tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 21, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT
07/21/21 07/21/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> there is a clear message coming through. this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. amy: covid-19 cases have tripled over the past month the united states as the highly contagious delta variant rapidly spreads. we will speak to pulitzer priz winning journalist ed yong about why this year may be worse than
last for many communities with low vaccination rates. th we to colombiawhere demotrators lled thetreets of cities torotest t rit-wing governmt of in duque. avery hpy wh the awakening the colbian pele. theyinally oned thei eye toriminality of the police and a legal system that oppresses us more and more every day. amy: plus, we will get the latest on haiti two weeks after the assassination of president jovenel moïse. a new prime minister was sworn in on tuesday and questions grow over who orchestrated the killing of the president. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at least 25 people were killed in china's henan province as it was battered with a year's worth of rain in three days.
at least 12 of the victims perished in the subway system. amatic online video shows passengers trapped on underground trains, chest-high in flood water. meteorologists said that kind of rainfall happened "once in 1000 years." greenpeace warned china's cities would see even hotter summers and wetter rainy seasons due to the climate crisis. china has evacuated at least 200,000 ople. in siberia, 320,000 residents have been told to stay indoors amid record-breaking wildfires, with the city of yakutsk experiencing what might be one of the world's worst ever air pollution events. here in the united states, the skies were once again thick with haze as far east as new york city as the massive bootleg and other fires rage in the west. meanwhile, the great salt lake, the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere, has tied
its all-time historic lowest level and is expected to break that record soon amid the inongog drought. in japan, even as some sporting events already started, the head of the tokyo olympics organizing committee did not rule out a last-minute cancellation of the olympics as covid 19 cases continue to rise. meanwhile, jeff-blind swimmer becca myers has withdrawn from the paralympic games after being denied the right to be accompanied by her personal care assistant due to new covid restrictions. three-time gold medalist meyers said -- "in 2021, why, as a disabled person, am i still fighting for my rights?" thailand enacted a strict nationwide ban on public gatherings as southeast asia continues to suffer a devastating covid surge with indonesia recently reporting higher daily case numbers than
india and brazil. iran has put tehran and surrounding areas on lockdown ahead of the eid al-adha holidays amid a spike in cases. meanwhile, france launched its highly contested health pass as officials issued warnings over its the current outbreak. this is french health minister olivier véran. >> yesterday there were 18,000 new infections in only 24 hours. it means the spread of the virus has increased by over 150% in a week. we have never seen this before. amy: as coronavirus cases continue to rise here in the united states, the highly transmissible delta variant now accounts for over 80% of new infections in the country. covid-19 deaths also increased by nearly 50% over the past week. oklahoma, louisiana, and mississippi have recorded some of the highest recent surges in cases.
this comes as millions of surplus vaccine ses are set to expire and likely go to waste. state health officials have repeatedly asked the federal government to donate the unused doses to other countries experiencing vaccine shortages, but those requests have been rejected. senators chrisurphy, me lee, and bernie sanders have introduced legislation to cu executive authoritwhen it comes to goi to war and massive weapons sales, giving more power to congress to deliberate and approve such moves. this is senator chris murphy speaking tuesday. >> this shift in national security power to the president has resulted in endless wars, reckless levels of arms sales, and national emergencies that seem to have no termination. amy: the national security powers act would repeal the 1973
war powers act, which presidents have used to circumvent congressional support. it would also repeal existing war authorizations, cut funding for military operatis that were not approved by congress, and require most arms sales to be approved by the house and senate. in new jersey, dozens of immigrant justice advocates chained themselves together and blocked the entrance to an immigration and customs enforcement black site in newark for hours tuesday morning. protesters are demanding ice end the transfer of people to jails in other states. this is one of the activists who joined yesterday's action, serhio tupac uzurin with nyc ice watch. >> we need to take direct action . they are a rogue agency. they are a fascist agency in the since they act totally outside of the law and outside any
bounds of morality. keeping people when they don't have to, refusing to release them, playing games with people's lives. nine people died of covid in ice custody last year. we are here to shut them down, do whatever it takes no matter what presidential administration is in office. they have to be completely abolished. amy: a federal judge has temporarily blocked arkansas' near-total abortion ban a week bere it was set to go into effect, saying it was "categorically unconstitutional." e law makes exceptions only if the pregnant person's life is danger and disproportionately targets people of color, lgbtq+, and low-income people. in other reproductive rights news, the mexican state of veracruz voted to decriminalize abortion, joining just three other localities that also allow the procedure up to 12 weeks of pregnancy -- mexico city, oaxaca, and hidalgo. veracruz feminist collective las
bruhas del mar celebrated the news, adding, "let's go after the 28 states that are left." in honduras, dozens of afro-indigenous garífuna leaders and supporters took to the streets of the capital tegucigalpa tuesday demanding the return of four garífuna land defenders who were abducted from their homes one year ago by members wearing police uniforms. all four men were members of the group black fraternal organization of honduras. among those abducted was community leader, 27-year-old alberth snider centeno. in other news from honduras, the u.s. state department has banned former honduran right-wing president porfirio lobo and his immediate family from traveling to the united states. lobo is accused of corruption and accepting bribes from drug traffickers. he rose to power in 2009 in a contested election that took place after a u.s.-backed military coup overthrew honduras' democratically elected
leftist government that same year. lobo was asked by the obama administration. -- backed by the obama administration. french president emmanuel macron has been identified as a potential surveillance target for morocco in the major data leak of israeli company nso and its pegasus spyware. 14 world leaders, including south african president cyril ramaphosa and pakistani prime minister imran khan, appeared in the list of 50,000 phone numbers that were people of interest for nso clients since 2016. the world's richest man completed a 10-minute suborbital flight aboard his blue origin spacecraft tuesday. jeff bezos spoke at a news conference after his crew landed. >> i want to thank every amazon employee and every amazon customer, because you guys paid for all of this. [laughter] seriously, for every amazon customer out there and every amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
amy: bezos' remarks drew sharp rebuke. washington congressmember pramila jayapal tweeted -- "if amazon paid its workers fairly and did not fight unionization, workers would not be funding the expensive hobbies of billionaires. they would be taking care of their families and living dignified and fulfilling lives." she also noted that the 11-minute joyride cost over $2.5 million a minute. "yes, it's time to tax the rich," she said. meanwhile, democratic congressmember earl blumenauer of oregon is proposing a tax on commercial spaceflights that have no scientific value. "space exploration isn't a tax-free holiday for the wealthy," said the portland congressmember. others yet drew attention to the environmental impact recreational space exploration, with author and former labor secretary robert reich tweeting that the billionaire's rocket launch emitted 200 to 300 tons of carbon dioxide per rider.
trump adviser and long-time ally tom barrack was arrested tuesday and charged with failing to register as a foreign agent for the united arab emirates, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the fbi. "the new york times" reported barrack's real estate company received some $1.5 billion in investments from the uae and saudi arabia between trump's 2016 nomination and mid-2019. he was chair of trump inauguration committee. disgraced hollywood mogul harvey weinstein was extradited from new york to california where he will face rape charges in a los angeles court. weinstein, who is already serving a 23-year sentence for sex crimes in new york, is chargein multiple cases of rape involving actors and models at los angeles hotels. south carolina state university is forgiving the loans of 2500
former students who had to stop their studies due to financial hardship. the historically black university said it would cancel nearly $10 million of student loans with stimulus money from the cares act and american rescue plan. black students are disproportionately hit by the school debt crisis. and a new study in the journal of the american medical association reveals that americans now have over $140 billion in unpaid medical bills owed to collection agencies. the figure is nearly twice as high as the most recent data from several years ago. but the country's total medical debt is even higher as the $140 billion does not include bills owed directly to health providers or credit card debt from medical expenses. republican-run states that chose not to expand medicaid through the affordable care act had the highest debts. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: in the united states, covid-19 cases have tripled over the past month as the highly contagious delta variant rapidly spreads across the country, particularly in areas with low vaccination rates. covid deaths have increased by nearly 50% over the past week and cases are rising in all 50 states. the centers for disease control says the delta variant is no responsible for 83% of covid-19 cases in the u.s. this is cdc director rochelle walensky. >> there is a clear message that is coming through. this is becoming pandemic of the unvaccinated. amy: while the overall covid numbers are far lower than last winter, public health experts fear the nation's fight against the pandemic is heading in the
wrong direction. on monday, president biden urged everyone eligible to get vaccinated. pres. biden: if you are unvaccinated, or not protected. so please, please get vaccinated. get vaccinated now. it works. it is safe. it is free. it is convenient. amy: life expectancy in the united states dropped by year and a half in 2022 to the pandemic. the largest drop since world war ii. black and latinx communities saw that largest decline. covid cases are also surging across the globe. indonesia has recorded over 1000 deaths a day for the past five days. in france, the number of new cases has jumped by 150% over the past week. south korea and thailand have both reported record numbers of new infections. we are joined now by ed yong, science writer at "the atlantic." he recently won the pulitzer
prize for explanatory recovered for his coverage of the pandemic. his most recent piece is "delta is driving a wedge through missouri." welcome to democracy now! congratulations on your pulitzer. this is so important as people hailed the end of the pandemic, or diving into the pandemic right now looking at wednesday, looking at missouri. tell us what you found. >> i talked to work in southwest missouri, which is really the epicenter of this grant surge. -- current surge. things are bad. so much worse than people realize. one of the major -- springfield, acquired as many cases in just five weeks as it previously did in five months. testament to how quickly the deltaariant can spread through community that is largely unvaccinated.
more than 20% and counties. this is all causing immense distress for health care workers. there once again overwhelmed, once again exhausted. they have been fighting the pandemic for coming onto a year and half with nearly any breaks and now they are suffering the moral distress of seeing get another surge -- actually worse than the previous ones -- but at a time when vaccines are readily available, when people should be able to easily protect themselves. and at a time when so much of the u.s. has moved on from the pandemic, as you say. one told me, new york has had a tickertape parade in york while ours are knee-deep in a covid. juan: speaking of the rest of the country moving on, want to refer to there was a national
basketballssociation championship game last night, game six were that milwaukee bucks won the championship. the play-by-play commentator is the camera pans out over more than 65,000 people outside the arena. not the people in the arena, but packed io each other outside the arena. this is the flip are producers have. >> dr. fauci is cringing at home as he is watching our game. >> very difficult to social distance outside. juan: we're talking about wisconsin where the positivity rate has gone up in the last three weeks from .9% to 2.5%, tripled in the last three weeks. a state that has only 48% of its people fully vaccinated.
so we have to assume may be about 30,000 of those people outside that arena last night were not vaccinated. what do you think is the responsibility of sports officials or political leaders with gatherings like this? >> i do want to point out all of the evidence we have tells as being outdoors is a much lower risk than indoors. obviously, that calculus changes a little bit if you are packed shoulder to shoulder th large groups of people. i don't the go threat model needs to be looking at the outdoor spaces is the major driver of thpandemic. we're talking a lot more about indoor spaces, places where there is perfect elation. -- poor ventilation. look, we all have a responsibility to try to keep the ndemic under control. vaccination is our most powerful
defense and it is incumbent on everyone to try to find ways of getting more people to be vaccinated. but vaccination is one of many tools at our disposal. there are ny others. we just talked about ventilation, which could be much better across the country. we should talk about things li masking, distancing where in cases vaccination rates are low and the virus is once again taking off. we don't have to put all of our eggs in this one basket. we do have quite a lot of ways of protecting ourselves at our disposal. but we do have to use them. i think the country has had a poor track record of using them throughout t pandemic and not just now. juan: this week the american academy of pediatrics recommended all students over the age of two as well as teachers and staff wear masks when they return to school even if they have been vaccinated. but many states have already banned school mask mandates.
what do you think should be the policy on mandating masks? >> so i argued in prious piece the cdc wa premature in lifting the indoor mask mandate. and certainly, did not do so with enough guidance to allow other bodies, whether it is states or institutions or schools, to make the right decisions. some people argued the cbc was correct in doing this because it allows for more flexible local level approaches to the pandemic. while i do understand that argument, it does not hold water because as you said, one of the consequences of the cdc's move was a lot of state-level leaders put in legislation and mandates of their own that prevented local departments, whether it is
schools or public health departments, from giving that more flexible, granular guidance. i think the pandemic is at a very difficult stage right now. i do see what people -- folks saying one-size-fits-all recommendations don't work anymore. i see where that is coming from, but it is hard to put that to practice in situation where you don't know who has been vaccinated, where there is no way of establishing that. that leaves businesses and schools and institutions and states in the lurch. how do you actually get that more granular flexible advice when he simply don't know? it becomes an honor system, which has huge problems as we know, or you need to put in broad scale, top-down regulations again. amy: ed yong, as you look at missouri, you talk to very tired, dispirited healthare
workers who were suffering ptsd. you speak with one woman who works at a veterans affairs hospital in st. louis who told you ", mom of a one-year-old and four-year-old, a daughter of family members in south africa who can't get vaccinated yet." talks about the frustration and rage she feels that people are not getting vaccinated in missouri and what this means. and also the number of younger and younger people who are sicker and sicker, they are saying sicker than anyone they saw last year. >> yeah. there ar tworagedies there. globally, massive vaccine and equity. when i looked at the stats a few weeks ago, only about 10% of the world's populatn has been fully vaccinated and in many parts of the world, across the entire continent of africa, just 1% of people have been. that is horrifying.
we in the united states are living with the situation where vaccines -- vaccine supply far outstrips demand and people are struggling to fin was ford people to get vaccinated. across the world, people are clamoring for vaccines. countries like the u.s. hoarded vaccines. we are now with delta ripping for the world, i don't think we have a lot of time to vaccinate the rest of the world. this is a matter of intense moral urgency. i am not sure rich countries are acting as if that is the case. the other thing you mentioned is that there seem to be signs that delta is having worse effects on younger people. in missouri, younger folks are making up a high proportion of the people who are hospitalized
than they were last year. in part, that is because elderly people were more likely to be vaccinated so, obviously, the age range for people going to hospital now with covid is going to shi downward. that is expected. but i asked every doctor and nurse i spoke to in missouri, compare a one-year-old who has covid now, are they sicker than 3year-old you saw this time last year? unanimously, they said yes. there are manpossible reasons for that, but i thinthe upshot is delta is making younger people sicker than they we st year. and that is a problem. we think the pandemi is a thing that only affects the elderly, young people think they are invincible. that wasn't the case last year and very much is not the case now. juan: today we are concerned primarily about the delta variant, but what about future variants?
what concerns you the most? >> my concern is that as the virus continues to spread around the world, both in largely in vaccinated countries as we have said were unvaccinated pockets within the world, every new person isn't -- the more widely it spreads, the more chances it gets to evolve into even worse variants that might be even more transmissible or that might finally break through the immune defenses that are current vaccines provide. either of these outcomes would be terrible. even transmissibility, delta is showing what a more transmissible variant can do. the more we let this pandemic linger on, rage on around the world, the less protected any of us includinghose who currently are under thembrella of
vaccination. it is incumbent upon everyone, including those vaccinated, to try to push for an end to the pandemic rather than assume we will be saved forever more. amy: as you see the shift in places like missouri and throughout the south a vast swaths of unvaccinated -- the country with unvaccinated people, what do you think the answer is? >> the answer is hard. we are reaching a point where a lot of people i think have made up their minds about vaccines, very entrencd beliefand disbelieves. and i think a lot of people are frustrated about shiing the needle. but i think the needle can be shifted. i think a lot of this has to do with establishing trust. going out to communities, listening to their concerns, thinking about what their concerns are, addressing them, and to build those very human
connections that we have all relied upon over the last year, year plus. i think it is very wrong to believe the unvaccinated our this monolith of people who are intensely mystic -- antagonistic and just being difficult. a lot still have legitimate questions. i've spoken of people with success trying to use trusted community voices, whether it is firefighters or pastors or just peoples neighbors going door-tdoor. when the vaccination campaign started, it was very much, we're going to open a place and you come to . we got the most eager people vaccinated. now it is harder. it is a harder game where we have to go out to communities, establish trust. and at work, unfortunately, is slow.
it is slow and delta is very, very fast. it is also going to affect the rest of us in the long run. juan: as a journalist, how do you react to those seeking to get the social media companies to be held responsible for some of the posts on their social media platforms anti-vaccine or spreading misinformation about the vaccines? >> i think it is very clear t misinformation circulates faster on social media platforms and accurate information. we have evidence to show that is the case. i think unless social media companies take more
accountability of the power of their platforms, take further steps to iro matters, we are always going to be -- i said building trust is slow, that we are going to have to reach out to individuals and turn everyone into an influencer within their own community. that work is going to be harder and slower if disinformation and misinformation is allowed to cascade through social media channels to the same extent that it has been already. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, ed yong, science writer at the atlantic. he recently won the pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting for his coverage of the pandemic. we will link to your piece titled "delta is driving a wedge through missouri." next up, colombia, where demonstrators have filled up the streets to protest the right-wing government of ivan
amy: "whitey on the moon" by gil scott heron. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we turn now to colombia, where anti-government protesters filledhe stree of a mber ofities tuday on colombia's inpendenceay -- thsame day right-wing predent iván duqu presentea new x reformill to cgres the la tax prosal fail in april after itrompted general rike andassive demonstrions thaalso foced on dpening enomic diarity d human righ abuses. tuday's demotratio came ev aer some the ganizersere arreed and harass over the weekend. e count's dense minier had clmed violce was excted at e protes and put bogá and0 of colbia's 32 provinal capits on heighted alert
e protes were caed in pa by t colomb's naonal strike committ that inudes digenouseople, sdents, a tre unions this ifranciscmaltés, presidt of theolombian ceral union workers speaking during bogotá's denstratio >>oday we esented a temate platformhat highligs the st urgen nds. anyone who wts to be prese at t seson is gerally allowed pt up tod when theris a msive sial demonstratn, the gernment shed thetart of e sessio to 8:00n thmorng and ni entry tpress and t otrs, reflectinghe anti-cracter opresiden duque'sovernmen amy: forore, we to lombia. in cli, acvist mía del rosariarango iwith us. she was tuesda's prts . and in botá, we're joid by award-nning jonalist mio murillo,ho was aprotestsn bogá. he has closely followed colombia for decades.
his books include " and the colombia and the united states: war, unrest and destabilization. welcome you both to democracy now! talk about the demands of the protests. these have been going on percent 84 days now. >> thank you for having us. the protest yesterday was essentially a continuation of the national strike which as you pointed out began april 28. the mobilizations that were very, very well covered and he reported on recently also were continuing in a different dimension, but yesterday they were re-sparked considering it was indendence day here in colombia. it took place in various cities. i was in bogotá. at least 10,000 people were in the march this started late morning, early afternoon in downtown bogotá and generally peaceful, but there also protests all around the country.
itas amazi it took place beuse th were taing abou infiltraons of the eln isome of t cities, highly militarized all the country with 65,000 public security fors -- not on police, but armed forces and scial forces unit at have en cticized visceral for the violence carried t in recent bization elier in the otests. la night in thevening ard hearinreports l arou the cntry othose corontatio, which think maa canalk moreirectlto, ecifical in call where f the pa three months t confntationsave been strongt againscivilis in these protests. juan: maría del rosario arango,
talk about the protests in calli and why have the people risen up so strongly now against president iván duque eight? >> tha you. i'm saying hello from calli, the third-largest city in colombia, second city of latin america -- large history of social movements like unions, indigenous peoples, students movements, and this movement that has been agast political abuse. this has been the capital resistance in calli. it also has been the center of the more abusive repression of the police.
also the security forces that have been repressing the proteste here in colombia. it has beeshown yterday - amy: mia, can u talk me abouwhat isappeng in calli , w it is sh aenter prott? and al talk out the sue of olence again women a the lgbt plus community. >> yes, thank you. calli has a long historof resistance that has been swn now but also reessionas been especially brutal here not only by security forces but my family groups. when the strike started in april, the resistance had been strong here and repression -
veral paerns of olence against proteers, again demonsators --hich has been ing gasgainst ptesters. like iyou go prote, y're riski to die. other things to repress, like sexual assault. for example, yesterday during the protests in april, may, and june, we have recording 28 cases of sexual assault by the police. this political repression, killing people, but also gathering -- targeting women, lgbtq population, but also
profiling, imprisoning, and persecuting all the people that are lding the ptests bu also tse who are shong sodarity wh the presters. is month in callie have seen h police vettacke with firearms at medical assistance who are giving health care to the protesters, the people of the community that are doing this act of solidarity to feed the protesters. we can say solidarity is being criminalized. juan: mario, on monday, president duque announced refos to the policing and in the count. do you think -- what were those
reforms and you think this will ve any impact on the resistance and the strike movement? >> i think the basis of the reforms are very superficial. one of the points is changing their uniform. there's been a lot of criticism d one of the demands h been to take the national police out of and away from the defense ministry and put it into the interior ministry, make it more civilian-oriented. the police have been trained to treat civilians as essentially internal enemies. this is the mindset of years of internal war and conflict with the guerrilla groups. so there is this mentality that has always plagued the national police to confront any kind of civilian opposition or mobilization or even young folks living in the streets and very marginalized communities as enemies, as garbage.
in many ways, the response to the police abuse the last few months is that rage inside, especially young people, who are sick and tired of being treated as animals, as not human, as enemies internally. the idea of changing uniform to blue and making them look really nice to show their no longer part of the military, does not take them out of the defense ministry, it is still within that frame -- yesterday, at a press conference, the defense minister speaking about protests getting supposedly violent last night different parts of the country. the other thing is putting body cams. again, superficial approach to police violence and security. the bottom line is the years of internal war has created this mindset within the public security forces, because from the national army, the armed forces come all the way down to your local police patrolling local neighborhoods, see the
population as enemies. in many ways, it is obstructive. this is among the many points of the protests the last several months. it is not only about police reform, it is also about economic reform and recognizing the needs of media of the same young people who are in the streets who have no job opportunities given the current economic climate, have no opportunities for education. the 10 point political program that is being put forward by the national strike committee, essentially bringing the protests from the streets to a political level, issues around living wages for working people, about a state-sponsored health care system which has been clearly shown to be inadequate given the level of covid we have seen, the public hospital system completely broken. yesterday i think the report was 380 people died of covid
yesterday. every day in colombia for the last several months, we have seen between 300 and 500 people dying of covid. no health care system. talking about a free education system for young folks who have no opportunities to go to school. and then dismantling of the national rapid deployment police force that was the creation back in 1999, essentially to combat drug traffickers, has been used for the last for seniors against civilians protesting against the government. there are a lot of reforms being pushed forward. unfortunately, the government continues to give lip service as they did yesterday, talking about police reform, new tax reform law -- which essentially is putting a band-aid on a severed hand, if you will. amy: mario, before i ask about the colombian mercenaries that
were involved with the assassination of the haitian president, very quickly, or in colombia following the human rights commission. can you talk about the latest results they have found in olympia? >> international verification was invited here by coalition of colombian human rights groups, a range of groups that have been very concerned about the last few months of protests and how impunity, which is a pattern in colombia, was basically getting into effect given the hundreds of complaints and denounce the asians of human rights violations taking place in the first stagesf the prests. thcommsion cam to bogotá, 43 mission -- members from euro, latinmericacanada, u.s., the parts of the worl to essentially visit different areas of the country for example, i went to the
coffee growing region, maria was in calli, collectively interviewed about 180 different viims who hadnbelievae testimony out h they were dealt with ding the urse of the prests srting apl 28. we saw as was talked about before, the victims of sexual violence who talked about the abuse they received. the hundreds of people who were wounded and many who were detained without any excellent nation disappeared for days on end. reports are anywhere between 75 to 80 people killed, including 44 specifically attributed to the national security forces. we were documenting that to draw attention to this problem, which continues to get handled in the colombian media and government in a very kind of doublespeak way. as if we are living in a different world.
we met with public officials, police, governors and local human rights workers who were supposedly there to defend the people, and their answer is always the same thing. do you know how many police were wounded? do you know how much public was damaged? essentially, ignoring the demands and in many cases saying, we are not getting public denunciations from the so-called victims. the argument is once again, they are denying the many, many years of repression against anyone who speaks out against people, against the state, because the government. that is what has been going on and some of things we got in the commission. amy: i also want to ask about the role of the colombian mercenaries and the assassination to weeks ago of the haitian president jovenel moïse [captioning made possible by democracy now!] . bubble with the washington
one of the mercenaries has been identified as former special commando, reporter dan cohen has written that he was once assigned to colombia's permanent antiterrorist special force group, secretive delete military detachment dedicated to supposedly counterterrorism operations in carrying out kidnapping and assassinations. another one of colombian mercenaries that was arrested in haiti was once investigated for his role in executing civilians in a colombia the disguising them as combatants, a practice known as false positive, a practice -- they were dressed up as farc. the colombian military has been accused of killing over 6400 civilians in this way. he writes --
again, two of these men, colombian mercenaries, arrested in haiti. a number of mercenaries involve in the assassination, believed to be more than 20. can you comment on this? >> yes, the specifics and the role the colombian mercenaries played in the assassination is still unclear. there a lot of muddied report. as the investigation unfolds, essentially, what this is, an example of what one retired sergeant i20 years and counterterrorism, counter narcotics here in colombia, interesting interview which was mind-boggling to hear the details of that, what he referred to as -- an export
product in high demand, which is essentially thousands of colombian soldiers, officers, etc., who over the last 20 years, specifically after mine colombia was implemented for militarization of the country, doubling of the size of the military and essentially trained and built on these counterterrorism, counter narcotics operations, kind of the high-value target, extraction types of tactics, you know, talking about thousands of soldiers who have been going around the world to the united arab emirates, to afghanistan, to iraq. highly trained, highly disciplined soldiers of war. artists of war being used -- like cuba uses medical practitioners, doctors around the world, colombia is sending
the soldiers who actually talk about how they very often don't have enough after retiring in their pension to support their families so they have these highly lucrative contracts for two or three years and go across the world and carry out. this is an export product coming out of colombia. amy: thank you for being with us, mario murillo, award-winning journalist was followed colombia for decades. his books include "colombia and the united states war, unrest and destabilization." maría del rosario arango, thank you for joining us from calli. we turn now to haiti comes begin to advocate about the latest of elements in haiti two weeks after the assassination of the president.
dr. ariel henry has become haiti's new prime minister. he was sworn into office tuesday, a day after acting prime minister claude joseph announced that he was relinquishing power. henry, who is a neurosurgeon, was appointed by president jovenel moïse shortly before he was assassinated on july 7. both joseph and henry had claimed power following moïse's death. over the weekend, the united states and other members of the so-called core group threw its support behind dr. henry, who will become haiti's seventh prime minister in four years. claude joseph will stay in the new government as foreign minister. on monday, state department spokesperson ned price defended the biden administration's decision to back henry. he was questioned by the associated press's matt lee. >> we are taking the side of the haitian people, taking the side of -- >> the guy who is named but had not taken office. >> we are taking the side of the haitian people. this is a dialogue that has been ongoing between different patient stakeholders. >> whether you want to admit it or not, there's a shift from
what he said prior to that statement, were in support of the acting prime minister and then all on saturday, you and the other members of the core group came out in support of mr. henry. >> we're supporting the inclusive dialogue that haiti's political actors are undertaking themselves. amy: we are joined by monqiue clesca, haitian pro-democracy advocate based in port-au-prince. she worked for many years with the u.n. including at unicef in haiti for 15 years. she joins us now from washington, d.c. welcome to democracy now! as you listen to this, this discussion in the united states about who will be the prime minister, is therime minister of haiti after the assassination of the haitian president. what are your thoughts and what are you calling for? >> thank you. i am honored to be invited to democracy now! my thoughts after hearing ned price, you know madame not talk
to us. how can such arrogance of the state department sposperson to say there speaking on belf of of the haitian people. no. i believe the haitian people are able to speak for themselves, and we have been speaking for ourselves for the last three years during this crisis. demonstration after demonstration. how many demonstrators have been killed. no one listened to what we are saying. and now what we have been saying is let us pause, let us sit down and haitians talk together, come together, and find a solution. it is not going to be like magic that it is going to be done. there is such polarization. there is such mistrust. but we must do this. it is not up to the united states state department to tell us who should be the ime minister of haiti.
it is offensive. you should not be done. it is unacceptable. that is my reaction to this. and the haitian people will not accept this. we will protest. we will fight. and we will continue the fight to get a democracy, but not a democracy that mr. jovenel moïse said before his unfortunate and untimely death. no. we will do it the way haitians want to do it properly and in a democratic way. juan: in your sense, what is your sense of why claude joseph agreed to hand over power to mr. henry? because it seems almost like who is left illegitimate -- because they were both given power from
the assassinated leader who was himself questions about his ability to hold power after not being -- after his term ended. >> they are illegitimate. jovenel moïse was illegitimate. he held power in a very autocratic way. he was a dictator. he should have left back in february. the prime minister claude joseph was illegitimate because he came fr jovenel moïse's regime. ariel henry is illegitimate. they are all legitimate. that is what we are saying. why did ariel henry decide to step aside? i have no idea. i have no idea who whispered anything in his ear. all we know is before jovenel moïse's corpse was called, they
were saying -- the u.n. was saying it should be claude joseph. then a few days later, they change and that you should be ariel henry. whatever is being cooked on the back burner somewhere in the u.s. embassy, the u.s. state department, or the u.n., it really hasothing to do with the haitian people. we at the commission i am honored to be part of have several meetings where various groups of civil society came to discuss the draft agreement. and they agreed the constitution 1987 should be respected. they agreed there should be a prohibition of president and prime minister and are about to set up the committee so that ey can decide and propose
names to be provisional presidents and professional prime minister. and it has come from an elaborate process over the last four months with political parties and civil society. that is what we are saying. it is up to the haitian people. we cannot continue this way to have our sovereignty stepped upon, not only by the united states government, but also by the u.n. and also by claude joseph awaits instructions from the ste department and from the u.s. embassy rather than listen to us haitian people. and this is what we are saying. listen to our voices. that is what democracy is about. it is not taking something from the state department, from a
very arrogant spokesperson at the state department who is saying, we are listening to the haitian people. this is funny. the american embassy has not even called the commission. not once have they called us to say "we would like to hear what you are saying." no. this is unacceptable. amy: monqiue clesca, thank you for being with us. we will continue to follow this and also who murdered the haitian president. monique clesca is a haitian pro-democracy advocate who is usually in port-au-prince. that does it for our show. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for our video production fellowship and our digital fellowship here in our new york city studio. learn more and apply at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013.
(sophie fouron) this is japan. but people here don't call themselves japanese. it's okinawa, an island closer to taiwan than tokyo. there's something like a million and a half people here, and they're known to live longer than anyone else on the planet. there's a very strong american presence in okinawa. not only did the americans occupy the island after the second world war, they stayed. there's a very big military presence. the fact that these old enemies coexist on this tiny island, but coexist peacefully, says a lot about the people of okinawa. there are a lot of cars.