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Hala Gorani Tonight
Haiti Declares State of Siege After President's Assassination; Translators Who Worked for U.S. Military Fear for Their Lives After the U.S. Abandoned Them; British Prime Minister Defends Reopening Plan; Haiti's President Jovenel Moise Assassinated; Colombian Police Violence against Protesters; Italy Faces Either England or Denmark in Euro 2020 Final. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 07, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNNI HOST: Hello everyone, live from CNN London, I'm Isa Soares sitting in for HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Haiti in a state of siege in the
assassination of the country's president has shocked the world and thrown Haiti into uncertainty.
Then Afghanistan falling inch by inch into Taliban hands. Why that spells disaster for thousands who helped U.S. troops before the withdrawal. And
later, England fans are ready, but what about the team? The national football team faces Denmark in just under two hours to find out who will be
in the Euro 2020 finals.
CNN is live for you at Wembley. But first, Haiti has declared a state of siege following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Acting Prime
Minister Claude Joseph made the announcement early today giving officials the power to close borders and to temporarily impose martial law. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLAUDE JOSEPH, ACTING PRIME MINISTER, HAITI (through translator): I just presided over a cabinet meeting this morning, and we decided to put the
country under the state of siege. I share the pain and the suffering with the president's family, making sure they were OK was my first priority this
morning. I'm calling on the people to stay vigilant and stay calm in this difficult moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now, the prime minister says Mr. Moise was killed overnight by a highly trained and heavily armed group. It happened in his own home near
Port-au-Prince. This video shows the aftermath of the attack. And you can see the bullets on the ground and gunshots on the walls of the home. The
first lady was also wounded in the shooting and we just learned that she's been medically evacuated to Miami.
Let's get more, CNN's Melissa Bell joins us with more, she's been following the story. Melissa, this is truly extraordinary. Here we have a president
murdered in his own bed. Do we know at this stage what exactly happened and who critically was behind this, Melissa?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have heard from the acting prime minister that you mentioned there, that we will be kept informed. So far,
as you said that they're highly trained, they were heavily armed -- I'm sorry, and highly trained group of people that managed to get into the
house. We'd also heard earlier in the day from Claude Joseph that some of them had been heard speaking Spanish.
That's just about all we know so far about the assailants that managed to kill the Haitian prime minister -- president, I'm sorry, overnight, and
seriously wound his wife, as you say, we've just learned from the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., that Martine Moise will be flown to Miami, efforts
are being made so that she can get treatment there, and that her condition is critical but stable for the time being.
So, really, we're hearing -- what we're hearing is that this was a well planned attack by highly trained individuals, heavily armed, and I think
nonetheless, the idea that the president should have been killed in his own bed is really a measure of this insecurity that's become such a central
theme of the crisis that has gripped Haiti over the course of the last few months on a political, economic and social level.
This is a country beset by insecurity, armed gangs got vying for influence in parts of the capital, in particular where the forces of law and order
had really lost control. So, that announcement of the institution of the state of siege which is just above a state of emergency, it really means a
martial law. The closing of borders.
The idea as he explained, Claude Joseph; that is the acting prime minister is that, this should help prevent the country from plunging into any
further chaos. Isa.
SOARES: Yes, that was going to be my next question, Melissa. I mean, this of course more uncertainty, more insecurity. Is there a fear now, Melissa
that this could create worse scenes in the country, that this can lead to further instability? What are you hearing from people on the ground?
BELL: Well, this is a -- this is a presidency, that of Jovenel Moise, until he was killed overnight that had been beset by instability and
controversy from its very start.
There have been protests throughout, allegations of corruption, claims by the opposition that he was staying on longer than he should and trying to
tighten his grip on power against the constitution that had been brought back in 1987, to try and prevent that cycle of coups and dictatorships that
have caused such chaos politically for the country of Haiti ever since it was created. I mean its first free elections weren't held until 1990 and it
wasn't long before a military coup ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide, only brought back into power with the help of American forces back in 1994.
The history of Haiti is really a history of political, economic and social chaos. This has only worsened, and it's very difficult to see with the
assassination of the president overnight that things could improve any time soon.
The very question of who might take over, a central one throughout the day. Claude Joseph has made it clear that he intends to stay on, but he was only
the acting prime minister because he'd been sacked a few days before by Moise, in favor of what would have been the seventh prime minister to come
in since Moise taking over as president, a measure again of just how politically unstable this country has been. And just how much the streets
and the protests over the course of the last few months had managed to make themselves heard against the presidency of Jovenel Moise. Isa.
SOARES: Yes, really a measure of just how chaotic it has been politically, socially and economic. Thank you very much Melissa Bell, we'll stay on top
of the story throughout the hour. Melissa Bell there for us in Paris. I want to turn you now to the situation in Afghanistan which seems to be
going really from bad to worse.
Just days after U.S. troops handed over Bagram Air Base, Afghan president - - government forces are battling the Taliban in the country's north. Now, the most recent clashes have taken place in Badghis Province. The Taliban
say they entered the provincial capital today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now, this video purports to show a prison break in that capital city, a voice can be heard saying that, quote, "friends are free to go".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Meanwhile, Afghan government forces are fighting back in a number of northern districts. According to AFP, the country's defense minister
says, quote, "war is raging". Well, the worsening security situation is only making things more dangerous, of course, for those Afghans who once
worked for the U.S. military. CNN's Anna Coren meets some former translators really living in fear for their lives.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Afghan interpreters who worked with the Americans during the 20-year war say their lives are now under threat with
the Taliban launching revenge attacks. It comes as the militants makes substantial gains over the last 24 hours, attempting to take the provincial
capital of Badghis' Province until the Afghan forces called in airstrikes and commandos to reclaim the territory. But all this violence just adds to
the fear and uncertainty here in Afghanistan, particularly among Afghan interpreters.
COREN (voice-over): Standing in the Kershian (ph) Valley in Orusgun (ph) Province, Abdul Rashid Shirzad had just completed another mission with SEAL
team 10. The Afghan linguist working alongside America's military elite translating for U.S. Special Forces. But according to Abdul, his five years
of service has now amounted to a death sentence. After the U.S. government rejected his special immigrant visa making him a target for the Taliban.
ABDUL RASHID SHIRZAD, FORMER U.S. MILITARY INTERPRETER: If they catch me, they're going to kill me, they're going to kill my kids, and they're going
to kill my wife too. It's a pay-back time for them, you know.
COREN: The father of three says his contract with the U.S. military was terminated in 2014 after he failed a polygraph test. But his letters of
recommendation from SEAL commanders reflect a translator who went above and beyond duty. Describing him as a valuable and necessary asset who braved
enemy fire and undoubtedly saved the lives of Americans and Afghans alike.
SHIRZAD: This is Eli, he was one of our team member.
COREN: These guys were your American brothers.
SHIRZAD: American brothers, yes.
COREN: Abdul says he has no idea what he did wrong and never received an explanation. His visa rejection letter from the U.S. Embassy stated "lack
of faithful and valuable service."
SHIRZAD: If we had peace in Afghanistan, if I had not served the U.S. military, if the Taliban were not after me, I would never leave my country.
COREN: Around 18,000 Afghans who worked for the U.S. military have applied for a special immigration visas, but CNN has learned only half are expected
to be granted. The Biden administration is in talks with a number of countries to act as a safe haven while the visas are processed.
A clear sign the government is well aware of the looming threat posed by the Taliban. But for Afghans who have been rejected, the danger is just as
real. Sahail Patir (ph) seen here dancing worked for 16 months as a translator for the U.S. Army before he too failed a polygraph test and was
terminated in 2012.
ABDULHAQ AYOUBI, FORMER U.S. MILITARY INTERPRETER: They were telling him that you are a spy for the Americans, you are the eyes of the Americans,
and you are infidel. And we will kill you and your family.
COREN: Thirty two-year-old Sahail (ph) confided in his best friend and fellow translator Abdulhaq, both have joined the Afghans Left Behind
Association, hoping to raise awareness for their cases.
But on the morning of May 12th this year, Sahail (ph) left Abdulhaq a voice message, saying he was driving from Kabul to Khost province to pick up his
sister for Eid's celebrations. On the way, the Taliban had set up a check point, Sahail (ph) sped through, but villagers told the Red Crescent, the
Taliban shot his car before it swerved and stopped. The militants then dragged Sahail (ph) out of the car and beheaded him. Sahail's(ph) brother
takes us to his grave on the side of a baron hill. Earth and stones, a reminder of a life violently taken in a country that has been left to fight
this war on its own.
COREN (on camera): There are hundreds of other Afghan translators who were terminated from their contracts for what they say was unjust cause. And
while the U.S. government says it won't be reviewing those cases, they fear that if they stay in Afghanistan, their fate will be the same as Sahail's
AYOUBI: We kindly request the President Biden to save us. We help you and you have to help us.
COREN (voice-over): A desperate plea from a group of Afghans who once believed America would never desert them.
COREN: We've met so many Afghan interpreters who have shown us all their documents, letters of recommendation and commendation from their superiors,
but for whatever reason their special immigrant visas to the United States have been rejected. They say it doesn't matter if you've worked one day or
ten years for the Americans, the Taliban will come after them.
SOARES: Anna Coren there for us. And still to come tonight, freedom or chaos. We'll have two views of the British Prime Minister's plans for
lifting COVID restrictions. And then protesters in Spain take to the streets after a gay man was brutally beaten to death. Three people now
under arrest. We'll have the latest in a live report. Both those stories after a very short break.
SOARES: A Summer of chaos and confusion. That's what a rival of Boris Johnson warns is here is ahead here in England. In the House of Commons
today, the Prime Minister defended his plan to lift COVID restrictions on July 19. This as cases are on the rise driven by the Delta variant. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOR PARTY LEADER: Let's be clear why infection rates are so clear -- are so high. Because the prime minister let the
Delta, or we can call it the Johnson variant into the country. And let's be clear -- let's be clear, why the number of cases will surge so quickly,
because he has taken all protections off in one go. That is reckless.
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: We are seeing a wave of cases because of the Delta variant. But scientists are also absolutely
clear that we have severed the link between infection and serious disease and death. And currently, there are only a thirtieth of the deaths that we
were seeing an equivalent position in previous waves of this pandemic. And that is being made possible, thanks to the vaccine rollout, the fastest of
any European country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now, that's the U.K.. Meantime, we're seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases across Asia, South Korea is in its fourth wave according
to the health ministry. Seoul reported the most daily cases since the pandemic began. China had its highest number of cases since January on
Tuesday at 57, and Indonesia is expanding emergency restrictions from Bali and Java across the nation, they will be in place until July 20th.
This as the World Health Organization reports COVID deaths were at the lowest last week since October. Let's get more on this, Paula Hancocks is
watching developments across Asia for us. And Paula, as we just mentioned, South Korea facing its fourth wave of infections. Do they understand -- do
we know where these outbreaks are occurring and why?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, at this point, they're saying most of these outbreaks are among those who are in their 20s and
their 30s. These are people who are out and about more often, and they say that the Delta variant is a significant issue in the country.
That they're asking people not to go out unless they need to, not to go to work unless they need to. And what we're seeing as well is that they are
really trying to rush the vaccination process. Now, they're still on over 60s at this point and it's -- they haven't started the under 50s, and
certainly that is where we're seeing the Delta variant's increase.
We're seeing in city of Seoul itself, the capital, that they are the highest numbers since this pandemic began. So we're in a worse position in
Seoul than before the -- in February of last year when the first wave happened. Now, that is certainly a concern.
Now, we're seeing restrictions being increased -- and bear in mind, just a couple of weeks ago, Isa, we were talking about the potential lifting of
some restrictions in South Korea which just shows how quickly this Delta variant has turned things around in South Korea. A similar situation in
Australia. They had had very low levels.
But then they had an unvaccinated driver who caught the Delta variant from a flight crew, and now they have a lockdown in Sydney. That lockdown has
just been extended for another week. A similar situation in Indonesia or in fact, a far worse situation in Indonesia where we're seeing record deaths,
record daily cases. And we've spoken to people on the ground who cannot get their loved ones who are very ill into a hospital, and even if they can,
then they have to provide their own oxygen. Isa?
SOARES: On the Indonesia -- on the Indonesia, what are you hearing in terms of vaccinations? Where are they on the vaccination front, Paula?
HANCOCKS: They are a long way behind many of the western countries in Indonesia. In fact, Save the Children in particular is calling for more
vaccines. They're saying what we're seeing in Indonesia which is a very disturbing reality is that children are being affected more than many other
places in the world.
By their estimates, they say that about one in eight of these new cases are amongst those who are under the age of 17. And they're calling for
vaccinations not just for the older generations, but for those 12 and above. And they're saying that more than 600 children have been killed in
this pandemic and have lost their lives.
So they're saying that the lack of vaccination among the young and the old is a real issue. But the urgency in Indonesia at this point appears to be
as we saw in India before, the lack of oxygen and the lack of hospital beds.
SOARES: Yes, it's incredible is what we heard from the W.H.O., isn't it, Paula, really the two-tier that we're seeing right around the world.
Thanks, Paula. I want to bring in Nina dos Santos following developments here in the U.K.
And Nina, we -- you know, everyone is preparing for freedom day as it's called here roughly in two weeks, but we've had so much in terms of mixed
messaging from the government. No masks in two weeks, but then we heard there could be cases as many as 100,000 cases by mid August. How much
criticism, Nina, is Boris facing, and how is he defending his vision, his plan for freedom day?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, Isa, as you said, freedom day is how some people are putting it. Other people a little bit more
fearful of the 19th of July because especially the fact that mask-wearing is no longer going to be obligatory under these draft plans from the
government which by the way, I should point out will be revised about a week before July the 19th, to see whether the data is still holding up to
allow them to go ahead with this big lifting of restrictions.
But amidst all of this great, big fanfare at the start of the week, it has been somewhat forgotten that actually there are still a few vestiges of
COVID rules from restrictions that are really affecting people's lives.
So again, being present in the U.K. and obligatory for another six weeks after the 19th of July, and that's the real political hot potato that you
saw debated in prime minister's question time between the leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Sir Keir Starmer basically accusing the government of not really having a strategy here of putting one foot forward, two steps back, leaving the
business world and workers in chaos. And one of the things that he's pointing out here is the fact that people who have had two vaccinations so
far still have to self isolate for ten days if they have been contacted and told that they've been in contact with somebody who's tested positive for
Also, school children across the U.K., hundreds of thousands of them are still having their education affected because they have to isolate for ten
days if somebody in their year group has tested positive. All of those extra restrictions are set to be loosened as well. But they're going to be
loosened with a time lag after July the 19th, and that is the real crunch point.
The reason the government says they have to have this staggered loosening of restrictions is because they need to wait until almost all adults across
the U.K. in nearly the Autumn have had two doses of a COVID vaccination. Overall though, the strategy still seems to be and the prime minister's
defense for all of this is that he says the vaccinations are holding firm against that Delta variant, and that far few people are getting sick from
COVID to need hospital treatment.
And although he has said in the past this week that the U.K. needs to reconcile itself to a large case load of infections and potentially more
deaths from COVID-19, the pace of all of that will be nowhere near the type of things that the country saw in the first and second waves before so many
people were vaccinated. Isa.
SOARES: Yes, but as you hear, there are of course, so many people, Nina, scratching their heads, trying to put together really disconnect about what
-- from what we're hearing from the government. Nina dos Santos there, thanks very much, Nina, great to see you. Now, to a shocking crime in
northern Spain. Three people have been arrested over the killing of a man in a suspected homophobic attack. The killing prompted protests right
across the country.
The 24-year-old was beaten to death outside a night club on Saturday. Friends says the attackers used a homophobic slur. Police say they haven't
yet determined the motive, and more arrests are possible. Joining us, Al Goodman is following the story for us from Madrid. And Al, what more do we
know at this stage as to what happened to Samuel Luiz.
AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Isa, well the victim Samuel Luiz was a nursing assistant, he worked at a senior citizen residence in a northwest city of A
Coruna, that's a very tip of northwestern Spain. And this happened early Saturday morning just after the night clubs had been reopened after the
pandemic and everything had been shut down.
On near the beach by the Atlantic Ocean, and he managed to get away a certain distance, several hundred feet and they came after him again
according to officials and two witnesses. Now as the word got out that this was a potential homophobic attack based on a witness account in social
media, that's when these -- that's when these protests took real force here earlier this week in Spain.
Here in Madrid in Barcelona, the second largest city in A Coruna and in towns and cities all across the country, the LGBT community, especially
getting out one of the signs in Barcelona said any one of us could have been Samuel.
The Spanish prime minister tweeted out that this was a savage act, but he said that Spain would not take even one step back on rights and liberties.
Now, a senior government official on radio this day said that police have not ruled out that this was a homophobic attack, but it would be up to a
judge to decide if it was a hate crime. The three people arrested, two men and a woman ages 20 to 25 face arraignment before a judge not later than
The senior government official said they are suspected of being direct participants in this attack. An assistant to that official told CNN that
Samuel was literally punched and kicked to death. So after just coming on the heels of pride week here in Spain and in many other countries, but
where there were large demonstrations by the LGBT community just basically celebrating all that they've achieved.
This is really come as such a difficult blow. Isa?
SOARES: Yes, horrific and despicable act. Al Goodman there for us in Madrid. Thanks very much, Al. Now protesters are also taking the streets in
Brazil for very different reasons. They're angry at the government's chaotic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And opposition lawmakers want
President Jair Bolsonaro impeached over a vaccine scandal. Shasta Darlington has details now from Sao Paulo.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once riding high amid the chorus of cheering supporters, Brazilian President
Jair Bolsonaro's wave of popularity now crashing hard into the rising tide of discontent as cries for his impeachment seem to grow louder by the day,
fueled in large part by his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and ignited by allegations of governmental corruption in vaccine acquisition that
opponents say delayed the delivery of high efficacy vaccines like Pfizer- BioNTech, that could have saved more lives.
In favor of a contract for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, a less proven vaccine at a much higher cost. A contract that many of those took to the streets in
protest this weekend say may have led not only to delays in vaccinations, but also unethical financial gain for pro-Bolsonaro lawmakers.
KIM KATAGUIRI, MBL PARTY LAWMAKER (through translator): It is a question of principles. It is a question of values. It is a question of morals. It
is a question of repudiating and rejecting the criminal negligence that has led to over 500,000 deaths.
DARLINGTON: Bolsonaro speaking to reporters after a whistleblower testified to congressional investigators that he had warned the president
about the alleged contract improprieties. Displaying the dismissive defiance, he has become famous for.
JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENT, BRAZIL (through translator): As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with the contract. Not a penny was spent
on Covaxin. You people who want to judge me for corruption, you are going to get it wrong. I'm incorruptible.
DARLINGTON: That Covaxin contract now suspended. And for its part, Bharat Biotech releasing a statement denying any wrongdoing, saying "as of June
29th, Bharat Biotech has not received any advance payments nor supplied any vaccines to MOH Brazil. Bharat Biotech has followed a similar approach
towards contracts, regulatory approvals and supplies in several countries worldwide, where Covaxin is being supplied successfully."
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers seizing on Bolsonaro's cratering popularity amid allegations of graph, by combining some of the more than 100 already
existing impeachment requests against the president into a so-called super request for his ouster. And the Brazilian Supreme Court green-lighting a
criminal inquiry last week into Bolsonaro for his handling of the matter. Leading to a palpable sense of anger amongst protesters and opposition
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): That's a dollar that Bolsonaro and the ministry of health wanted to earn on each vaccine they bought on life
of every Brazilian. We have more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in our country and it is the result of genocidal policy which trivialized the
strength of coronavirus in our country.
DARLINGTON: With the protests against Bolsonaro likely to gather steam as the investigation runs its course, the death toll from COVID-19 still
rising, howbeit more slowly than before with more people joining the ranks of the grieving as the pandemic rages silently on. Shasta Darlington, CNN,
SOARES: And still to come tonight, much more on our top story, the assassination of Haiti's president, and the new turmoil it's creating in an
already troubled nation. And then the family of a prominent Dutch crime reporter says their worst nightmare has come true. We'll tell you about an
attack that's triggered outrage across Europe.
SOARES: Let's return to our top story.
Haiti has declared a state of siege following assassination of president Jovenel Moise. Officials say he was killed overnight by a heavily armed
group in his home. The first lady was also shot and was medically evacuated to Miami. Officials around the world have condemned the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOCCHIT EDMOND, HAITIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: This is a threat. They killed the president of Haiti today but it is a threat on the democracy of
our region. So it is very important for us to consider how we can work together and to make sure that those things do not repeat in our region in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: The assassination is adding further chaos to a country already facing violence and political unrest. CNN's Melissa Bell now reports.
BELL (voice-over): The assassination brings to an end the turbulent rule of Haiti's president, Jovenel Moise, but leaves the impoverished Caribbean
nation in turmoil.
For months there have been protests, demanding Moise step down. The president held on to power while the opposition claimed his continued rule
was unconstitutional. His critics argued that, according to Haiti's constitution, his five-year term as president started the day he was
elected rather than the day he took office.
But Moise argued it was a year later that marked the true beginning. Both the U.S. and the U.N. supported his claim to remain in power. But there had
been widespread concern when Moise failed to hold legislative elections in 2019, leaving the country without a functioning government.
And a constitutional referendum, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, still hasn't taken place.
Moise's presidency was plagued with a number of other problems. U.N. officials say the country has been rocked by an uptick in kidnappings for
ransom and a wave of criminal violence in recent months, fueled by armed gangs.
Thousands were forced to flee their homes as shootings and arson spread in June. The continued political instability has left Haiti's economy in
shambles. The COVID pandemic contributed to a contraction of nearly 4 percent of the nation's GDP last year. And a spike in COVID cases prompted
a new state of emergency.
All of this leading to a humanitarian crisis. According to the World Bank, nearly 60 percent of Haitians live below the poverty line. To make matters
worse, Haiti is prone to natural disasters.
BELL (voice-over): The country never fully recovered from the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people. And in 2016, Hurricane
Matthew left hundreds dead and nearly 200,000 displaced.
As the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has a long history of dictatorships and coups. Now the assassination of its president leaves
the country's future in doubt -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
SOARES: Let's get more from Amy Wilentz, contributing editor at "The Nation" magazine, with us live from Los Angeles.
Amy, great to have you to be show. Thanks for taking time to speak us to. I believe what I read in your article that you were in Haiti in 2019. And you
have been a Haiti watcher for some time. So let me get your reaction first to what has unfolded in Port-au-Prince overnight.
AMY WILENTZ, "THE NATION": Well, it is another disaster. Moise was not a great president, to put it mildly. He presided over a descent into chaos
that's been awful for Haitian people.
But yet, you know, it just is so troubling to have this now physical vacuum in power as well as a sort of vacuum in power while he was there. And it
obscures even further what the future steps are for Haiti to get back on its feet and become a reasonable place to live again for its population.
SOARES: And we heard, Amy, that the group of people who murdered him were highly trained, heavily armed, that they were mercenaries who spoke
Who could be behind this?
Do you think this would be political?
Do you think this would be gang related?
WILENTZ: Well, it depends what you mean by "political" and "gang" in Haiti. Those two march hand in hand right now. Unfortunately that's what's
happened under the rule of Moise and beginning with his predecessor and even before.
Already these gangs, which are controlled by various factions but also are participants in the drug trafficking trade through Haiti are, you know --
this is kind of group that can finance a team like this, that came into the president's house and killed him. So I think you could call it political.
But it is also gang related, if you see what I mean.
SOARES: And so, you know, given the picture you have just painted and the fears over instability, what happens now going forward?
How much control does the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, have really?
WILENTZ: Oh, I believe he has little power as the assassinated president. He declared a state of siege. Haiti has been under siege for two years at
least, with total chaos, a lack of government, lack of responsibility, lack of forces of order.
Kidnappings, murders, it's just been a crazy time for Haiti. And so I don't believe he has any power. He said the police and the army will keep the
peace. I don't believe that that's possible. They haven't been able to do so before the president was assassinated.
Do we think they will be able to do a better job with a dead president on their hands?
I don't think so.
SOARES: And so if he has no power, Amy, who does?
WILENTZ: The people who did the assassination. That's who has the power. But who they are is another question. They are various factions that have
been both supporting Moise, some of them and some of them feeling that Moise -- I mean, I don't know them personally. Most of them I don't know
personally, I hope -- but they have been fighting with Moise and on Moise's side.
So it is very hard to know who these are. But likely they are part of what is called the business mafia in Haiti, which are Haitian-born businessmen,
who run the ports and customs and all of these places that are very ripe for corruption, who are participants in various thieveries from the
government at high levels.
So it is hard to say who it is execute who will emerge. But someone will emerge, though. Someone will emerge, some group.
SOARES: Let me ask you this, Amy, because I was reading your piece, your article. And you wrote -- I'm just going read out part of it.
"The Organization of American States, the United Nations and the United States have continued to support Haiti's incompetent, irresponsible,
corrupt and deadly government."
You wrote this I believe before he was assassinated.
SOARES: Why do you think that the U.S. and the world have abandoned Haiti?
WILENTZ: They don't know what to do with it. And it is not that important anymore. It used to be important, bizarrely, as a site of global power,
competition over agricultural products and control of the Caribbean but now, not so much. So there were just so many bigger things to worry about,
Like, the pandemic, for instance, and Trump -- Trump's allegations about the American election. There were a lot of things for the Biden
administration to worry about. Other parts of the international community have paid attention to Haiti but in a very, kind of, retrograde way, in
which they are behaving as though it is the old days in Haiti, when there are totally new power centers in Haiti.
So they supported Moise. That is like the OAS in my article.
SOARES: Amy Wilentz, really appreciate the time.
WILENTZ: Thanks so much.
SOARES: Now the European Council president calling shooting Amsterdam an attack on our values of democracy. Prominent reporter Peter de Vries is
fighting for his life today. He was shot multiple times as he left a television studio. Two suspects in custody. People are leaving flowers at
He's well known for exposing the criminal underworld in the Netherlands. Let's bring in Glenn Schoen, a security expert and crisis management
advisor, joining us from The Hague.
Glenn, this is incredibly shocking and no doubt worrying to any journalist on the ground.
What are you hearing as to what may have happened or who these individuals the police are questioning, who could have been behind it?
GLENN SCHOEN, TERRORISM EXPERT: I think the police are ahead of the curve here. What we do know is, after a lot of false reporting in the first hour
after the shooting, is the police did detain two suspects in a vehicle, moving south from Amsterdam in the direction of the Hague.
Made a fairly daring intercept on the highway. One of these is a Polish national, 35; the other a Dutch national from city of Rotterdam, age 21.
These people have been detained. The police do believe these are the lead suspects.
And one of these two is likely the shooter. They are not revealing so far anymore details about the investigation. What we do know is we are all
looking to the coming Friday, when these two individuals will be arraigned in court in Amsterdam.
And then we'll be hearing more about likely motives and connections and whether it was tied to organized crime or not and who may have been behind
SOARES: My next question was whether there is any sense what you are hearing. He was famed for exposing mobsters, druglords and has helped on
solving high profile cases, whether these individuals that have been questioned, there's any link to anything he was investigating.
And the other question I wanted to ask is, given, you know, his investigative work here, did he have any police protection?
SCHOEN: To take your last question first, I think, at the moment, a number of people in his direct environment are indicating, at the moment, he did
not enjoy specific protection or a team around him. He has at times in the past.
So when you go to your larger question of the investigation here, he is an icon in the Dutch crime fighting scene but also as a Dutch journalist. So
this is sort of a dual attack, if you will. He's had a 40 year career in journalism that began in a big way with the kidnapping of Freddie Heineken,
the beer company owner.
But he also covered people like Natalee Holloway, the American young lady, who went missing and the pursuit of her killer. Built quite a name but was
involved also in recent years in a number of different cases.
So it is not one of these things where you can clearly say, ah, this group was after him or that organization was after him. Clearly there is the
possibility here that some people either may have been out for revenge, may have been able to send or trying to send and intimidate, a message to other
journalists or to the Dutch legal and law sector, as we had two years ago with the death of an attorney and a prominent case here.
It is just too early and it is not something that the government is willing to speculate on until they have run their first investigation.
SOARES: Yes, it is truly shocking. Thinking of him and hope that he fights this with all its worth. Thank you very much, Glenn Schoen. Great to have
you on the show.
Still to come tonight, after deadly protests erupted in Bogota, a commission finds that police used excessive and even lethal force. We'll
take you to Bogota next.
SOARES: Two months after a wave after anti-government protests shook Colombia there's still anger over police brutality. A new report found that
Colombian security forces used excessive, even deadly force against demonstrators. But the government is rejecting some recommendations in the
report. Stefano Pozzebon joins us now live from Bogota.
These protests, I remember, clearly started with tax reforms. Then it became about much more -- poverty, inequality. And unfortunately, its
become about police violence.
Tell us, what does that report conclude?
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those protests were around several issues and police violence at the hands of the police became one of
the most prominent throughout as the protests were continuing here in Bogota and several other cities in Colombia.
This is the most high-profile inquiry into the actions of the Colombian police to date. They've found that they've employed excessive and even
disproportionate force. They say that one death is a tragedy and several is a statistic.
We're talking about at least 20 cases of people dying in the streets, the legacy of the last two months of protests here in Colombia.
POZZEBON (voice-over): The night of May 1st, everything changed for Marlin Nino and her family.
In the midst of a violent wave of protests that shook Colombia for two months and left dozens of dead protesters triggered by now recalled text
phones (ph) that evolved into broader movement against income inequality and police brutality.
Her brother, Brayan, was hit by a gas canister shot from a police vehicle. According to preliminary investigations by the Colombia attorney general's
office. Witnesses told CNN they tried to revive Brayan on the spot and took him to the nearest hospital.
But the 24-year-old protester was pronounced dead soon afterwards.
MARLIN NINO, BRAYAN NINO's SISTER: In that moment, I couldn't pull myself together. The only thing I did was call my aunt and I told her, "My
brother, my brother, they killed my brother." And then I was in shock.
POZZEBON (voice-over): More than two months later, a police major is in custody and being investigated for her brother's death. But Marlin fears it
won't be enough and soon another family will have to mourn a loved one.
Brayan's case is one of hundreds of accusations against the Colombian police investigated by the Inter-America Commission on Human Rights as
part of a full inquiry into human rights abuses during Colombia's protests.
The inquiry found that the Colombian authorities employed excessive lethal force on several occasions that resulted in serious injuries and, in one
case, the death of a protester.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Colombia's justice minister (INAUDIBLE) zero tolerance for police abuse, has stopped short of supporting structural
POZZEBON (voice-over): "First, we need to understand what really happened there and what caused the death. That's what our investigation and justice
ministry is for. And I welcome the investigation from the attorneys to clear the facts in front of the country. As justice minister, I can assure
you we will never cover up the murder."
POZZEBON: The report is calling for full transparency on the issue of police violence. Much of that will depend on the attorney general's office
just here. They are the ones investigating the allegations.
POZZEBON (voice-over): Whether they are able to bring alleged perpetrators to justice will have a lasting impact far beyond the court. Mistrust of
Colombia's institutions dates back to more than 50 years of civil war.
The government now claims left-wing guerrillas have infiltrated occurring marches (ph) to seed (ph) chaos, an accusation the protest movement further
denies. But the time has come for a deeper reckoning, saying Ingrid Betancourt, a former presidential candidate, who was kidnapped by rebel
guerrillas and held for over six years.
INGRID BETANCOURT, FORMER COLOMBIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is part of what we could have expected, introducing people from the war to the city
of society. And we needed to adjust our institutions. And now that people don't hear the sound of the gun machines, they want to be in the streets
protesting for their rights.
POZZEBON (voice-over): In 2016, Colombia embarked on a journey toward peace. But five years after the official resolution of armed conflict, the
peaceful transition is yet to be fully realized.
POZZEBON (on camera): Now the Colombian government is rejecting most of the recommendation brought forward by the Inter-American Commission of
Human Rights. (INAUDIBLE) said moments ago said that nobody should ask a country to tolerate criminal acts.
But these investigations leave us many questions unanswered on the role that the security forces want to have in society, like the Colombian one
that is finally transitioning into peace after five decades of brutal conflict.
SOARES: Very important report there. Thanks, Stefano Pozzebon.
We'll be right back after a very short break.
SOARES: We're just an hour away from the match All England has been waiting for. That is Euro 2020 semifinals taking place in London. England
trying to get to the final for the first time since the 1966 World Cup, which they won.
SOARES: Standing in the way, of course, is Denmark.
(CNN WORLD SPORTS)
SOARES: And that does it for me for tonight. Thanks very much for watching. Do stay here with CNN. "STANLEY TUCCI: SEARCHING FOR ITALY" is
up next. You are watching CNN.