tv Democracy Now LINKTV May 31, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
05/31/22 05/31/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> these republicans are out of touch on this issue. i don't want to take anyone's guns away. we need restrictions on assault rifles. we need wait times, we need red flags. i am exhausted. amy: funerals are underway in
uvalde, texas, for the 19 fourth graders and two teachers killed last week in the nation's deadliest school shooting in a decade. we'll get an update from texas state senator roland gutierrez, who represents uvalde and confronted texas governor abbott to call for a special session on guns. as questions mount over the hour it took for police to break into the classroom and kill the shooter, we'll also eak with brandon wolf, a survivor of the pulse night club mass shooting in orlando, florida, where police took three hours to break in at the gathering place of the lgbtq community. 49 people were killed. it was a second deadly shooting by a single gunman in u.s. history. then we go to colombia where the presidential election is headed to a runoff. >> what is in dispute today is change. the political parties allied to
president u.k. --duque's government. amy: leftist candidate gustavo petro will face the right-wing populist rodolfo hernandez who surprisemany bplacing second. many have described hernandez as colombia's version of donald trump. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in uvalde, texas, funerals are underway for the 19 fourth graders and two teachers killed one week ago when a gunman attacked the robb elementary school with an assault rifle he purchased just days after his 18th birthday. over the weekend, the justice department announced it would review the local police response to the massacre. authorities now admit there were 19 police officers inside the elementary school shortly after
the attack began but they decided not to confront the gunman. instead, they stood outside the classroom for about 50 minutes. during that time, at least two students and teachers repeatedly called 911 begging for help. on sunday, president biden visited uvalde, joining a memorial for theictims at robb ementary school before attending mass at a local catholic church. biden said after the visit he hopes rational republicans will agree to bipartisan gun legislation. meanwhile, texas democrats are demanding republican governor greg abbott take action on guns. on friday, texas democratic state senator roland gutierrez, whose district includes uvalde, interrupted abbott at a press conference demanding he call a special legislative session to pass new gun laws. -- new gun controls. >> don't know how t express the loss of the families i have
talked to. i know -- we have to do something, man. your own colleagues are telling me an 18-year-old should not have a gun. this is enough. >> next question. amy: after headlines, we will speak with texas state senator roland gutierrez. according to the archive, at least eight people were killed and 55 others wounded in mass shootings around the united states over memorial day weekend. canadian prime minister justin trudeau has proposed new gun control laws in the wake of mass shootings in the united states on monday, trudeau introduced legislation that would require most owners of military-style assault weapons to turn over their firearms to a government buy-back program. trudeau also announced new regulations limiting access to handguns. >> what this means is it will no
longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in canada. in other words, we are cap in the market for handguns. we need less gun violence. we cannot let the guns debate become so polarized that nothing gets done. we cannot let that happen in our country. amy: back in texas, thousands of protesters gathered outside the national rifle association's annual convention in houston over the weekend, condemning the gun lobby group for its opposition to gun controls. the nra gathering was held just three days after the mass shooting in uvalde, less than 300 miles away. on friday evening, former president trump read the names of the uvalde victims before delivering a keynote address to the nra in which he demanded federal funding for more police officers and lethal weapons in schools.
pres. trump: classroom doors should be hardened, to make them lockable from the inside and closed to intruders from the outside. and above all, from this day forward, every school in america should have a police officer or an armed resource officer on duty at all times. amy: according to the federal election commission, the nra spent over $30 million on trump's successful 2016 presidential campaign. other speakers at the weekend nra convention included republican senator ted cruz of texas, south dakota repuican governor kristi noem, and texas republican governor greg abbott who appeared in a pre-recorded video. musicians larry gatlin, lee greenwood, larry stewart, and don mclean canceled planned appearances after the uvalde shooting. in eastern ukraine, russian forces have entered the city of sievierodonetsk and are battling ukraine's army block-by-block. witnesses report as many as 200
shells are falling on the city every hour, preventing rescue crews from counting the growing number of dead. among those killed was french journalist frédéric leclerc-imhoff, who was hit by shrapnel from a russian shell that pierced the armored evacuation vehicle he and his colleagues were riding in. ukraine's government says at least 32 media workers have been killed since russia invaded in february. reporters without borders director-general christophe deloire condemned russia for the deaths. >> it is absolutely revolting to see in this conflict, there has been a continuous disdain for the geneva convention, that civilians are being shelled, that journalists your civilians are being shelled ev though they have the right to protection according to the international law. amy: the european union has pledged to impose an embargo on most, but not all, of the oil it imports from russia by the end of 2022.
european commission president ursula von der leyen announced the emerging deal in brussels on monday. >> this is very important. thanks to this, counsel should now be able to finalize a ban on almost 90% of all russian oil imports by the end of the year. this is an important step forward. amy: the eu's embargo would still exempt oil delivered from russia by pipelines. it also grants hungary a near-total exemption aft authoritarian prime minister viktor orban refused to cut back on russian oil imports. iran's military has seized a pair of greek oil tankers in the persian gulf. iran's revolutionary guards corps says it took the action after greece recently impounded an iranian tanker and confiscated its oil, reportedly at the request of the united states citing european union sanctions. this comes as talks between the biden administration and iran aimed at restoring the 2015 iran nuclear deal have stalled. in brazil, at least 91 people
are confirmed dead with many more missing due to massive floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in the northeastern state of pernambuco. poor communities living in favelas in the city of recife were among the most impacted with landslides wiping away homes built on hillsides. similar disasters have been recently reported in the mountains of rio de janeiro and other regions of brazil as the country experiences more severe rainfall caused by the climate catastrophe. in mexico, hurricane agatha made landfall in the southern state of oaxaca monday afternoon, becoming the strongest storm to ever make landfall in may in the eastern pacific. the region, which is home to many beach towns and fishing villages, was hit with torrential rains causing mudslides and power outages. the south pacific island nation of vanua has declared a climate emerncy. vanuatu's parliament unanimously passed the resolution sunday, introduced by prime minister bob loughman, saying the climate
catastrophe is "undermining the fundamental hun rights of present and future generations." speaking to parliament sunday, the prime minister said vanuatu is already disproportionately impact by risi sea levels and other severe weather patterns triggered by the climate crisis. >> the air is already too hot and unsafe. we are in danger now, not just in the future. catastrophic heat waves and brushfires, drought and crop failures and cyclones and coastal flooding are affecting than what you and reaching around the globe. the world is facing the six mass extinction in history. amy: in colombia, leftist presidential candidate gustavo petro will face off right-wing businessman rodolfo hernandez in a runoff election in june. petro won the first round with
just over 40% of the votes, less than the 50% of the total votes to declare victory. hernandez is a real estate tycoon who once called himself a follower of adolf hitler. petro is a former member of the -- former guerrilla member who has vowed to fight worsening inequality in colombia with landmark policies, including a tax reform and redistributioof pension savings. his running mate is the goldman prize-winning environmental activist francia márquez mina, who would become colombia's first black vice president if they won. both petro and mina have received several death threats throughout their campaign. we'll have more on colombia's presidential election later in the broadcast. china has begun to ease covid restrictions in some of its largest cities. on monday, workers in two districts of the capital beijing were allowed to return to offices after authorities lifted some work-from-home rules and reopened public transit. meanwhile, officials in shanghai said there preparing to lift a
strict two-month lockdown on june 1. chinese president xi jinping has ruled out ending china's zero-covid strategy, even as the nation struggles to stamp out its worst wave of coronavirus infections since early 2020. here in new york, another prisoner at the rikers island jail has died. new york's department of corrections says 20-year-old emanuel sullivan was found bleeding from the nose and unresponsive in his cell on saturday afternoon. the cause of death is reportedly under investigation. sullivan in the 22nd rikers prisoner to die since 2021, the sixth rikers prisoner to die this year. in response, community organizer and rikers survivor edwin santana said in a statement -- "this tragedy should show every judge, prosecutor, and elected official who has ignored this truth before -- rikers is a death sentence. we don't need plans to create plans, we need action, and that action must include releasing people from the custody of an agency that cannot or will not keep them alive." and in labor news, at least 100
starbucks stores have formed unions across the country. the historic milestone comes after two starbucks in seattle and one in birmingham, alabama, voted to unionize last week. starbucks executives have responded with a campaign of retaliation against union efforts. the national labor relations board says more than a dozen starbucks workers have been illegally fired as hundreds of source have filed for unitization since when a december starbucks in buffalo, new york, became the first unionized store in the united states. 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 democracy now! 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: funerals have begun in uvalde, texas, for the 19 fourth graders and their two teachers killed last tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman attacked the robb elementary school.
on monday, funerals were held for two of the children -- maite rodriguez and amerie jo garza, about 10 years old. amerie died while trying to call 911 as the gunman attacked her fourth grade classroom. president biden visited uvalde on sunday. after stopping at a memorial for the victims at robb elementary school, he attendemass at a local catholic church. people chanted "do something" when he left. over the weekend, the justice department announced it would review the local police response to the school shooting. authorities have revealed that there were 19 police officers inside the elementary school shortly after the attack began, but they decided not to confront the gunman. during that time, at least two students and teachers repeatedly called 911 begging for help. on friday, steven mccraw, the director of the texas department of public safety, described the 911 calls.
>> it is better i read it and you listen to it. -- then you listen to it. the caller identified, i will not say her name, but she was in room 112 called 911 at 12:03. was one minute, 23 seconds. she identified herself and whispered she was in room 112. 12:10, she called back and advised room 112 multiple debt. 12:13, again she called on the phone. again a 12:16 because she called back and said there were eight and nine students alive. 12:19, 911 call was made and another person in room 111 called, i will not say her name,
she hung up when another student told her to hang up. 1221 time, you could hear the 911 call, three shots were fired. 12:36, 911 call lasted for 21 seconds. the initial caller called back the student/child called back and was told to stay on the line and be very quiet. she told 911 that he shut the door. a proximally 1243 time, 1247 time, she asked 9112 please send the police now. 1246, she said she could hear the police next door. 4:50, shots were fired that could be heard and 12 at one time, very loud and sounded like
officers were living children out of the room. at that time, the first child that called was outside before the first call cuts off. amy: while children inside the school were calling 91, parents outside were begging officers to take action. the gunman was eventually killed by a border patrol tactical unit that disregarded orders from local police not to engage the gunman. during his news conference, colonel steve mccraw, the director of the texas department of public safety, admitted local officers made the wrong decision to wait an hour to confront the gunman. in a moment, we will be joined by texas state senator roland terrace, a -- roland gutierrez, a democrat who represents uvalde. but first, i want to turn to the state senator interrupting texas governor greg abbott's news conference in uvalde on friday. >> mayors and city council people, i don't know how to express the loss of the families
that i have talked to most of i know you feel it, too. we have to do something, man. colleagues are telling me, and 18 euros should not have a gun. -- an 18-year-old should not have a gun. amy: that was texas state senator roland gutierrez interrupting a news conference by texas governor greg abbot last week. he then walked out of the news conference. he joins us now on the phone as he drives back to uvalde. welcome to democracy now! we start with the 19 kids inside. a number are begging the police, calling 911, a few of them, lee's come, we need a policeman. 19 kids die inside the classroom. 19 police officers are standing right outside the classroom.
they don't move for 50 minutes. can you talk about what you understand at this point happened and what you are calling for? >> yes, ma'am. 12:03 come as you know, those 19 officers were already in place. initial response was seven officers. four ist officers and three city., beacon completing those two. it might be four police and three isd. nevertheless, there were seven officers in the building. they made attempts to go down the hallway. shots were being fired at this time. we were told there was negotiations in one of those mcgraw reports stipulate here admitted -- reports. he later emitted there were no negotiations. the men did not comnicate a single word to police at that time. shots were continuing to be
fired and i think that is what will be coming out in this federal investigation that is being undertaken at this time. you know, nobody -- juan: senator, i just want to ask you, do you have an understanding or have you been told who was the incident commander at the scene? clearly,very law enforcement response requires an incident commander to give the orders was that the head of the school district police or was it the local police or the state police? >> that is what dps is saying. they are saying they're putting this on chief arradondo. i do not know chief arradondo. i've never met him. i find the failures that occurred here are not just a failure on this so-called incident commander. the active shooter protocols indicate you are to go in if law
enforcement are present, you go in. i don't know at what point that should trump the incident commander protocol but at the end of the day, the federal government, cbp employees, they had -- they said, the hell with it and we are going in. at the end of the day kamala enforcement is there. you have active shooter protocol that dictates what people should do. we are putting this on the local cop who has six cops under him. at what point to the police of uvalde not overtake this responsibility? at what point does the state troopers undertake the responsibility? greg abbott put this operation lone star down there. we have 150 plus extra state troopers in the area, and you see them waiting outside. according to colonel mcgraw, he told me on saturday, i had a long discussion, very painful discussion. he told me there were two troopers in the hallway.
i have asked for a report. i want to know what each officer arrived. because we have the technology. where they were situated, whether they were in the hallway, outside, why weren't any officers outside the windows? i'm not an expert but it seems like there was a tremendous amount of failure. to put it on one local cop is beyond me. juan: you have talked with many of the parents. whatid they tell you about how they were dealt with while they were waiting outside frantically to know the fate of what was going on with their children? >> we have been very, very respectful with the parents. i have talked to a handful of them. i don't want to impose myself at this time on families. i have talked to about five. every day we seek to lightly
talk to parents. i biggest concern with one couple was that their child was wounded simply by one bullet that according to the first responders, that child likely bled out shot in the kidney area. who knows how long she was alive for? we had officers go in a timely way as the active shooter protocol dictated, that little girl might be alive. those are the kinds of facts that need to be fleshed out. why? we need to ensure this never, ever happens again. because we know it will. we know that tragic, the horror will happen again in this state or some other state. we have to know that law enforcement will act differently, that they will do their jobs and execute well. if the policy is that the incident
commander is a local school cop, well, by god, we need to change that. at some point, the next superior force should take over. so it is my hope new policy will be in place going forward so that no community has to deal with the aspect that law enforcement failed. amy: state senator gutierrez, a lot of attention is being spent, paid to this aspect, the utter failure and also violating of the parents outside -- apparently, there were tasers used, one woman was handcuffed, had fathers begging "give me your gun, i'll run in." but then there is this larger issue that you took on with texas governor avid, interrupting his news conference on friday, calling for a special
session of the texas legislature. talk about what you overall think needs to happen. clearly, these men in the hallway were afraid because there is, and there wh a semi automatic rifle. 18 years old. but he is getting people down. what needs to happen? how did the laws need to change? > let's be clear where the failure begins. the failure begins -- i've been accused of politicizing this issue. at the in of the day -- i am in building where people elected me to fix problems. the failure begins with governor abbott, seven or eight mass shootings and his tenure but has done nothing but give greater access to militarized weaponry. his seminal attempt to fix things in 2019 was more school hardening. a lot of good that did these kids. we have to take militarized weapons off the street. if we are not going to do that
-- perhaps that is a federal issue. if we're not what to do that in the state of texas -- i am in a business that i have a compromise with people on the others i've. under no circumstances, it is the law in texas you be 21 years old, to go out and get a handgun. why in the world can you be 18 years old and by an ar-15? it is easier to get an ar-15 and texas than to buy baby formula these days. we can have red flag laws or we can have a 10 day waiting period. just like greg abbott spent $6 billion on the border, we can scrape off a few million creating a texas sized atf where someone goes off and gets an ar-15, they wait 10 days, get interviewed by this texas sized atf so that would eliminate the notion of the red flag law because you would have this interview process. we are not taking anyone's guns away, we're just interviewing by
officials that are supposed another profile. we figure out the details later on those types of issues, but those are things we should be talking about. limits on magazine capacity, sure. but the biggest thing is we have 70% of these crimes that are being perpetrated around this country are being committed by people under 21 years old stuff yet in texas, you can walk around, by the way, with your ar-15. last session they passed open carry. the last thing -- one of the last speakers to speak, the last thing i said, the last 10 seconds, i said, because of this bill, kids are going to die. never did i think this bit of hyperbole would happen in my own community. i feel like i'm living in some kind of strange for film. -- horror film.
juan: when president biden visited uvalde, many change it to the president "do something." what do you think that president biden should do? >> look, he said it already. change in some horrible, horrible things that greg abbott that same day. more than just "do something." people are mad. they are frustrated. republican constituents are telling me, we need to change this 18 year old bit. at the end, we need congress to act. the houscan pass whatever they want right now but they are being stymied by the united states senate. they cannot break the filibuster. you have 10 republicans that need to move or you need to have democrats that will have the fortitude to break the filibuster. so we are in this logjam solely
bought and paid for by the national rifle association. we we are, it is just -- these politicians, not public servants, these politicians like greg abbott, they are just cowards that they can't stand up to this organization. i have been your every day. i go home at night at midnight and then come back out at 6:00, 7:00 in the morning everyday and spin my entire days here just talking to people. they have to know that government is going to be here. i'm trying to get resources to the community. it is easy to say something. like my wife says, it is about actions. the reason i interrupted that press conference was very organic. i was all the way across town -- he did not invite me to my district, first of all.
ess conference about the existing services that the state of texas has to offer these families. and they're pretty minimal, by the way. if you are the governor of the great state of texas, you woul think you would come down with your checkbook in hand and make sure we had mental health services -- which we don't have -- make sure that families had real victim assistancerogram. how do we expect these poor people to go to work? yes, there's money flowing in but it is the kind of situation that they're getting access to these moneys right now is tremendously difficult. amy: do you have any faith in your texas senator cornyn who mitch mcconnell has appointed the senate minority leader to work with senator murphy of connecticut, blumenthal also of connecticut and others, to come up with gun-control legislation?
do you think for a moment what didn't happen in massacre after massacre, do you think for a moment this could be a breaking point? also, what are the plans for the robb elementary school? you have been talking about having it razed and rebuilt because the kids don't want to return? >> well, i will tell you that my plans immediately are something that began with a talk with the president last week. it was the idea that we discussed raising -- where they brought of the notion of razing the school. i did not realize at the time there's a federal protocol for this. there's actually a grant that gives upwards of $45 million per schools devastated by this type of violent catastrophe. what does that say about our country that we have a process like this?
it is astounding to me. so far as i know senator murphy is out there trying the best he can. i hope you can open some hearts and minds. i have known john cornyn since i was a law student. i used to deliver his books when he was a district court judge. to his courtroom. i asked him last week when i saw him i said, senator, we need something and you know, he told me with these people always tell me, "we are working on it." it is just not good enough. it is not good enough. we need to do something better than what we are doing, and it is just not there. amy: roland gutierrez, thank you for been with us.
i know you're on the road to uvalde right now, democratic texas state senator who represents uvalde. thank you so much for joining us . be safe. next up, as questions mount over the hour it took for police in uvalde to break into the classroom and kill the shooter, we will go to florida come to brandon wolf, survivor of the pulse nightclub mass shooting in 2016 where police took three hours to break into that gathering place of the lgbtq community. 49 people were killed in the second deadliest shooting by single gunman in u.s. history. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: maria martha serra lima. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. as police in uvalde, texas, face harsh questions and a federal investigation into how they apparently waited almost an hour to get a key from a janitor before moving in to kill the shooter, other survivors of mass shootings have been speaking out about the pattern of delays.
our next guest, brandon wolf, suived the second worst gun massacre in recent u.s. history when a gunman opened fire on the nce floor the pulse nightclub in orlando, florida. we are coming up on the anniversary. it was june 12, 2016. brandon's best friend drew was among 49 people killed in the attack, which came in the middle of pride month. witnesses described scenes of the terror inside the club. >> he just kept on shooting and shooting and walking around. it was rapidfire. then he would change and put in another ammunition. i could smell the ammo in the air. i was like, this is not fireworks. we need to leave. amy: that was six years ago. many of those killed were young latinx and members of the lgbtq community. survivors say theyaced a three-hour wait for lice to respond and that some of those who died may have lived if they'd gotten help sooner. now as the pulse nightclub
attack's anniversary approaches, survivors held a vigil for the victims of the uvalde massacre. for more, we go to orlando to speak to brandon wolf, a pulse nightclub massacre survivor who is now a gun safety and lgbtq civil rights advocate. he is now press secretary for equality florida. he wrote a piece for oprah daily after the uvalde massacre headlined "gun violence in america is a solvable crisis. so why haven't we stopped it?" brandon, first i'm going to say condolences because we haven't spoken and i am sure you relive this all the time. where were you that night and then talk about when he heard about what happened in uvalde and what you think needs to happen. >> i appreciate that. it is really painful to go through this over and over again. it is always especially painful when we are talking about children because the last six years have been really hard for those of us in the community, especially those who lost
someone. my heart breaks for folks in uvalde, their families, their friends who will never be the same. i was washing my hands at a bathroom sink when gunshots rang out at pulse nightclub. pulse was one of the safest places in for lgbtq an especially lgbtq people of color. there are not safe spaces in the same way that are for others. for me, growing up home was not safe. church and school were not always a safe space. we created safe spaces for one another. pulse was one of those places i felt i could be me without fear, violence or discrimination and that safe space was invaded. the man who perpetrated that violent and heinous act at pulse was carrying again refer to the ar-15 of the future. fired over 110 rounds into the club.
it took us over 36 hours to learn the fate of my best friends drew and juan but ultimately, they took 19 of thosrounds. one died on the surgery, and the other on the dance floor. anger and rage because no one should have to live through what i live through six years ago. it begs the question that i asked and the oprah daily peace, what are we doing? why haven't we been able to solve this? why are we so paralyzed by the gun lobby and gun manufacturers in this country? why are we so paralyzed by th talking points that have frozen us that we can't sit at a table and say our kids deserve better? we should be able to send our children to school so they can learn math and reading and science, not so they practice hiding under their desks so that one day a man can charge through the front door and end it all.
this country has to have tough honest conversation about its obsession with easy access -- accountable in different and more creative ways. it is done enough for them to sit in a press conference and tell us they are working on it. they have been working on for decades, maybe centuries, and it is not working and time for us to ask for something different. juan: in addition to the issue of the paralysis of our leaders in terms of gun safety, this issue of the response of the police. 78 minutes that transpired in a volte before police -- uvalde before police shothe gunman. the was an even longer response time at the pulse nightclub. was there an analysis afterward of how the responders, the police in law enforcement responded that night at the nightclub? >> there was.
i will say i think it has left people wholly unsatisfied. there was an investigation done by the state attorney's office. they focused their investigation on whether or not the police officers inadvertently shot and killed pplas they were shooting discriminate inside the club. they determined that all of those who passed away were killed gunfire from the gunman himself, but they did not dive dely into whether or not anyone should be held accountable for the inordinate amount of wait people had to suffer before police reached the building. that same repo that came out, at internal investigation showed 13 people died in the bathrooms of pulse nightclub during that three hour wait. those 13 people were being held by their fends and csins and other family members as they bled out on the floor and police had a litany of reasons or excuses why they did in the building, but i think it
underscores a couple of things. first and foremost, we have a significant problem. if we had been chilling with this for decades and police force, law-enforcement agencies across the country don't have a functional response yet to how they address mass violence in schools or nightclubs or grocery stores or churches or all of the other places this is happening, we have a serious problem. at the very least, would think law-enforcement agencies would be speaking to one another, that they would be able to solve the basic struggles of when to go in, how to go in, what gear they need in order to safely go through the front doors and take care of what needs to be taking care of. but i think it also raises the southern russian which is why are we continuing to focus our efforts on what happens when a shooter is already inside the building? if we continue to double down on this idea that we need more armed security, we need more police officers at more
checkpoints, then we hav already resigned ourselves to the fact that gun violce is inevitable in this country and we know it is not. this is the only industrialized country and a world where this happens. we have more guns per capita than any other country on earth and it is not even close. this idea that more guns me us safer and we just have to wait and make sure police officers have the rht tools and resources to be able to respond is simply not working. it is a logical fallacy. the data tells us otherwise. we havto be honest about stopping gun violence before it erupts in the halls of our schools instead of waiting to assess whether or not police officers responded in the right way once it is over. amy: brandon, you are in florida where the don't say gay legislation was passed. we are seeing book bands around the country, lifting of gun bans and abortion ban >> it is absurd. it begs the question, what are
we even doing right now? these right-wing politicians have been shoving an agenda down our throat for over a year now. they have told us the greatest threats our kids face are they might learn that this country was built on the backs of enslaved black people were teacher uses ty/them pronouns and we know what is killing kids will have gun-related injuries are the number one cause of death for american children. that is a crisis. it is a public health crisis. these politicians should be focused on keeping our kids alive. sending them to school so they can thrive, not simply on helping themselves reach the next political destination. amy: brandon wolf, thank you for being with pulse pulse us, nightclub pulse nightclub -- massacre survivor who is now a gun safety and lgbtq civil rights advocate. press secretary for equality florida. when we come back, we go to colombia to learn about the
presidential election that is leading into a runoff. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break] amy: "eso que tu haces" by lido pimienta. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. in colombia, leftist presidential candidate gustavo petro will face off right-wing businessman rodolfo hernandez in a runoff election in june. on sunday, petro won the first round with just over 40% of the votes, fallen short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff.
petro is the former mayor of bogotá, former member of the guerrilla group which has vowed to fight with land mark policies including tax reform and redistribution of pension savings. he spoke to supporters sunday night. >> what is in dispute today is change. political parties allied to president dugue's government. i believe the vote since the central message to the world, the period is ending, an era. amy: petro spoke to reporters after casting his vote.
>> we came to do our exercise, to vote. i trust in the desire for change. there are only two alternatives. it is originally simple election. leave things as they are in colombia, which in my opinion means more corruption, violence, and hunger, or to change colombia and take it towards peace, prosperity, and democracy for the people. amy: petras vice president running mate is the goldman prize-winning environmental activist francia márquez mina, who would become colombia's first black vice president. rodolfo hernandez second-place finish surprised many. he received 20% of the vote. another right-wing candidate
come the establishment candidate , federico gutierrez, placed third with 23%. together to two right-wing candidates received about 52% of the vote, a must 11 million. petro received about 8.5 million. rodolfo hernandez is a real estate tycoon who has been compared to donald trump and ran on an anticorruption platform but is under investigation himself. hernandez once described himself as a follower of adolf hitler. >> follower of a great german thinker. his name is adolf hitler. amy: rodolfo hernandez later meant to say he was a follower of albert einstein. for more on that election, we're joined by manuel rozental, a colombian physician and activist with more than 40 years of involvement in grassroots political organizing with youth, indigenous communities, and urban and rural social movements. he has been exiled several times for his political activities.
part of the organization "pueblos en camino" or people on the path. he lives in the cauca region of colombia by joining us from toronto, canada. welcome back to democracy now! talk about the significance of this election that is leading to a runoff. >> good morning, amy, and everybody. yes, to talk about the significance of this, after first of all express my deepest condolences to the people of volte -- uvalde. t families of the children and the teachers and extraordinary statements by brandon wolf. i have to make a link between what they're going through and what we go through that will help us understand these elections and what is going on in colombia. on march 28, we helped announce -- i wrote about it myself, the massacre committed by the colombian armed forces.
11 unarmed civilians were murdered and this was announced a president duque eight and is ministry of defense as an armed combat operation against the farc members. this was all a lie. the testimonies of the people in the community brave enough while surrounded by the army proved it was enough and massacre committed by the army. there have been more than 70 massacres committed in colombia already this year. in president biden two days before the referendum that chose the presidential candidate and just on the 23rd of may announced that colombia has been supported by his government to be joined -- to join nato as an extra member. in other words, that colombian army has been involved in the
massacre of innocent civilians, that is corrupt come that is involved in drug trafficking which has been exposed everywhere, that colombian army that has becoming involved in the electoral policies commander-in-chief financing if petro wins election he will not support violence in the constitution, is being supported by president biden not only by providing further funding, research, support for army and more weapons to colombia, but is also at the same time the colombian police that acted on the peaceful uprising in colombia, murdering, disappearing, torturing, has received three bases as a gift from president biden. what are these elections about and be on the elections what is
going on in colombia? what is going on and it colombia is a popular uprising now being expressed the electoral process against the status quo that is exactly what brandon wolf described for the u.s. but parts of the state structure. so it is a little crack in the wall and hopefully, to begin to change the status quo of murder, corruption, and offer the benefit of corporate and elite interests. there and elsewhere. juan: manuel rozental, in terms the rise of rodolfo hernandez , the establishment candidate was federico gutierrez but now appears he and the entire political and economic elite are rapidly uniting behind hernandez so it will be a tough fight for
gustavo petro to when the runoff, isn't it? >> absolutely. it is frightening. he lost to fernando hernandez. this was openly stated during the debate, openly stated that rodolfo hernandez is a -- has a process it -- about to be sentenced and you should not be supported. as soon hernandez won second place, he announced he would vote for the good of colombia. so the problem now come if the electoral process in colombia and the entire country, not just the o process, is fraught.
not only in the counting of votes from not only the dave election, not only find voters, it is sophisticated established agnes of that has been there for many years involves filings, involves terror so now what is happening exactly what amy said in the beginning, 28% votes that hernandez had and 23% that gutierrez has are going to be added up by the far right to defeat gustavo petro. behind the fear -- there is fear, terror, manipulation, so petro has an the campaign for petro has a little more than two weeks together more than one million votes, misogynist, corrupt politician that people
would understand parallels with trump. he campaigned only on tiktok. so that is what is going on in the electoral picture, which is not enough to explain the context of democracy in colombia juan: there's been a lot of attention to the running mate of gustavo petro, francia marquez mina, would be the first woman and afro colombian woman to hold such a high post. but what about the vice presidential candidate of rodolfo hernandez? what can you tell us about her? >> i want to say couple of things about francia marquez mina and gustavo petro that are important. petro is probably the strongest, most knowledgeable physical voice of the colombia
establishment from within. he is announce the paramilitary. yes announced the relationship between paramilitaries and politicians for colombian congress, 35% -- this was denounced by petro. drug trafficking, corruption, and not in theory providing evidence facing death threats, etc. so probably the strongest, most clear critical voice of the colombian establishment is gustavo petro. on the other hand, francia marquez was one of the strong a staffer colombian woman who mobilized from the ground, from the base against the transnational illegal mining corporate interest, and actually went to the ministry of the interior with women, walked to bogotá and made one of the most extraordinary statements for the afro colombian people and women
and for all colombian people. so the two of them have a legitimacy with regards to the critical approach to the establishment. and they do threaten what is established there. rodolfo hernandez come on the other hand -- and you must understand this clearly -- portrays himself and has done a as an antiestablishment candidate. so if you add petro votes and hernandez, there was a massive antiestablishment vote and one believes many of the people who voted for hernandez honestly believed that he was -- his promises and finishing with corruption. he lies. he manipulates. and that is confusing a lot of people. and it is confusing people and at context where political
participation and activity has been reduced to voting. and even voting, an electrode process, has been reduced to preconceived and pre-manipulated outcomes. if in colombia, only the elites went and you have no choice beyond that. so what is missing in colombia and has been missing in colombia all along is the fact politics are not just voting. in fact, voting should be the least component of voting. we can and we must construct our education systems, our health system, our security system, our baton and these in order to achieve -- autonomies it order to achieve peace. we run the risk even with this election, that is the electoral promises in the space and a
government changing our realities that can only be changed by the people, becomes issue again. and that explains why rodolfo hernandez in part gained so many votes. it is the fact people want to vote against the establishment because there are very few and very small avenues to act politically otherwise. amy: so you are saying it could be they just won't join together to beat petro and marcus. how dangerous is this for petro and marques? some of the speeches they get behind bulletproof shields. >> absolutely, extremely dangerous to them, extremely dangerous to everybody in the whole country. there was an unarmed strike by paramilitary forces. this is linked to the armed forces. yes, it is dangerous for them, for everybody. we all live come including franc
♪ hello there and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in new york. russian commanders fear they're in a race against time. they've seen western nations reinforce ukrainian defenses with weapons and expect more are on the way. so they're making a frenzied push to seize control in the east. russian forces have moved into the last stronghold in the region, severodonetsk.
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