CBCradio

Bookmark and Share

November 24 & 27, 2011: from Dhaka, Bangladesh - Santa, Peru - Jonestown, Guyana - Equatorial Guinea - Mexico City

From our correspondents around the world...

Mourners and coffins at the procession for a mass funeral in rural Peru. Mass graves were recently discovered 19 years after death squads killed tens of thousands in that country. (Photo/Mattia Cabitza)

Justice delayed or justice denied? A controversial war crimes tribunal begins in Bangladesh. 

In Peru, requiem for a ragged history as new graves are uncovered from the long civil war. 

And, if there are lessons in tragedy, should the site of the Jonestown Massacre be made into a tourist attraction? The push is on to do just that.  

Then, a dictatorship in Africa wants to change its image but will Equatorial Guinea also change its ways? 

And from Mexico, the saint comes marching in.

Listen to the program now (left click)
Listen to individual items from the program

Download the podcast (right click: save target as) 

Bangladeshi police officers escort defendant Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, a leader of Bangladesh's Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, out of a tribunal in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. (Photo: AP/Pavel Rahman)

Justice delayed, or justice denied?

In times of war, the ordinary becomes sinister.  

In Bangladesh for example, there's a pumping station near the capital city of Dhaka they call the "Butcher's Den." 

Forty years ago, it was a watery graveyard where the Pakistani Army dumped thousands of people demanding independence for Bangladesh.  

And no one's ever been held accountable for them, or the more than 2 million others who perished in other parts of the country.  

Until now. 

This past week, a war crimes tribunal began hearing the first of seven cases.  However, it's also hearing complaints it's not up to international standards and may even be trying to avoid them. 

David Bergman is an editor with the Bangladesh English-language newspaper, New Age, and he spoke to Rick from Dhaka. 



An Egyptian protester wears a cardboard egg carton as protection while using scrap metal as a shield during clashes with security forces near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011. (Photo: AP/Khalil Hamra)

A return to Tahrir

Egypt is once again in an uproar.  But this time in the crowd noise, you'll hear the sound of nuance. 

In the square at the centre of it in Cairo, the CBC's Middle East correspondent Derek Stoffel hears a new eloquence as the middle class rejoins the protest. 

But also new reservations among others who once endorsed it, like publisher Hisham Kassem. In this tape, you'll hear from Mr. Kassem second, but first...a protestor in the square. 

And you can stay on top of events in Egypt as they occur by tracking Derek on Twitter







Maribel Barrientos cries during the funeral procession for her two brothers in Peru, killed by death squads 19 years ago. (Photo/Mattia Cabitza) 

A requiem, 19 years in the making

Another remarkable sound now, this time in rural Peru, as a sombre funeral erupts in heartfelt applause. 

Mourners came to honor a group of men killed by death squads nineteen years ago.

It was a time when guerillas were clashing with the government, and civilians were targetted by both sides.

The country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates seventy-thousand people simply...disappeared.  But as mass graves emerge, the dead are finally embraced as we hear from Mattia Cabitza.



Cult leader Jim Jones led more than 900 Americans to mass suicide in at their remote jungle compound in Guyana in 1978. Some want it re-built to boost tourism in Guyana. (Photo/AP-Getty Images)

Jonestown revisited 

In 1978, American cult leader Jim Jones presided over the deaths of more than 900 followers of the People's Temple, based in Jonestown, Guyana. 

The dead were most killed with cyanide, which some willingly took after poisoning their children with it first.   

Today, the government's being asked to declare it a tourist attraction despite its grisly history, recalled in this excerpt from a story filed back in the day by journalist Bronwyn Drainie with the CBC Radio program, Sunday Morning.

 
In the 33 years since that report, the jungle's grown back, and the Jonestown buildings have been looted, burnt and shunned by superstitious locals. But one man who witnessed the massacre's grim aftermath believes it should be a tourist attraction.

Dispatches contributor Sarah Grainger is hacking through the bush to see what once was, and what some want it to become.  


Police officers march through a plaza near the Sipopo conference center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in July 2011. The conference centre is part of a multimillion dollar complex built by the country's dictator, Teodoro Obiang, to prepare for an African Union summit. (Photo: AP/Rebecca Blackwell)


Africa's Potemkin village

One of Africa's smallest, richest and dodgiest countries recently played host for the first time to a British parliamentary delegation.

The discovery of oil in the late 90s nets Equitorial Guinea an estimated 65 million dollars a day right now, though there's not a lot of trickledown to the common folks. 

A U.S. Senate report alleges rather more trickles into the trousers of President Teodoro Obiang and his freespending family. Which is now bent on buying itself a makeover.  

The plan was to blitz the Brits with a charm offensive. Didn't work out so well, though the sights were impressive. That's according to British journalist Ian Birrell, who was along for the ride and wrote about it in The Observer newspaper.

He spoke to Rick from our London bureau. 




A family in Mexico city waits for the subway on their way to the monthly pilgrimage to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. Many people carry statues of St. Jude to the pilgrimage, and even dress up as the saint himself. (Photo/Myles Estey)

The Saint comes marching in

In journalism school, they told Rick, "Looking for stories?  The Personals are full of them. Get a newspaper."

And he was always intrigued by one in particular, often printed a dozen times a day but with different anonymous initials at the end.   

"Thanks to St. Jude for favours received." 

And not a word about why, and no way to find out. Rick never knew what so many people were grateful for. He should have gone to Mexico. 


This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Greg Fleet and Victor Johnston. Our senior producer is Alan Guettel.

We bring you the world.
  • Commenting has been disabled for this entry.