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Adrián Fernández

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Adrián Fernández - Spanish

Where did you travel for your programmes?
The USA, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

How long were you away for in total?
4 weeks

Are you going back for this project?
Yes

When?
Probably March or April.

Were you moved or upset at any point on your recent trip?
Yes

What caused you to feel like this?
When I interviewed Miguel Angel Martinez, a Mexican-American who's been on death row in a Texan prison since he was 17. He is now about to turn 28, so he practically grew up waiting for an execution date. He seemed so humble, so simple and so full of hope, it was very difficult to believe that he was found guilty of killing three people almost a decade ago.

I was also moved when I saw the conditions on which the indigenous people of Mexico and Colombia live.

Was there anything that gave you hope?
Yes

What was it?
In Colombia I went to a big meeting of indigenous and peasant organisations in which more than a thousand people discussed ways to get their human rights respected: from demanding an end to the fumigation of illegal crops (which destroys their own crops as well) to asking for an education which respects their own way of life.

Describe one of the people you interviewed and what they said.
Raul Reyes is one of the commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the main guerrilla group in the country. Human rights organisations have denounced FARC's forced recruitment of people, especially young boys and girls. They believe the organisation is responsible for many kidnappings of people for ransom or political pressure. The U.S. and Colombian goverments have accused them of drug trafficking.

Now in his fifties, Reyes joined FARC more than thirty years ago. He's convinced his struggle is for human rights and for the well-being of the Colombian people. He said he is a Marxist-Leninist and that FARC wanted a socialist system for Colombia, but different form the Soviet Union who had failed and different from China or Cuba because their reality was different. He also denied any involvement whatsoever of his organisation in drug-trafficking.

Has your trip made you think any differently about human rights?
No

 
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