absent. he was represented at the ceremony by an empty chair. the chinese dissident remains in prison in china. since liu xiaobo and his family were not allowed to travel to oslo, the norwegian nobel committee said it would keep his award and the prize money in his name. >> norway's king harald and queen song yet arrived at oslo city hall along with the nobel peace prize committee. but with the guest of honor, dissident liu xiaobo, locked up in a chinese prison, this year's nobel peace prize ceremonies centered around an empty chair. >> liu xiaobo has only exercised his civil rights. he is not done anything wrong. he must be released. [applause] >> liu xiaobo's growing
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international stature continues to split the global community and infuriate beijing. ballenger pressure from china, more than 16 nations boycotted the ceremony. china clamped down on the dissidents arrested -- ahead of the award ceremony. the co-author of news charter 08 demanding political reform in china has been arrested. internet sites reporting on the ceremony have been blocked in china and televised reports have been taken off the air. a norwegian actress read a statement entitled "i have no enemies in liu's absence derica the document was released by supporters after his sentencing a year ago. >> -- freedom of speech, is to trample on human rights, before humanity, and suppress choice. >> at the end of this ceremony, the nobel the, was placed on liu xiaobo's vacant seat.
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this will be kept along with the 1.1 million euros in oslo, until the prize winner can collect them himself. >> we will take an in-depth look at this year's nobel peace prize and the power of words coming up later on in this program. a friend of liu xiaobo's has written a book about him, which also came out on friday. the biography details liu xiaobo's activism beginning in 1989. >> exiled chinese author has known this year's nobel peace prize winner liu xiaobo, for more than 20 years. both are members of the independent chinese penn center, which works for freedom of expression in china. he believes the award could support china's democracy movement. >> it the nobel peace prize get help liu xiaobo be released in help china's featured democracy and more freedom. we have more opportunities in the future. >> his book, "sacrificed to
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freedom," a biography, tells how liu xiaobo first came to prominence in 1989. that is when he held a hunger strike in beijing's tin men square. estimates of the number killed range from 300 to 3000 to last year, a chinese court sentenced liu xiaobo to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion of state power. the author hopes it will be free sooner than that. >> i still think he does not have to stay 11 years. maybe some time he can have an early release. i will never know. >> the chinese government has denounced the nobel committee in criticized liu xiaobo's supporters. the author has also felt the pressure during a recent stop in beijing, on his way to taiwan, his book was confiscated and he was sent back to germany. >> the nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, and economics were
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handed out in stockholm, along with the award for literature. a peruvian border and all forgot that. the nobel academy a credit is his riding with shaping our image of south america. each award is worth 1.1 million euros. moving on to some other news, iran has denied reports that a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery has been released from jail. speculation that the woman was freed began when state television released pictures of her at home with her son. but authorities said the photographs were taken during a shooting of a documentary on the the case. that program is due to be broadcast within the hour, and producers say it will shed light on the of poultry and murder charges against her. amnesty -- on the adultery and murder charges against her. amnesty interest -- amnesty international has condemned broadcast. police and the netherlands say
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packers have targeted the web sites of the country's police and state prosecutors. -- hackers have targeted web sites of the police and state prosecutor. a 16-year-old was arrested in connection with cyber attacks by pro-wikileaks attackers. supporters took to the streets in sydney, australia on international human rights day, protesting against the incarceration of the wikileaks founder, julian assange. swedish other is accused him of sexual misconduct and are seeking his extradition from britain. today's the final negotiations at the u.n. climate change summit in cancun, mexico. after two weeks of talks, differences still remain over key issues. the biggest stumbling block is a divide between industrialized and developing countries on a binding targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions. >> just hours before the summit scheduled conclusion, there were
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still debating a host of major issues. sticking points include whether to enforce jackson greenhouse gas savings. bolivia's president urged negotiators to break an impasse and rescue the kyrah to a treaty. >> if we here in cantu throughout the kyoto protocol, we will be responsible for eco cide. that is the equivalent of genocide, because we are opposing this on humanity as a whole. >> there is also disagreement about climate funds for developing countries and on a treaty to protect forests. japan insists that major greenhouse gas emitters', including china, india, and the u.s., must sign a new binding treaty. >> japan will not associate itself with signing a second amendment, heperiod. it should be established based on the copenhagen accord. it covers countries representing
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more than 80% of global co2 emissions. >> other nations vented their anger at the japanese stand, saying compromise is desperately needed. >> now if this summit fails, shall we be asking ourselves if the u.n. is still the right forum to be talking about climate change? we put that question to the head of the u.n. environment program. >> i always respond to this question by saying, well, why would you blame the united nations as the convene there, the provider of the platform, for a lack of results? it is more a question that the public begins to ask the questions, or the countries that are not willing to come to the table? he was preventing the majority of the world's nations to reach an agreement? in copenhagen, the vast majority of the world's nations were ready to find agreement. it was a few countries listed in the way. therefore, to blame the
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convener when it is the responsibility of other nations to make the agreement possible is the wrong thing. we need a u.n. platform and free-market i do not think we have an alternative. i think we have to begin to hone in on those countries to have a responsibility to be part of a global deal and not to hold the rest of the world hostage for whatever reasons they may have. ultimately, all international deals are a compromise. that means all nations have to give and take. >> time for some business news. peter has the latest on the german-french summit that took place. >> slow progress, but progress indeed. the leaders of germany and france met this friday on the eurozone debt crisis. german chancellor angela merkel and french president nicolas sarkozy had ruled out any joint eurozone bond and said in note to increasing the eurozone bailout fund. -- and said no to increasing the eurozone bailout fund. we have this report. >> the german chancellor came
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with one aim, to secure nicolas sarkozy as an ally for saving the euro. relations among the members have chilled recently over a proposal for joint eurobonds, a proposal rejected by merkel in its fears that it would damage the currency. >> if the euro fails, europe will fail. it is very important to me that we do everything to keep things the way they are. >> merkel says a common eu approach to debt risk is not as urgent as a common approach to their economies. german and france have pledged to harmonize their taxes to avoid future crisis and strengthening the euro. >> if one day there is more integration, and more harmonized economic policy, then a joint bailout of debt could be a possibility. but until then, the french position is in total agreement with that of the germans. >> germany and france will be seeking to maintain their united
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front at the upcoming summit next week, when eu leaders tried to agree to terms of a permanent resting mechanism for the block. >> european stock prices closed mixed this friday with automobiles in demand and financials among the leading decliners. in frankfurt, the dax index closed above the key 7000 level. conrad paul has more on the day's trading from the frankfurt exchange. >> german stocks index climbed again above the level of 7000 points this friday. and it ended the trading session there. the highest closing in two and a half years. what supported the market's between other reasons was positive economic data from the united states. but not all traders are convinced whether we are really seeing a year-end rally of equity prices. several companies lowered their earnings projections. for example, the consumer goods maker.
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and china wants to dampen its economic growth. who knows how this will affect german companies. >> looking at several market indices in more detail, we stay in frankfurt. we see the blue chip dax index closed up about 0.6%. the euro stoxx 50 was actually down just a tad. in new york, investors are weighing the impact of stronger consumer sentiment data at of the holiday season. the dow closed the trading day nearly unchanged at 11,391. on the currency markets, the hero is ready for $1.30 two cents25. ireland has the bonuses of its bankers in its sights. it is already bailed out the banks to the tune of tens of billions of euros. now dublin is trying to get a little bit of that money back, with 90% tax on bonuses. this move comes after reports
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that the near bankrupt allied irish bank wants to pay out 40 million euros in bonuses to executives. the move has been met with outrage. the new tax will not actually affect those bonuses, because they were laid to work done in two dozen it. a spokesman for the main opposition party has called for the tax rate to be increased to 1997. , do you released in doing your taxes? too long, many people and companies here in germany. the coalition in berlin that took office last year promised to simplify tax codes, but the radical shake-up that many hoped for has not yet come about. instead, the government is saying one step at a time on thursday, it unveiled its latest set of proposals. >> christmas is two weeks away, but the government's top finance and do well are presenting packages as an early death. 41 measures aimed at cutting red
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tape and trimming the your overall tax take. >> today, we're putting in as little baggage under the christmas trees of the public and germany's small and medium- sized businesses. it is a package that will ease the burden on them, as well as provide simplifications. this will not completely simplify our tax laws, but it is a step towards less bureaucracy. >> attack to turn that -- a tax return was the holy grail of a cut -- former conservative leader. years later, businesses still complain that germany's tax code is a headache. the government's new measures will mean less paperwork and more electronic tax returns. workers will only have to file returns every two years, and deductibles will be increased. well intentioned, but not enough, says germany's industry association, the bdi.
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it wants a fundamental overhaul the system. the tax return on appear mad is still a long way off. >> thank you for that. some sports news. the it team around the coach has won 13 of 15 games and has won eight games in a row away from home, a record of this weekend, they faced a struggling team. the only question is, how long can this young team keep on winning? >> is all smiles this season. ahead of the christmas break, the coaches time to look at the impressive season and thus far. >> i have read that we play like on a high. i do not sit like that. i think we're highly focused. you can add to that on a high. at least that is my experience. >> they have run over their
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opponents. relentless pressure has turned james around. they have scored almost three goals a game, and the fans believe they have what it takes. >> this is a very clever team. they're young and that they will not win all the time. >> the system is right, and we have great reserve players. that is what gives us the edge it up if a player is out, then another player to take his place. >> two players from their last championship winning team in 2002 have made way for the new young guns. one of the fires has only played for five minutes this season. >> of course we can lose. that is normal. even barcelona, but -- the best team in the world, loses. we have to keep going. >> they are red hot favorites for the title already, but the players know there's still a long way to go into the trophy is handed out in may.
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>> international news, your up- to-date. stay tuned for -- "in depth" coming up next. >> we will be right back. ♪ ♪ >> and the award winning music documentary at dw-store. the youth orchestra of venezuela. the promise of music. a musical adventure on the dvd at dw-store. >> her mother is hiv-positive. he was infected at birth. she probably will not live to the age of five.
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the program and dream aims to present the mother -- prevent the mother to child given to hiv. give them a future. make a donation could save a life. >> the chinese government jailed liu xiaobo last december on the charges of state subversion and for being part of a movement calling for political reform in china. so when the nobel committee announced this year's peace prize winner, the chinese leadership reacted with fury. the award committee in norway said it liu xiaobo is being honored for his long and peaceful struggle for fundamental human rights in china. liu xiaobo has dedicated his prize to those who died in the 1989 pro-democracy protests in china liu xiaobo. now in the international spotlight, beijing has restricted all contacted to his family, friends, and supporters. >> the science is no interviews.
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liu xiaobo lives here. the wife of nobel peace prize winner liu xiaobo. it is one of the most closely guarded buildings in beijing. he has been under house arrest for weeks. >> liu xiaobo will not be allowed to the to oslo to accept the prize for her husband, liu xiaobo. for weeks, she has not given that allowed to talk to me, and i am her lawyer. >> the intimidation campaign began as soon as the prize was announced friends of liu xiaobo met to celebrate, the police stormed in, arrested supporters, and interrogated them for hours. >> we were only getting together. there is no law against that. but you cannot talk to them. you never know who they're going to lock up or why. >> and there's no end to this arbitrariness. reporters could talk to liu xiaobo for a time, but now he is
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under surveillance, too. so is his friend, has been under house arrest since the night of the celebration. but in october, this recording was managed to be smuggled out. >> i am being watched by six security people. they sleep in a hallway in front of my door. ever since the announcement, i cannot leave my house unaccompanied. never before have so many people been put under house arrest for so long. no one knows when this will end. >> when reporters went to pay a visit to him, there was a car at friend with no license plate. 24-hour state security. then he received a phone call warning him not to speak to reporters. and he is not alone. other friends and supporters of liu xiaobo are being muzzled. there is no mention of this in the state-run media.
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and on the streets of china, hardly anyone even knows the name of liu xiaobo. >> i am sorry, i do not know who liu xiaobo is. >> i have heard the name, but i do not know anything about him. >> do you? i do not know we that is. i thought he was a foreigner. >> beijing regards liu xiaobo as a criminal. and they describe the nobel committee who honored him as a bunch of anti-chinese clowns. >> it is not only all chinese who reject this wrong decision by the nobel committee but the majority of countries in the world who respect the rule of law. more than 100 countries and organizations support china's position. >> who exactly is 100 are is not clear, nor what crimes were committed by those under house arrest or beijing, this year's
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nobel peace prize is part of a western campaign against china. >> several other nobel peace laureates have also been prevented from collecting their prize in person. including the burma pro- democracy leader, suu kyi. and in 1936, a german journalist was awarded the peace prize, and not see germany prevented him or his family from travelling to oslo to accept it. -- nazi germany prevented him from accepting it. the writers' group has long been engaged in drawing attention to their plight. >> china, cuba, iran, all countries in which riders face persecution -- writers face persecution. but their only weapon is the written word. >> the word is the most powerful
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weapon against a dictator. the word is what convinces people living inside the dictatorship that this is no life. >> 50 years ago, they founded the writers in prison committee to raise awareness of persecuted authors all over the world. in berlin, actors staged readings for renters forced into exile under hitler and stalin. some writers persecuted by the nazis. >> she is a survivor of the gulag. [speaking foreign language] >> where they burn bugs, there will end up burning human beings, he wrote prophetically almost two hundred years ago. the nazi book burning was
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perhaps the most manifest look at dictatorship turn to oppress the written word. some of germany's best authors fled into exile. > it is astonishing how people in such situations have the power to turn to words, reminding us automatically of situations we have seen today. >> every six months, the document are around 1000 cases of literary persecution. one is the cuban exile, an acclaimed offer that fell at a political favor after writing about prostitution. he fled to germany four years ago. he writes about his home countries under billing. his books about prostitution, racism, criminality, and corruption are copied and distributed illegally in cuba. the deconstructs the propaganda of the communist paradise under the grate. castro. -- under the grade fidel castro.
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[speaking foreign-language] >> with the regime still fearing his writing, he can no longer report as an eyewitness, but he committed its daily with colleagues in cuba, maintaining his cover with one of his 100 or more e-mail addresses. >> i do not think the written word can topple the government, and the dictators know that. but the fundamental thing is that words, books, and literature can mobilize awareness, and that is where the danger lies. >> we meet this iranian of their at an independent -- author and ended in a bookshop in berlin. even today, he declines to be filled in his own home, out of fear of the iranian regime.
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>> all those writers who live in exile certainly miss their language. >> he first had to leave his homeland in 1970 undertaking as stance against the shah . he has lived in germany for the last seven years. >> thanks to the internet, everything reaches the people. many of them have an internet connection and can read it there. >> the regime of mahmoud ahmed in the shot also fears the writer's words -- the regime of mahmoud ahmadinejad also fears the rector's word. >> words can mobilize. they can move us. they can affect us. >> for dictatorial regimes, frankly spoken words can often sound the death knell.
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>> the nobel prize in the power of words, that has been our focus of "in depth" today. thank you for joining us here on dw-tv. stay tuned. captioned by the national captioning institute ♪
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>> hinojosa: he was born on the u.s./mexico border and crossing borders has been the overarching theme of his writing and of his life-- poet, novelist, and best-selling author, luis alberto urrea. i'm maria hinojosa, this is one on one. luis alberto urrea, welcome to the program. a lot to people know you because you're a best-selling author. you wrote across the wire. you wrote the amazing book the devil's highway-- extraordinary. your newest book, into the beautiful north, which we'll get to in a minute. but a lot of people also know you because you're the mexicano
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who breaks all the molds. >> ah, yeah. >> hinojosa: you are not the mexicano who looks like all the other mexicanos that they think they know. >> yeah, yeah. i... in louisiana, somebody told me i was a "bubba-looking mexican." >> hinojosa: bubba? >> yeah, "the bubba-looking mexican." >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) and you can... you even got that southern training twang there. you can... >> well, you know, it's having lived in the south, i guess. i'm fascinated by it. >> hinojosa: i mean, you really are like 100%, and even in your home when you were raised, you were 100% mexicano. your dad didn't even want you to ca yourself a chicano. >> oh, no. >> hinojosa: and you mom was 100% american. >> right. >> hinojosa: she wore white gloves, and you had to say... how did you have... you had to speak in perfect english to her. >> she liked to be addressed as "mother dear." she was a league victorian, you know, and she always... i always say she was the only lady in the barrio with a little veil and a little string of pearls and white gloves, and she would do her hands like this when she talked. >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> and she'd say, "call me 'mother dear.'" you couldn't say, "yeah," you had to say "yes;" preferable, "yes, mother dear."
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>> hinojosa: but you're also 100% mexicano. >> ah, sí, yes! and that way, i'm 200%! ( laughing ) but you know, i mean, if... people always asked me, "why the border?" and i say, "if you had grown up in my house, we had the border going right down the middle of the house," you know? >> hinojosa: was it... was it weird for you? i mean, when you were growing up, were you always conflicted, or were you just like, "this is the way it is for me"? >> it was what... you know, it was... it was the world. i didn't... i thought all families were like our family, and growing up partially in tijuana, partially in southeast san diego-- you know, in logan heights; barrio, spanish speaking. i had my tijuana accent, you know? i didn't know there was any difference between the two countries. i thought tijuana was where grandma lived, you know? you go to buy tortillas in a tortillaria and you see grandma's house. >> hinojosa: but you were also crossing that border every day. so you understood... >> often, yeah, often. it was just an interesting journey. i didn't know until fifth grade
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when we left that little womb of mexicaness and moved to a white working-class suburb. i didn't know first of all that there was anything wrong with tijuana, and i didn't know that there was anything wrong with me. it was the first time i heard i was a "greaser." >> hinojosa: really? >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: so they... how did they know that you were... mexican to call you a greaser, because you... >> well, i had a tijuana accent. i lost that fast! >> hinojosa: oh, so you were speaking english like... >> i... ( speaking in tijuana accent ) i speak it like you speak, you know, in the barrio. >> hinojosa: you were talking english like that? >> ( speaking in tijuana accent ) sure, i had an accent from tijuana. >> hinojosa: which is kind of like borderly... >> it's a little bit... well, i mean, i wasn't in any way a vato, you know? i... in fact, i thought that word was "gato." >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> because our neighborhood was half chicano and half black, and black guys were calling each other"cat" back then, so when i heard "vato," i thought, "well, mexicans call each other cat, too." son gatos, right? but i did have my accent and i was luis, and it took a few years for the folks in that
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neighborhood to not recognize the luis and they decided i french or something. they called me "louie," you know? louie. but yeah, i was called "greaser," "wetback," "taco bender." i thought, you know, wow. i mean, "beaner" was the nicest of those things, and i had never heard such things in my life. it was... >> hinojosa: well, did that immediately kind of make you start wanting to separate from your mexicaness? a little bit of self-hate... >> no. >> hinojosa: because a lot of people have that self-hatred. >> i know. >> hinojosa: "i'm going to deny it; i can pass, i can fit in. let me just put the fact that i'm mexican and speak spanish back here, because it's a lot easier to not deal with that." >> there's so many things to hate yourself about. ( laughing ) you know, why add that? >> hinojosa: what a philosopher! i mean, you know? ( laughing ) >> no, i mean, just... i just think there's so many opportunities in this life to attack yourself, and you know, it was a... it was matter of utter, absolute pride for my father. now, you know, it's a big laugh getter on tour when i talk about
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my father's mexican pride, but it was so profound that my father took credit for every invention being mexican. "oh yeah, mijo, you know color tv? mexicano invented it, the gringos stole it." >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> like, really? "washer/dryer? mexicano invented that, gringos stole it." everything, you know? sputnik the russians stole from the mexicans, you know? he loved it. and the story i often tell, which usually gets a big laugh at his expense but it's a true story is he went to tijuana one day and he knew i was a big reader and going to school and so forth, and he brought home spanish translations of the odyssey and the iliad. and he put them on the table and he said to me, "mijo, study them in the original spanish." >> hinojosa: oh, my god. >> i'm telling you, that's a true chauvinist. even greek was originally spanish. >> hinojosa: so your first book, into the wire, actually you had written that book and you got rejected for ten years? >> ten years, yeah. >> hinojosa: when i read that, i just was like, "wow, you got
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rejected by publishers for ten years and you kept it as a manuscript, trying to sell it." >> yeah. >> hinojosa: and it becomes a best-seller; it gets a great, great review in the new york times. it's about the border. you write some other books along the way. you write an amazing memoire that also is nominated for an american book award? >> got the american book award. >> hinojosa: got the american book award. but a lot of people, again, know you as the writer who brought to forth this story of the yuma 14? >> yes, right. >> hinojosa: just so people can remember, that was the really horrific story of how many people who got stuck in a... well, you tell. tell the story. >> it was may, 2001, and it was a group of men from veracruz who were recruited by coyotes, by smugglers, to come to the united states allegedly to work picking oranges in florida. >> hinojosa: which is another thing that people don't realize-- that there's a lot of active recruitment of mexican workers... >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: come. it's not like suddenly they just wake up and say, "i'm going to..." there are people recruiting. >> oh, well, you know that and i know that, but lou dobbs might
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not know that. i mean, i always tell people on tour, "you know, being mexican does not mean you have an illegal immigration gland in your body." at 13 years old, your body doesn't start pumping hormones that tell you how to cross the border-- it's just not a fact. and people never stop to think that, you know, in the united states, people in iowa city don't really understand the border. well, people in guadalajara don't really understand the border, either. it's an alien zone in both directions, and the coyotes recruit. and so they went and recruited these men; they brought them to sonoyta, sonora. the actual trained coyote vanished-- nobody knows what happened to him-- so a trainee coyote, 19 year old kid, tried to walk them in and they got lost. there were... we know there were 26; there might have been more. some of them vanished and have never been heard from again-- the group that tried to walk back home. the 14 of them, you know, died
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out there in the desert. >> hinojosa: i remember when i was reading the book, i actually, i had to stop halfway through. could not finish working... reading the book. and later i ended up being on the arizona/mexico border and actually witnessing... seeing some of the photographs that are taken... >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: ...of the... the morgue photographs. it's really graphic stuff, but it's the kind of stuff that reminds you what happens on that... on the border. people die horrific deaths... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...from thirst. if they got in a car, 15 minutes away they could be at a 7-11 getting... >> oh, absolutely. there are people who die in sight of that 7-11. you know, one point in the book i talk about a couple of people who died on a mountain where they could see in their sightline a 7-11, and they could... they died, you know, in sight of slurpees and ice cold cokes and things, but they died. the death can get you so
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quickly there. but yeah, it's... i wish i could've stopped while i was working on that book, because it was so overwhelmingly sad and overwhelmingly disturbing. but you know, one of the weird blessings of that event was that it had so upset everybody involved in the story-- including the u.s. border patrol-- that so many people who would not have normally given me access or information opened up to me. they wanted the story told, and so i got this incredible amount of story, of kind of secret data, videos, all kinds of stuff that i wouldn't have gotten before. >> hinojosa: and you actually, on the discussion of immigration, you point fingers at mexico. >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: you point real fingers at mexico, saying, "nice of you to let all of your citizens just like, you know, meet their death at that
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border," and you point a lot of fingers at the united states. >> well, you know, one of the greatest points in the book was made by one of the mexican consoles who accompanied the bodies of the dead back to mexico. once those men had died, then mexico made this huge show of their being folk heroes and noble, suffering paisanos, and they spent $68,000 to fly the corpses home. and this mexican console said to me, "if they had only invested $68,000 in the village, they wouldn't have died," you know, there would have been hope instead of this photo op for a lot of money. i mean, you know, a jet airliner just for the coffins and things like that. so yeah, you know, but people often... what we were talking earlier, about my home, you know, that question of the border running down the middle of my apartment, i have always been interested in that border. not the mexican border-- the human border, right? i mean, isn't that what writers write about? so in a way, you know, you're
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told your whole life, "don't tell people you're from tijuana; it's kind of shameful." >> hinojosa: and you know, i used to live in tijuana. >> i know you did. >> hinojosa: i love tijuana! >> you're my home girl. >> hinojosa: love tijuana. >> yeah, i do too. i think tijuana's an amazing city, and... >> hinojosa: but it's that border city. >> oh, yeah, oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: anything can happen "on the border." >> yeah, remember when we were younger, so long ago, there was that book called poso el mundo by ovid demaris-- you know, everything about tijuana was dirty. and sure, there's been a real sinful element to tijuana all the time, but that's only because it's in proximity to san diego. it... it fed a lot of the, you know, the darker impulses, i think, of the northern city. but tijuana is an area of great cultural, spiritual, and intellectual ferment and tumult, and if you know the city... see, one of my... one of the things i hate about border writing, and perhaps you do too... >> hinojosa: and you don't... you do not call yourself a border writer. >> no, no, i don't think so.
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>> hinojosa: but one of the things you hate about border writing is... >> well, or border reporting. i'm sure you feel something of this. i call it "my day at the zoo" writing, where some sort of manly man goes down and observes the crazy, little brown people a week or two and then writes a book about crazy, brown things crazy, brown people do. and there's very little sensitivity or affection or knowledge or wisdom about the culture that we are making a lot of bucks writing about. you understand? and so... like, if you know tijuana, if you love tijuana, if you see things like the literary renaissance happening in baja, california, or the musical and arts like the nortec collective and this incredible world of music-- and nortec has a radio hit, "tijuana makes me happy." how can you not be happy when you hear the song, you know? so there's a lot of joy. and one of the things that drives me crazy about the border itself is that i think it is seen and promoted in this
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country as this terrible, filthy scar that is dividing two countries at odds with each other. but you could just as easily see it as an imaginary line that unites two countries as neighbors. and there's a lot of brotherhood and commerce and interchange of idea and culture and affection that you've forgotten. >> hinojosa: and one of the things that you decided to do with your most recent book, into the beautiful north... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...because you're a very serious writer. >> ( laughing ) >> hinojosa: you're a serious guy, you know? you take on some really tough issues. >> ( laughing ) but i try to make them funny. >> hinojosa: okay, it's true. but into the beautiful north is about this group of girls-- young mexican girls, and again, one of the reasons why i love the book so much is because young mexican girls right now are seen as kind of powerless... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...the victims of... you have young latina girls in this country feeling powerless, and that's a whole
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other part of the story, but these girls decide to kind of become superheroes, and they decide to cross into the united states to bring back seven amazing men, like in the seven samurais, right? >> right, yeah. >> hinojosa: but these characters... talk a little bit about these characters-- of young women in mexico-- and also the void that we're seeing now because so many men... >> right. >> hinojosa: ...are leaving mexico and coming to the north. what's that doing? because that's essentially what you're book is about, in essence, in terms of the characters. >> right. yeah, i may have errored in making the book too funny, because some of the critics haven't seen that it's probably my most serious book, but it's really funny. >> hinojosa: right. >> but you know, the issues at play are really profound, and i'm talking about a massive transformation of mexico that's going on almost underground and people don't realize it. and part of what was the inspiration was the reporting coming from these towns in
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mexico that don't have men, or men of a certain age. there are little boys and older men, but the working age men, the powerbase, have come north. >> hinojosa: but because these towns have a little bit of money, you have the internet so you have computers that are set up, so you have these young women... >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: ...and young men who are basically like, in a small town in america... >> they are. >> hinojosa: the united states. >> they're in the world. >> hinojosa: they're just a small town in mexico, but they're all consuming... it's fascinating. >> they're in the world, you know? >> hinojosa: they're like, one of them is a goth girl... >> yeah, right! >> hinojosa: ...this goth in a mexican small town. >> yeah, i... la vampe... vampira. and you know what's really odd is i didn't know i have a niece who really, apparently, does consider herself the only goth in culeca, and so they all think, "oh," you know, "it must be about her." i didn't know she was there. but you know, what's going on in those villages then is sort of a groundswell of what i call "folk feminism." towns that have been patriarchal
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forever suddenly don't have ruling males. they're out, and so women are taking power. so that was part of the paradigm that fascinated me. but the other thing is this internationalist experience that people are having, which is really cool. and that is directly from my friends at the tijuana garbage dump-- talking back about across the wire. some person-- a little, you know, tortillaria there on the side-- added a laptop, and then added another one, and because the garbage dump workers are illiterate doesn't mean that their children are. because those people work-- it's the american dream in spanish, in tijuana! they have no intention of crossing the border-- they're mexicanos. so they come to the garbage dump to work, they put their children in school, the third generation has gone from book learning to computer learning. somebody puts in an internet cafe at the tijuana garbage dump. the girls-- nayeli, who's the hero of the book, is based on a
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real girl named nayeli. >> hinojosa: really? >> yeah, who at 19, she's mexicana, turascan, indigenous young woman; through school, learned to use a computer. goes to the internet cafe in the tacoria, tortillaria, and she looks up my web site to see what i'm doing. >> hinojosa: oh, my god! >> they watch you tube, you know? i was able to take her to a conference, a boarder journalism conference at the camino real hotel in tijuana. she'd never been in that hotel, and... she and her mom, and they paid them $300 to speak, and they were like, "wait a minute-- you can earn $300 for just talking?" and i said, "yeah, and i'm going to give you my fee, too," and they were not thrilled-- they were appalled that they could earn $600 for just talking to some camerones, you know? some... but they went in and nayeli, having never done any of this stuff, i took her to her suite and the first thing she did was turn on the bathtub. she was like, "yeah, el banjo," you know, so it's really nice.
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the second thing she did was say to me, "luis, how do i get mtv?" she already knew about mtv. she hadn't seen it, but she knew it was out there and wanted to watch it. so she uses the internet. this summer on book tour, walking down the street in seattle, my cell phone rang. i was like, "what the heck?" i answered it and this voice says, ( speaking in spanish). it was one of the garbage dump women. >> hinojosa: calling you from a cell phone... >> from a cell phone... >> hinojosa: ...that she has... >> from the dumpe, because they can buy, you know, throw away pre-paid telephones. >> hinojosa: well, this is something that people might not know, which is that after you wrote across the wire, you spent... you developed a relationship with the pepenadores-- is what they're called in mexico. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: the people who basically sift through the garbage. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: and you now have an active relationship with them, on your web site you're doing updates about the pepenadores. >> oh, yeah, i've always... you know, i always... i always tell people, "you know, i'm probably the only writer you'll meet out on book tour who got his start washing the feet of garbage
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pickers in the tijuana garbage dump." and i try to do my writing career as though i were still working there. >> hinojosa: in honor of them-- i think you said that. >> well, yeah, i mean, you know, you asked why... why try to get a book published for ten years. i, you know... i wanted to be stephen king, all right? i wanted to, you know, have a fleet of cadillacs and a private plane and some groupies-- that would've been nice-- but i was there and i was seeing this... this secret life five minutes from san diego, and if you stood at the hillside where the garbage dump was... you remember the old dumpe; it's moved since, but the old dumpe was just central south tijuana... >> hinojosa: mm-hmm. >> ...and it looked like a volcano when they burned the trash, remember? you had that big column smoke. >> hinojosa: and you'd see little moving... >> yeah! if you stand on the hill where they burned all the dead animals that they collected in tijuana-- horses, cows, goats, dogs-- they would pile them up and burn them, that's what that smoke was. you could look from that hillside straight to the
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coronado bridge. and i though, "if americans want to understand illegal immigration, all they have to do is stand on this hill and that will answer every question you ever had." >> hinojosa: so where... where do you see things now? not so much as an author, but as a man who is raising his family in middle america... >> hmm. >> hinojosa: naperville, illinois. >> naperville! >> hinojosa: which is a... is a... you know, near chicago, a changing part of the united states as well. but when you look at the landscape and you see so much anger on the question of immigration, what goes on in your heart as you're watching this play out in our country? >> well, it's sorrow and anger and suffering, but also, you know, i'm on the road three times a month, every month. i've been on the road now certainly since devil's highway, so i'd say since 2004 i've never stopped touring. i feel like a one-man blues band. i should get a bus, you know, and go from bar to bar.
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so i'll tell you that the rage and the anger and the all that nativist propaganda is manufactured. i talk to tens of thousands of people. >> hinojosa: manufactured by... >> people aren't as angry as first of all, the propagandists would have you believe. people are concerned, people are baffled, people are open, however, and curious. and i've talked to every imaginable group about this and every kind of person-- people from every side. you know, i get the... i get the added blessing that the border patrol gives me thumbs up, so conservatives will listen to me because they figure, "wow, he must've done something right because the border patrol likes the guy," you know, they support me; they teach my books. so that's been a good... that's been... again, things you don't expect to be blessings end up being blessings, but i have to say that less than 90... i'd say 96.5% of the people i talk to are interested, positive, empathetic, curious.
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a very small percentage are angry and, you know, full of rage about this, and that doesn't seem to jibe with the endless propaganda you hear on talk radio or on certain tv shows. also, i think that the information that america is fed is inaccurate and sort of... i always tell people, "you know, you get inflammation, but you don't get information." nobody talks about how immigration numbers are down by... in double digits... >> hinojosa: the actual numbers are down. >> the actual numbers are down. >> hinojosa: even though the numbers of deaths are actually... >> they don't... the numbers of deaths are fairly steady, but because the numbers of actual crossers go down, you know, percentage wise, the death... because the land hasn't become less harsh, but the numbers have dropped. you know, when... wellton station that i wrote about in this book had 32 agents. it was the... probably the busiest region. you know, crossings in that area, yuma area, about 24% down,
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yet the border patrol station i wrote about has 300 agents now. >> hinojosa: so they're all just kind of like, "hmm." let me get to another border that you talk about... >> okay. >> hinojosa: your work. >> all right. >> hinojosa: and we're all about crossing borders here. >> yes, we are. >> hinojosa: you very graphically kind of open up mexican xenophobia as well. >> oh. >> hinojosa: when you are talking in this small town in this book in the beautiful north... into the beautiful north, you're talking about how people within this small mexican village are talking about the undocumented immigrants... >> right. >> hinojosa: ...that are coming from honduras, from guatemala, from el salvador, and they're looking at them and saying-- these are mexicans now-- talking about the illegal aliens... >> ( laughing ) yeah. >> hinojosa: ...coming from guatemala, and using horrible language... >> sure. >> hinojosa: ...about people who look just like them. >> but it's a global phenomenon, and i think borders are mutating and collapsing and shifting around the globe, and you know,
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that came directly from being in mexico and hearing talk radio in guadalajara. it was ( speaking in spanish), looking for silver and trinkets, and on talk radio this guy was saying, "you know those damned guatemalans coming into our country, they're getting our jobs, they're getting health care, they're getting a good education, they're not part of our culture," and he said, "we should put up a wall on the border. and i thought... >> hinojosa: "where am i?" >> where... wait a minute, you know? that could be on am radio on the united states. and i thought it was funny. you know, when you do enough... as you well know, you do enough of this stuff, you develop kind of a dark sense of humor; kind of a cynical view, and i thought it was really funny. but when it came time to write the book, i realized that there were a lot of factors like that at play, and i wanted to try to... you know, part of your job, i think, is... is pastoral. it's almost like being a minister in that you want... you know, i'm interested in the human soul. people always say, "oh, you're a
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political writer." i'm political agnostic at best. i don't trust that system. but i am interested in what happens in our heart and soul, so i thought, "okay," you know, "there's all this stuff going on in mexico and people probably don't think about, and there's these young women who have all this potential and drive but have no way to get at opportunity, and there's a young gay man." and i thought, "wouldn't it be subversive to write a novel for the american popular reader that would have them rooting for people that they wouldn't normally root for?" >> hinojosa: oh, that's so sweet that they're actually rooting. we've got like 30 seconds left... >> oy! >> hinojosa: but i just want to... i want you to say... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: we should be looking for your work upcoming on the big screen? what are we looking at? >> oh, the hummingbird's daughter is being filmed by luis mandoki with... i was busy, so they hired antonio banderas, you know. >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> banderas is in. >> hinojosa: and into the beautiful north? >> we're hoping. into the beautiful north is making the circuit... >> hinojosa: so luis alberto
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urrea on the big screen. >> ( laughing ) well, my books. >> hinojosa: we'll all be watching out for you. >> thank you. >> hinojosa: thank you so much for your work. >> thank you. continue the conversation at captioned by media access group at wgbh
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