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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 7, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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06/07/18 06/07/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i am just so thankful. i feel it my life is starting over again. this is a miracle day. this is one of the greatest days of my life. the most unexpected thing to happen to me in my life. amy: alice marie johnson is a free woman after president trump commuted her life sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction, thanks in part to a white house visit by kim kardashian west.
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the 63-year-old great-grandmother has already served 21 years behind bars, but this still leaves thousands of others prisoners serving life without parole for federal drug -- nonviolent drug offenses. we will speak to the aclu. then to nicaragua. bishopsn my brother and sorroww. amy: as pope francis calls for peace in nicaragua, we look at the mass protest against daniel ortega's government. more than 100 people have been killed since april. then to mexico where a federal court has effectively thrown out the government's investigation into the disappearance of 43 college students from ayotzinapa teachers school in 2014 and ordered a new investigation. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. afghan p president ashraf ghani has announced an unconditional ceasefire with the taliban to last until june 20. the ceasefire comes after muslim clerics in afghanistan issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, against suicide bombings after an attack on claimed by isis monday killed 14 people who had gathered for a clerics' peace summit in kabul. this was president ghani's first unconditional offer of a ceasefire since his election in 2014. the white house says president donald trump may hold a second day of talks with north korean leader kim jon-u-un when the par meet for an unprececedented sumt at a five-star hotel in singapore next week. trump will meet in washington today with japanese prime minister shinzo abe to d discuss north korea a before both head o canada for a g-7 summit on friday.
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the preparations come as trump reportedly held a testy phone call wednesday with canadian prime minister justin trudeau, telling him "didn't you guys are down the white house?" it was an apappearance reference to the war of 1812 when british forces, not canadian, torched the white house. meanwhile, a spokesperson for dennis rodman said wednesday the former nba basketball star may attetend next week's trump-kim summit in singapore. rodman twice appeaead on trump's nbnbc reality tv s show elebriry apprentitice" and has s repeatey traveled tnonorth koa,a, where he s spentime wiwith kim jong-u, o he's called his friend for life. in san diego, california, a federal judge has ruled that an aclu lawsuit challenging the trump administration's policy of separating children from their undocumented immigrant parents may proceed. u.s. district judge dana sabraw on wednesday dismissed a trump
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administration challenge to the suit, saying if the conduct alleged in the suit is brutal and offensive. the ruling came as attorney general jeff sessions defended ththe trump administration's policycy amid growing outrage or reports of border patrol and ice agents ripping toddlers and even babies from the arms of their mothers. this is sessions being questioned by the conservative talk radio host hugh hewitt on tuesday. >> i understand the prosecution part, but is it necessary to separate the children? could they not be detained in facilities where at least mothers and infants could remain together? >> most are not infants. most are teenagers. although, we do have a number of young once now, more than we have seen recently. they are maintained in a very safe environment, not by the law enforcement team, the department of health -- homeland security, but with health and human
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services. amy: according to the florence immigrant & refugee rights project, infants as young as 53 weeks old have been brought to court hearings alone after they were forcibly separated from their parents by u.s. authorities. meanwhile, in mexico city, parents who've been separated from their children in the united states gathered wednesday for a forum aimed at family reunifications. this is ana laura lopez, who's unable to be with her children in the u.s. >> deportations and deportees are more than just statistics and topics for current affairs. we are human beings s who went o the u.s. to work. we fought to have a better life, and where currentltly separated from our families. what we want most is for us to be with our children, for there to be a bit more sensitivity a d humanity from authorities as well as the broader society. amy: white house budget director mick mulvaney fired the entire advisory board of the consumer financial protection bureau on
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wednesday in the latest move by the trump administration to render the agency toothless. this comes after mulvaney, who serves as acting director of the consumer watchdog, requested $0 in funding for the cfpb earlier this year. as a republican congressmember from south carolina, mulvaney repeatedly voted in favor of bills that would have eliminated the bureau. a federal judge has ruled that environmental protection agency head scott pruitt must p produce evidence to back his claims that humans are not the primary cause of climate change. the lawsuit stems from a freedom of information act request filed by a watchdog group which sought to have the epa cite any studies that might be used to corroborate pruitt's claims, which defy nearly all available climate science. the foia request came after pruitt made this remark on cnbc in march of last year, not long after his confirmation as epa administrator.
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measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there is tremendous disagreemement about the degree of impact. no, i would not agree that it is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. amy: meanwhile, two top epa officials have resigned over a mounting series of scandals involving scott pruitt, who faces more than a dozen ethics investigations. epa scheduler millan hupp will step down amid reports she helped pruitt go apartment hunting and helped him shop for a used mattress from the trump international hotel. also resigning is pruitt's senior counsel sarah greenwalt, who traveled internationally and across the united states with pruitt as he met with industry officials and foreign diplomats. on wednesday, elaina plott, a journalist with "the atlantic," reported she was castigated by
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epa spokesman jahan wilcox when she asked for comment on the resignations. wilcox reportedly told plott, "you are a piece of trash." meanwhile, president trump praised the epa's s embattled leader wednesday during a cabinet meeting at fema's headquarters in washington. pres. trump: administrator scott am at -- thank you, scott very much. epa is doing really, really well . summit has to say that about you a little bit. amy: president trump made that remark after he toured fema headquarters alongside his wife melania trump. it was the first public appearance by the pair in nearly a month after the first lady vanished from public view following kidney surgery, prompting speculation about her well-being and whereabouts. during trumpmp's tour of fema, e president did not mention a new study that found hurricane maria killed more than 4600 people in puerto rico, 70 times the official toll.
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trump did make the claim that the u.s. coast guard saved 16,000 people who sailed into the gulf of mexico to watch hurricane harvey as it struck texas last year. the coast guard says there is no evididence t to back trump's clm and so does the texas governor. ukraine's prime minister is insisting radiation levels in the capital kiev and around the chernobyl nuclear power plant remain safe after a wildfire tore through a forest that remains heavily contaminated by a reactor meltdown in 1986. scientists say smoke from the fires has the potential to contaminate crops up to 100 miles away with enough radioactive isotopes to make food unsafe to eat. in guatemala, the death toll from a volcanic eruption near guatemala city has risen to 99 as hope fades the nearly 200 people who remain missing. guatemala's government says some 4000 people are living in shelters after lava and ash
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destroyed homes and engulfed whole villages. this is survivor amilcar ajajacabon.. >> this is just going to be a cemetery b because the town is gone. those victims, they are right there. they are buried. amy: spain's newly appointed socialist prime minister pedro sanchez has unveiled his new cabinet, with women making up 11 of his 17 cabinet posts. the momove makes spain t the coy with the highest proportion of women heading government ministries. it contrasts with the male-dominated cabinet of recently-ousted prime minister mariano rajoy, whose cabinets had at most 36% women. president trump has commuted the life sentence of a woman who was imprisoned for a first-time non-violent drug offense after her cause was taken up by reality television star kim kardashian west. alice marie johnson, a
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63-year-old great-grandmother from memphis, was released wednesday from federal prison in aliceville, alabama, where she had been serving her sentence for nearly 22 years. >> this is a miracle day. this is one of the greatest days of my life. the most unexpected thing that happened to me in my life. i'm soso thankful.l. i feel likee my life is starting over again. amy: we'll have more on trump's pardon of alice marie johnson after headlines. we will be speaking with the aclu. in mesa, arizona, four police officers have been placed on paidid adminisistrative leave ar susurveillance v video showewedm repeatedlyly punching an unarmed man and slamming his h hd into a wall. the e video, whihich was rececod withthout sound, appears t to sw 3333-year-old robert johohnson d nono threat to o officers as he leaned againstst a wall ofof a
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hahallway in a an apartmenent c, when the o officers susurroundem and d began pummeling g him with ththeir fists s while knocockinm to t the ground.d. this isn''t the e first time mea police havave faced chcharges of excecessive forcrce. last dececember, a jury foundd former mesa officer phphilip brbrailsford not guilty of murdering 26-year-old daniel shaver, an unarmed man gunned down in a hotel hallway in 2016 as he repeatedly begged for his life. bodycam video of that incident shows the officer ordering shaver to crawl on his hands and knees before opening fire repeatedly, killing the man. a new "washington post" study finds that more than half of all murders in u.s. cities go unsolved, with a homicide e arrt rate of just 49%. the finding is based data from more than 50,000 homicides in 50 of the largest cities in the u.s. over the past decade.
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"the washington post" also found that police ininvestigations of murders involving white victims were significantly more likely to result in arrests than ththoe involving black or latino victims. members of the super bowl champion philadelphia eagles are speaking out after they were disinvited by president trump from a planned tomb celebration at the white house earlier this week. on wednesday, eagle safety malcolm jenkins actually did not speak out, he was silent -- holding a series of signs handwritten before reporters in 18 locker room in response to their questions about the cancellation. among the signs jenkins displayed, more than 6060% of peopople in ison are people e of color. going gave $1 million to charity. in 2018, 4 to 39 people shot and killed by police thus far. a new study by the environmental
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group greenpeace found plastic waste and toxic chemicals in remote parts of antarctica, adding to evidence that pollution from human a activitys impacting every corner of the planet. greenpeace activist and biologist grant oakes said a major culprit is single-use plastic. >> single use plastic, they believe now is accounting for up -- in the ocean. for the moment of convenience, sometimes it has hundreds of years of lifetime in the ocean. amy: this month the european commission unveiled draft rules that would ban an array of single-use plastic items, including plastic plates, cutlery, and straws. and ira berlin, the extraordinary historian who chronicled t the history of u.s. slavery, has died at the age of 77. he studied millions of documents in his lifetime to tell the
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stories of african americans fighting for emancipation. his books include "generations " and many thousands gone. the first two centuries of slavery in north america. he once said of his work, one does not get over history. one just has to come to terms with it. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. president trump has commuted the life sentence of a woman who was imprisoned for a first-time non-violent drug offense after her cause was taken up by reality television star kim kardashian west. alice marie johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother from memphis, was released wednesday from federal prison in aliceville, alabama, where she had been serving her sentence for nearly 22 years. this is johnson speaking shortly after her release. >> i want to thank president donald john trump.
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thank you. thank you. thank you. i want to thank kim kardashian west. thank you. kim, thank you. thank you. this is a miracle day. this has been one of the greatest days of my life. the most unexpected thing happened to me in my life. when they all came on, then i oiced kim kardashian's v and she's the one who told me that i was free. that i was going to rejoin my family. amy: kim kardashian west met with trump at the white house last week to advocate for a dust for johnson's freedom. kardashian west became an advocate for johnson after seeing this video o produced by >> after my jury trial am a i was sentenced to life in prison. life.
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i st my jo i struled financially. i nnot fina job ttake car of mfamily. amy: while alice buried johnson has been released, thousands are still serving life
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without parole for nonviolent drug offenses. well, for more, we're joined by jennifer turner, who was part of the legal team representing johnson in her application for clemency. she is a human rights researcher with the american civil liberties union and author of the aclu report titled "a living death: life without parole for nonviolent offenses." welcome to democracy now! so talk about alice's case. talked about how she ended up in jail and now what has happened. great grandmother, mother of five. because of circumstances, a -- she had lost her into foreclosure, got laid off from her job, was taking care of her five kids. lost her youngest son in a scooter accident. she became involved in a drug conspiracy basically to support her family. she relayed messages for drug dealers who are moving cococaine fromom houston the memphis and ultimately was convicted mostly based on the testimony of the
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conspiracy and was sentenced to a mandatory term of life without the possibility of parole. this is her first arrest and first conviction of any kind. with that clemency from president trump, she would have died in prison. nermeen: how did you come to represent her? this was not the first time you attempted to get clemency. he attended first under the obama administration. >> that's true. i first corresponded with alice five years ago. i learned about her case car wrote about her and report we published profiling the cases of people serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses. she was represented by other counsel in a clumsy petition before president obama, which was denied in the final days of the presidency with no explanation -- as to agree the case. i was flabbergasted she was denied. to me she seemed like the perfect candidate. she served one third of her life in prison. the warden even supported her,
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the application. i took on her case more recently and became outom and kim kardashian expressed interest in getting involved. clumsy is really the only way she is going to get out and in this case, maybe it could work under this president. although it seemed like a long shot at the beginning. amy: kim kardashian took her case to the president last week. >> she did. she met with donald trump at the white house and made her pitch. amy: if you're lucky enough to have a celebrity on "celebrity apprentice" are your case before the president -- how does it work with the justice department? did this go to the regular channels? then, of course, how another people are in alice's position? >> in this case, we submitted a petition to the white house directly. the president has unfettered clemency authority. he could grant mercy to any federal prisoner he wishes to --
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whose sentence he wishes to reduce. alice is one of thousands of people who are sitting in federal prison who have made the best of their time there, who have really deserved a second chance or serving extreme sentences that do not fit their crimes. who if given the opportunity to reunite with their families, would live law-abiding lives and contribute to the community's just like alice. i've seen thousands of cases of people who are deserving of clemency who could be rereleased with no harm. nermeen: i want to turn back to alice marie johnson speaking yesterday after her release from prison. she spoke about the role kim kardashian west played in her presidential pardon. , to went in, and shawn ally talto the psident about ale johns and reay exain to him whyhe woulde such good pern torant mitedo. i ju feeleally stng is that she hass strongupport system.
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she has a bb waiting f h her. shshe such a great supportive family tt just even sing e work thashshe is done whwhile susan prison knowi thahat e wod d nevegett out? shis done her time she is done on was 22eaears. nermeen: that was kim kardashian west. now let's go to alice marie johnson speaking yesterday after her release from prison. >> i've always called her my angel. now she is my war angel. only war angel's never give up. she is been relentless in her fight for me and to know a woman who has never met me, who has embraced my story and taken me to her heart, not just -- this is not a publicity thing for her. kim told in which you left the white house meeting that no matter how this turns out, that she will never stop fighting for
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me until i come home. an incredible woman. an amazing woman. amy: that is alice marie johnson speaking after her release. could you comment on what she said, jennifer? she was released yesterday, yesterday evening. do you know what her plans are? >> a caravan of four cars of her family drove to the prison to pick her up. amy: in the prison? >> remote in alabama. alice refused to leave until her family was there so she could be reunited with them. she is going to be living with her brother in memphis. she has a very supportive family . she is one of nine kids. she is six grandkids. very close family. she are ready has a job lined up. in reunitedworking with her family immediately. she is not seen her great-grandson yet. her daughter has newborn twins, mutual meet shortly. it is a joyful moment for the whole family.
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nermeen: one of the amazing things, right after getting out, she has been advocating and interviews for the thousands of people who are in prison for nonviolent offenses. let's go to a c clip of alalice marie johnson speaking this morning on "the today show." you have been very straightforward about the mistakes you made. you were convicted. you spent that time in prison. now you get a second chance. what do you want to do with that second chance? >> i want to take ththis chanceo try to magnify what has h happed with me so that people will remember that there e are othehr people just like me for nonviolent come a first-time nonviolent offenders who pose no safety risk to theirir cocommunities. i just can't walk away and forget about those w who have bn left behind. nermeen: that is alilice marie johnson speaking just this
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morning. to do talk about the people she is referring to, the thousands who are in prison for nonviolent offenses? >> sure. over 3200 people are serving left without parole forr nonviolent offenses, if you include whole licenses like de facto life, that is over 17,000 people. in federal prison alone, there are over 1500 people serving life without the possibility of parole for drug convictions. amy: let's go to president trump itt should beng stricter, inincluding the e deah penaltlty. pres. trurump: in terms of the drug problem, we have to be to have on sentences. these people kill thousands of people over the course of their lives through drugs. so we're going to have to get much, much tougher in terms of penalty. if you want to stop it -- you look a at certatain countries tm as e example, were that the dedh penaltlty, and say, how isis yor drug p problem? there will tell you, we don't
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have much of a drug problem. amy: that is president trump. whatabout that view versus happened with alice. it also, you say thousands of people are behind bars serving life without parole, let alone lower sentences, shorter sentences. this could either be done through the president, but also there is legislation. is that right? what would that look like? if we're n not talking about individualal pardons. >> the reality is that the president cannot commute every unjust sentence. amy: why not? >> well, it could, but only sentntencing reform m will work. many people are serving life without parole in state prisons and all of the governor can commute those. there's a bill that could provide some relief to some prisoners. in the states lastst her alone,9 states passed bipartisan
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sentencing reform legislation, some of which has been historic like in louisiana. there needs to be, i would say, industrial s scale clemency toto revise sentences for people who are currently incarcerated. not just nonviolent offenders, people incarcerated for violent convictions as well certainly have paid their debt to society, have bettered themselves in prison, and couould be released tomorrow as well. we need a system to reunite these people with their families. amy: can you talk about with senator booker and senator rand , new revoking, democrat jersey, kentucky, what they're proposing? >> currently, the sentencing reform and corrections act proposed by dick durbin and grassley, that is been reviewed by congress right now. that would provide some relief to some federal prisoners serving life without parole for nonviolent drug convictions. another bill, the first step act, would not provide assistance to people like alice -- would never have gotten a reduction of sentence through that. we need copper is of senate
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ththing reduction that will help thousands of people currently behind bars. amy: and racial disparitities -- around people sentences and who is behind bars and who isn't. >> in terms of live without role for nonviolent offenses, about 65% of this people serving sentences are black. commuting life sentences overall, almost half are black. -- when you consider life sentences overall, almost half are black. amy: jennifer turner, we want to thank you very much, part of the legal team representing alice marie johnson in her application for clemency. jennifer is a human rights researcher with the american civil liberties union. of the aclu report titled "a authorof the aclu report titled "a living death: life without parole for nonviolent offenses." we will link to it at when we come back, we go south to nicaragua. more than 100 prprotesters have been killed. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn now to nicaragua, where at least six -- five people wewere killed ovr the weekend amid escalating anti-government protests that have engulfed the country since mid-april. more than 110 people have been killed since widespread demonstrations to oust nicaraguan president daniel ortega began in mid-april, when his s government announced plans to overhaul and slash social security. amnesty international has accused the nicaraguan government of using "pro-government armed groups to carry out attacks come inside violence, increase the capacity for repression, and operate outside the law." amy: but supporters of ortega
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have blamed the opposition for much of the violence. foreign minister denis moncada has accused the opposition of pushing for a soft coup. thousands have been injured and hundreds have been arrested in the demonstrations, including a mother's day march where government forces opened fire on demonstrators led by the mothers of victims last week. this is nicaraguan center for human rights president vilma nuñez speaking to the organization of american states on monday. >> above all, we have to highlight the brutal crackdown on the peaceful protest by the mothers, whose loved o ones were kikilled in april t that took pe on the 30th of may. when nicaragua celebrates mother's day. violence greatly exceeds the violation of the right to life of more than 110 people. and hundreds of wounded detained and tortured people.
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night, seven people were kililled. among them, a 15-yr-r-old kid. amy: the govovernment has denied responsibility for the scourge of killings in nicaragua since mid-april. the protest on the government's bloody repression marked the biggest crisis since ortega was elected 11 years ago. ortega has served as president of nicaragua since 2007. in the late 1970's, as the leader of the sandinista national liberation front, he helped overthrow the u.s.-backed nicaraguan dictator anastasio somoza. ortega then led nicaragua fromom 1979 to 1990 before being elected again in 2007. but the new protests have pitted ortega against some of his former sandinista allies. amy: that is who we're going to turn to now. for more, we are joined by three guests. from abuja, nigeria, we are joined by alejandro bendaña, the founder of the centro de national for the
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studies in managua, nicaragua. he served as the nicaraguan ambassador to the united nations and secretary general of the foreign ministryry during sandinista government in niragua fromom 1979 to 1990.0. in mananagua, we are joined byby monica lopez b baltodano, a humn rights activist t who is on the front lines ofof protests inin nicaragua. she is the author of the bout th the book about the canal. and in new york, we're joined by stephen hellinger, president development gap -- the development group for alternative policies -- which has worked around the world with local organizations since 1976 to promote economic justice through changes in prevailing international economic programs and policies. he has l lived and worked extensively in nicaragua. welcome to dememocracy now! let's begin with monica lopez babaltodano. explain what is happenining on e ground.. >> thank you very much for the opportunity. what we have been seeing for the oft 45 days is the rise up
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very strong proper the rebellion against the violence of daniel ortega's government. the rebellion has been led by kids from t the univiversities but also it has w become a rebellion of all the nicaraguan population. we've seen massiveve proteststsn the streets. also important, actions a protest happening, for instance, more than 70% of the e roads in nicaragua are blococked by population that i is requesting two basic things. justice for the more than 127 people that have been murdered by ortega's reregime so far in more than 1000 people injured, and also the decision of nicaragua population that ortega and his wife leave power. the protests are getting higher and bigger every day. today, managua is blocked all
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over the main streets because people are not being represented by the negotiation process. the government is trying to move forward without a coalition what people are asking, that they leave power as soon as possible. , imeen: alejandro bendaña want to ask you, you served in the sandinista government. can you explain what has happened in nicaragua under daniel ortega? what has changed since you occupied the senior government position in the sandinista government? >> thank you and good morning. one has to remember key historical factsts. the sandinista revolution began in 1 1979 and ended in 1990 with the elecectoral defeat ofof danl ortega.. but t this is not the end of tega becauause for 177 y years,e worked tenaciously to get back
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into power. but to do this, he got rid of his potential competitors in many old sandinista backers. he embraced corporate capital in nicaragua. he adopted the m most retrograda decicision of the church and thn turned it intoto an alliance and reached an understanding with to u.s. so that he was able inely won the p presidency 2007. but by that time, he himself is no longer a sandinista. yes, the colors are still there am a but his entire government has been, in essence, neoliberal. becomes repressisive, yet it continued toto maintain a leftii rhetoric, chiefly for the benefit of getting v vezuela
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cocooperation money. but that, too, came to an and. not only the money, but also ortega's backup for the maduro government has also ended as seen in recent votes in the oas where he refused -- the present government refused to back or vote against the resolution that wanted venezuela kicked out of the ois will stop nermeen: you just said that ortega came to an understanding with the u.s... what do you mean by thatat? >> t there are t two aspects. first is the historical understanding. ortega, the military to military relations under the ortega government have always been very, very warm. anti-drug, and to immigration.
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what ortega tells the united states i is i'm going to keep pe nicararaans from f flowing up north word to your borders and i'm going to giviv you stability for cacapital, but i want a lite leewayith foreign policy and rhetoric. now, this understanding became strained. but what we now have in the last 10 days is a new -- and we need to denounce this clearly -- a negotiation that is taking place in washington between ortegega d the united statetes govovernment that is being mediated b by the organization of american states secretetary genereral to trtry e ortega out of office. that would be ok if he is left -- if you left tomorrow. but the problem is, negotiation said he was to go through constitutional changes,
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electoral changes, and eventual election. we would be talking about a year, year and a half. and that is too long went to in three and four people are getting gunned down and killed every day. to that, the negotiations that should be taking place in washington. cannot signify impunity for ortega, which is the first thing h he is puttingn the table. so he has to go. then we can talk about provisional arrangement for a transition government. but this negotiations means more death and instruction. amy: can you talk about t e issue of social security, what has prompted these protests, ambassador? you were a very well-known sandinista. what this means do you to be speaking out now in 2018 against your former longtime ally daniel
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ortega? >> oh, yes, i was embarrassingly close to daniel ortega, but t i broke with them in 1998. ththat is 20 years ago. as have a g good many people. many of usus were a 30 there. we consider ourseselves sasandinistas and believe that ortetega and his cohorts the tre --betrayed the nicaraguans in the nicaraguan revolution. -- we are part of this broad movement that wants him out, but we do not renounce our ideals. we do not renounce sandino. we do not renououe o our identi. but he has to go i if there is y prosospect oficaragua re-embarkingng on a path towowa, first, r reform, and e eventual, or strucucturedhange.
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hehe is seen as an obstacle.e. enfnforce the, that is not sesey the same way the peoplon the left that are ignorant of the reality. the e social security issue was simply the s saw that broke the camels b back. before that, there had b been te destruction of the bibiological rereserve. the students went out into the street and jaeger, instead of police repssing by methods, did something that was fatal. hepened, order the police to andire on t the studentss from that day forward, his andance begegan to crack nicaraguans, many of us, were shocked by what happened. -- as
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amy: speaking of student shot, i want to o turn to the story of 2 year-old moroni lopez, who was killed by police during a nonviolent protest in managua in april. maroney was linking arms with other demonstrators to form a human chain when he was shot and killed by police. a series of videos capture the final moments of his life. he joined the protests after watching video of police hurting elderly protesters. this week i gogot in t touch wih moroni's mother alba garcia on tuesday, and she told me about her son's death. >> i asked them, what are you doing their? and he told me, mom, i'm here helping. i told him, son, come e back he. and he told me, no,o, i can't leave because we're surrounded by police.
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the police have surrounded us in the cathedral. and i told him, please, be careful.l. be very carefeful. i had a premonition. i could not finish talking to him because there was a a big explosion. i i don't knoww if they were shs or what, but we got cut off. then i could not get in touch anymore. half-hour r later, i g a a phone callll telling m me "your son is wounded.d." i asked them, arare you sure hes only wounded? and they said, yes, he is wounded.
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10 minutes later, i got another phone call because he died at 3:00 p.m. amy: in these protests of the last few months, the n nicaragun military and paramilitary forces have killed more than 100 people. the government says they a are t ususing live a ammunition will p >> i would ask daniel then, how is it my son is dead? how is it the sons of other moms are dead? how did those two bullets come through his chest? how did those three shots into the bodies of the other two kids? because there were three shohots that were riright on target. twtwo in the chest anand one ine neck. one in the head. they''re not going to do that with handmade mortars. that i is false.
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how is it that more kids are dying and how is it that the people who disappear return dead with signs of being tortured -- without eyes, without teeth, with their bones broken? who is doing that, thehen? i i would like nicacaragua, the country that is crying, to explplain to m me why this is happining. me how is it possible that my son left alive and now he is dead? out of garcia. we reached her at her home, speaking about the death of her son, 22-year-old english student maroney lopez. she toldd him, don't t go out. but when he saw the older people
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who are protesting, he said he wanted to go out and be with them. stephen hellinger, you lived and worked in nicaragua for long time in solidarity with the sandinistas. your thoughts as you listen to what is taking place and you follow it? >> it is very sad. it is probably inevitable. most everybody was really shocked that the explosion of protest took place in april because the conditions were there, but it was the repression that brought everybody out into the street. now i cannot overstate how chaotic situation is in nicaragua. the police have withdrawn because or so many protests against police violence. they are behind the scenes supporting the paramilitary. saythose people -- people the police are actually the ones acting as snipers, driving the trucks taking the paramilitaries around the country. the paramilitaries are being
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armed by the police, undoubtably . that is the general belief. i have been in touch with people all over the country and the story is the same every place. it is chaos. lawlessness. i think the government is trying to create a situation where people want law w and order. people don't go outside after dark. taxidodon'tt run. it needs immediate resolution. ismeen: book that she reporting a number of nicaraguan student activist arun washington, d.c., seeking support from the trump administration and congress. mcclatchy reports the students have met with republican senators marco rubio and ted ileanad congresswoman ros-lehtinen. meetings have been set up with the state department and usaid. could you comment on that? were you aware of f these meetings? >> we knew things were going on behind the scecenes and nowow they''re more in t the open. i think the u.s.s. is very hesitant to act openly because
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ortega's blaming a lot of this on u.s.-supported right-wing, everybody in the country knows is not true. but t also the business class in ninicaragua with like to see a resolution that keeps things more as they are because they've been very comfortable. so far, however, what is being proposed by the oas and the joint u.s. nicaraguan statement as all hundred said, it is far from what is needed. -- alejandro said, it is far from what is needed. people are dying every day. they need immediate help. ,my: monica a lopez baltodano your mother was a fighter withta sandininista liberation front. can you talk about what the students are demanding now? your thoughts of them coming to meet with republicans i in congress and appealing to the trump administration and what you think is going to happen now in nicaragua? >> yeah, the people in the
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streets are not appealing to any force outside from our own. we are quite clear the strength of this struggle is on the street and on the organization of people in the streets. of course, it is relevant to make everyone outside nicaragua understand the level of hate the government is portraying against the nicaraguan population. the level of violence, the use of mechanisms that are unseen for my generation. most of the use were born in the 1990's. the people that are blocking street, putting barricades that are taking the university campuses, all of those people are saying quite clearly, we do not want any arrangement under the table. out of power as
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soon as possible. we need to do a profound change in nicaragua's constitution and institutions in order to suppress all of this repressive mechanisms that are being used by the government, but also because we are quite clear that the arrangement between the corporations and capital in nicaragua with the government are both responsible for what is going on in nicaragua. some people are clear. we don't want anyone trying to push for what they call an easy solution, which would mean ortega stays in power more time. a day, every day is people lose their lives. every one of us, our lives is at risk. we are not willing to sustain any arrangement that is done on the back of the people. so the people are clear we want justice, we want them out, and we want profound reform in nicaragua constitution and to jewish analogy. amy: who would replace?
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you talk about ortega and the >> it isident his wife important understand also about the phenomenon in nicaragua, this is not being led by any political party. in fact, all of the political forces in nicaragua are completely -- have been destroyed because of the politics of doing arrangement with ortega's regime. is awe're seeing now youth rebellion and we are in the process of organizing different expressions of protest. we are claiming quite clearly it is the process of defining who will be in this provisional government board that would be nenew representation of the peoe on the street, but also the fact the process of organanizing new elections, we need to have the possibility of people joining the electoral process without
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representing political parties because nicaragua population does not back up any of those political -- join amy: monica lopez baltodano, thank you for beining with us, human rights activist who is on the front lines of resistance to ortega's government in nicaragua. alejandro bendaña, founder of and stephen hellinger, president development gap -- the development group for alternative policies. only come back, the judicial decision to throw out the investigation done of the 43 missing ayotzinapa students. stay with us.
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn now to mexico, where a federal court has effectively thrown out the government's investigation into the disappearance of 43 college students from ayotzinapa teachers school in 2014, and ordered a new investigation. amnesty international welcomed the ruling as an important advance in the search for truth and justice. living for, the tribunal ordered the creation of a truth commission to oversee a new investigation led by parents of the victims and human rights bodies. amy: for more, we go to mexico city where we're joined by anabel hernandez, mexican investstigative reporter. her latest book "the true night , of iguala," in which she describes how mexican soldiers were involved in the disappearance and apparent massacre of the 43 students. welcome back to democracy now!
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talk about the significance of this judicial decision. >> i didid not hear you. amy: talk about what the judge decided. talk about the investigation that has been thrown out. >> ok. mexico,st month here in byth of mexico, one tribunal independent magistrates decided to create, to order the president of mexico to create a commission to make a new investigation, a whole new investigation, connected with the case of the 43 students who disappeared in september 2014 interval conditions that we have to talk about before. they analyzed the investigation.
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in more than 700 pages of the resolution, they determine the mexican government to an investigation. many depositions, many testimonies, many elements to investigate immediately to the army and the federal police, but didn't. this really affected the investigation since the beginning. they also said, amy, as we have been talking about this before, as you know, i did investigate since october 2014. i was the first journalist that discovered in iguala, there was the presence of the army and the federal police in all the
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attacks. i discovered in iguala, d.c. for. -- dc4. police, state police, army were altogether, culminated that terrible night. in this document and the resolution of the tribunal, they c4 exist. that the yes, the army were in charge of dc4 that night. cutthe army sometimes could off the medications between the federal police and the army that work together to the municipal police. this means in some hours of that where theyhe hours disappeared, i mean, between
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9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and all of these resolutions, they also determine that all the 4ommunications between dc military police were down. so the police could not know what happened because the army took all of the controls of dc4. since december 2014 when i published my first article in a magazine and showed documents institution,e real the real group charged that coordinateuala, that all of these things that happen was [indiscernible] was not just the municipal police. was the army who is in charge.
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this document shows very to terminated very clearly. amy: we just have 30 seconds. anabel hernandez, what will happen now? who will conduct a new investigation. the order to the president commission.ys they suggest, the tribunal suggests, these conditions should be integrated by relatives of the 43 students. the commission of human rights, members of these , made their own independent investigation since april 2015 took the last year. they also suggest that the --bers of the argentine
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should be part -- amy: anabel hernandez we have to leave it there, mexican investigative journalist. thank you for being with us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people wçç
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