Today, we’re looking at places where the state and the military stand accused of heinous crimes against ordinary people—and how struggles for justice have emerged in response.
First, it was reported in late August that the US military was reopening a criminal investigation into a series of at least seventeen murders of civilians in Afghanistan—murders for which an Army Special Forces unit stands accused. In The Nation last week, reporter Matthieu Aikins revealed the story of possible attempts to cover up those crimes by the military itself. Aikins is currently currently the Schell Fellow at The Nation Institute. His reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Libya has appeared in magazines like Harper’s, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic, GQ, and Wired, and his investigative work exposing war crimes in Afghanistan won him the George Polk Award and the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism.
We also look at the bombshell report released last week by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about the disappearance of 43 students in the Mexican state of Guerrero almost a year ago. The report, by an international team of experts, eviscerated the Mexican government’s official story about what happened to those students. We’re joined by author Francisco Goldman in Mexico City to learn what the report contained, and what the reactions to it have been.
In addition, Francisco Goldman has been reporting for the New Yorker on the resignation and pending prosecution of Guatemala’s president, Otto Perez Molina. Francisco explains the long history of repression and impunity in Guatemala, and what Perez Molina’s downfall means for the future of that country. Francisco Goldman is a contributing writer at newyorker.com, and author of many books, including 2007’s The Art of Political Murder, about the killing of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala. His most recent book is The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle.
Originally aired on WBAI on September 14, 2015. Listen to the full episode here: