ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE/WORLD,
three stories from a small planet.
First, in Iran, a dangerous assignment.
JANE KOKAN, Reporter: Im going undercover
to bring back the story a Canadian journalist died trying
STEFAN HACHEMI: I dont want the death of my
mother to be in vain.
ANNOUNCER: Students confront a brutal regime.
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: The Iranian government are killers
and they are really dangerous.
ANNOUNCER: And in Spain, the story of one of the worst
oil spills in history and new evidence that the disaster could
have been prevented.
And finally, in Belize, the descendants of slaves reclaim the
past through music.
AURELIO MARTINEZ: [singing] Africa, oh Africa
Iran: Forbidden Iran
Reported by: Jane Kokan
JANE KOKAN, Reporter: [voice-over] Im on
my way to Iran, traveling undercover as a tourist. The country
is in the grip of a growing student dissident movement thats
taking on the Islamic fundamentalists who rule Iran. The regime
has violently repressed the students.
Im following in the footsteps of another Canadian journalist,
Zahra Kazemi, who was beaten to death in Tehran six months ago
while trying to report this story. I want to find out what happened
to her and investigate the story she died trying to tell.
It was a journey that began months earlier on the streets of
London. Thousands of young Iranians now live in exile in the
West, and most support the students inside Iran. At this demonstration
last July outside the Iranian embassy in London, there was real
anger against the regime. At the demonstration, we met a passionate
young leader of the independent student movement.
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: [subtitles] My friends are sacrificing
themselves. Theyre giving up their youth, their dreams.
Their wish is for freedom for you and me as Iranians.
JANE KOKAN: Iman Samizadez says he was smuggled out
of the country two years ago after he was tortured in prison.
He tells us his flat in London has been attacked, and I know
that exiles have been targeted by agents of the regime. So we
decide to meet in secret.
On his Web site, Iman says the student movement is fighting
for freedom of speech, true democracy and an end to the Islamic
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: Im looking for a free Iran, without
a religion, without any religion. The people, they can have
religion as a private thing. But in a political way, we are
looking for a free country.
JANE KOKAN: Iman shows me the two very different faces
of his Iran. President Khatami, the smiling reformer. Hes
elected, but is subject to the power of this man, Ayatollah
Khamenei, the Supreme Leader. No one elects him, but he and
the mullahs control who can run for office, all public speech,
and they control the courts, the prisons and the security forces.
The students want the mullahs out.
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: They want basic human rights. They want
JANE KOKAN: For several years in Iran, the students
have taken to the streets to demand those freedoms. It is a
young country: 70 percent of Iranians are under the age of 30.
These students are the children of the Islamic revolution, but
now they want religion out of their lives. They want change,
but the price of change has been paid in their own blood.
In June, Islamic vigilantes controlled by the mullahs attacked
these dormitories at Tehran University. They smashed their way
in, locked the exits and attacked 80 students while they slept.
They used machetes, metal pipes, chains and butcher knives.
It was 18 hours before anyone could escape. No one knows exactly
how many died here.
Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian who had emigrated to Canada, came
back to Iran to report on all of this. She knew the ropes. She
had an official press pass. But by daring to talk to the students,
she was risking her own life. Kazemis story was the crushing
of the student movement: 4,000 arrested in June, 500 still in
jail. International observers say its probably more.
And in jail, violent punishment is the hallmark of this regime.
On Imans Web site, there is a gallery of pictures of Iranian
students whove been arrested and tortured. Iman himself
is there, and a young woman, known as Kati, jailed and tortured
for her writings as a student journalist, and Amad Batabi, sentenced
to 15 years because he publicly displayed the bloody shirt of
a friend who had been beaten.
JANE KOKAN: [on camera] So whos this?
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: This is Amir Abbas Fakhravar, my friend.
JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] Amir Fakhravar, arrested
17 times, is now serving 8 years in prison for student activism
and calling for democracy in Iran. To the students, hes
both a leader and hero. This video of Fakhravar and his mother
was filmed secretly just before he went to prison last year.
AMIR FAKHRAVAR: [subtitles] Mother, never
forget that I have chosen my way of fighting, and I am following
it with all of my strength. I want you not to sigh, not
to cry, and not to have such a sad face. I have told you
many times that when they are hanging me, I want you to
proudly say, "I am proud of my son."
JANE KOKAN: Two days later, Fakhravar was taken to Qasr
prison in Tehran, where hes been regularly beaten and
tortured. But they havent silenced him. In February, he
smuggled a letter out from prison asking all Iranians to boycott
elections that March, elections he claimed were a sham.
"Our goal is to reveal the unmasked face of the Islamic
Republic and for the whole world to see the level of its
unpopularity among Iranians. We have borne the burden of
endless tortures. We actually witnessed the executions of
our friends. Others have plunged to their death and been
thrown off dormitory buildings. Some have been in solitary
confinement for years at the hands of the regime. We have
faced these perils without fear. In return, we expect nothing,
just that our people do not lose hope."
JANE KOKAN: Fakhravars appeal matched the popular
mood. In the elections, turnout in Tehran was only 12 percent.
[on camera] Are you able to communicate with him?
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: Yes, sometimes.
JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] Iman tells me if I can
get into Iran, he can arrange for me to secretly meet Fakhravars
comrades and perhaps I can even speak to Fakhravar himself.
But he warns it will be risky.
IMAN SAMIZADEZ: The Iranian government, I can say they
are killers. And they are really dangerous.
JANE KOKAN: But I am still determined. And although
it took months, I eventually did find a way into Iran, as a
tourist on a group tour out of Slovenia. Because foreign reporters
are so restricted in Iran, I decide to tell the Iranian consulate
Im an archeologist, not a journalist.
[on camera] OK, I have the visa. It looks like I really
will be able to go to Iran.
[voice-over] And by mid-September, Im on a tour
bus crossing the Turkish border into Iran. The organizers of
the trip have no idea who I really am or the real story Im
trying to investigate. To them, I am just Jane Kokan, archaeologist,
on holiday to tour the historic sites of Iran. Im with
a friend, wholl back me up getting pictures.
[www.pbs.org: Read about the reporter undercover]
Its a low-budget overland trip, but we still have an
official Iranian minder.
[on camera] You know your stuff, dont you?
JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] Its his job to
keep tabs on all of us.
Even posing as a tourist, filming students is going to be a
big problem. Iran is a police state. You can never forget whos
really in control here. Hotels are watched, phone calls monitored.
So I have to slip out at night and find an Internet cafe to
set up my contacts. Ive been warned if I miss my curfew,
the hotel receptionist will report me to the police. Other journalists
were caught when their emails were tapped, so Ive made
up a code that should be hard for anyone to crack.
Were now in Isfahan, the jewel of ancient Persia. Im
anxious to begin talking to the Iranian dissidents weve
arranged to meet through our contacts in London, but my tour
is getting in the way. Im playing the tourist as well
as I can. My cover means I should study with care the Islamic
architecture of this showcase city. But Im worrying about
a meeting tonight.
I wait until night falls to leave my hotel. I want to shake
off anyone trailing me, like my minder, whos been asking
awkward questions about my occasional disappearances. I head
for an address a few streets away, another cheap hotel.
The man Im sneaking off to meet is a friend of Amir Fakhravar,
the student leader sentenced to eight years in prison. If this
man is caught meeting me, he could be arrested and tortured.
He doesnt want me to show his face or reveal his name.
ACTIVIST: [through interpreter] Ive been
arrested several times. Im not worried anymore. I know
living in Iran itself is dangerous. To tell the truth, we dont
live as such here, we just pretend we live here. Even the ordinary
people who are not political and go about their daily business
are not really living.
The security forces are watching. Theyre everywhere.
When I was in prison, one of the guards said to me, "Wherever
you go, we will know what youre doing, and we are watching
you." The police are fascists. Nothing can happen internally.
Everything is suppressed. Every demonstration, every opposition
is severely suppressed.
[www.pbs.org: More on the struggle in Iran]
JANE KOKAN: This secretly shot film of a demonstration
by teachers and students was smuggled out to us last November.
ACTIVIST: [through interpreter] Our dream
country is one where human rights are respected, where people
arent sent to prison and tortured for their ideas,
for their writing, for their work. Thats our dream
JANE KOKAN: Several days later, as evening approaches,
I snatch another visit to an Internet cafe to contact my team
back in London. They tell me to break away from the tour in
Shiraz, if I can. Shiraz is the city where Zahra Kazemi was
born and where she is now buried. Away from my minder, I secretly
visit the shrine at Shiraz, where no cameras are permitted inside.
MINDER: [subtitles] Please go there with
her. I cant go in with her. Its the womens
section. She wants to see the altar.
JANE KOKAN: But I dont want really want to see
the altar inside the shrine. I want to see something else. I
want to see Zahra Kazemis grave. Kazemis family
back in Canada has told me they want her body returned, but
the Iranian authorities have refused. And in the end, I cant
get into the locked graveyard where they buried her. Even in
death, it seems, Kazemi is still imprisoned by the regime.
Its now three weeks into the tour, and were finally
entering Tehran. This is where Im hoping to make contact
with Amir Fakhravar. But hooking up with student leaders could
be very tough. Security here is tighter than anywhere else in
But in this suburban park, I managed a few minutes with a friend
of Imans, a student called Kianoosh. Hes been arrested
four times, the first when he was 17, for writing an article
criticizing the governments treatment of the students.
KIANOOSH SANJARI, Student Activist: [through interpreter]
When youre first arrested, youre put in solitary
for months. In these solitary cells which are one meter by two
meters, one is left alone for months, and there they force you
to make false confessions.
JANE KOKAN: Kianoosh tells me that student activists
are disappearing every day, taken away by the mullahs
KIANOOSH: [through interpreter] They are supported
politically and financially, and they are able to easily abduct
people who are taking part in protests and demonstrations and
take them to secret hideouts.
JANE KOKAN: Kianoosh says the students want political
help from the West, but they dont want an Iraq-style invasion.
KIANOOSH: [through interpreter] The free world,
including America, can put pressure on the ruling clerics so
that they accept holding a referendum to decide the future democratic
structure of Iran. But they cannot interfere militarily. We
are not after Americas military intervention.
JANE KOKAN: The same day, Ive arranged to meet
my most important contact in Iran, a man well call Arzhang.
Hes been a political activist since the late 70s,
when the shah was deposed, and now hes helping the students
take on the mullahs. Its brave of him, like Kianoosh,
to insist that I show his face. Arzhang has set up a telephone
interview for me with the student leader Amir Fakhravar from
[on camera] Do you think well see a new democratic
Iran sometime soon?
[voice-over] Amazingly, Fakhravar has gained access
to a phone line inside one of Irans toughest prisons.
[on camera] Will you, the students, win? What do you
think? Will you win the battle? OK, Ill pass you back
to Arzhang. OK.
[voice-over] Fakhravars English and my Farsi arent
exactly perfect, so I ask Arzhang to act as our interpreter.
[on camera] How many students are currently locked up
ARZHANG: He says that there are thousands of students
all over Iran that have been put in jail or they have been expelled
JANE KOKAN: Since the crackdown, how many students have
been murdered and how many are still unaccounted for?
ARZHANG: This is something that everybody knows, that
students disappear, theyve been killed. There are many
people he knows. He has seen 19 people with his own eyes, but
the government didnt let the families to have ceremony
for them. And plus, they had to pay for the bullets in their
JANE KOKAN: [on camera] Is he not afraid that
he will not leave prison alive?
ARZHANG: We are disconnected.
JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] Its the last Ill
hear from Amir Fakhravar.
Arzhang drives me to a secret location on the outskirts of
Tehran. He wants to tell me what hes heard about the death
of Zahra Kazemi at the hands of her interrogators.
ARZHANG: She expected them to be easy with her, but
there is a procedure that they do for everybody, like insulting
and pushing you around and making you stand up for a few hours.
We are used to this sort of procedure, but Zahra Kazemi was
not and she fought them back. She criticized them. She shouted.
They cannot endure critics, and she fought them back strongly.
And then they wanted to do something immoral with her. They
really wanted to abuse her sexually.
JANE KOKAN: [on camera] Is this common practice
in Iranian prisons?
ARZHANG: Yes. For the ladies it is. Yes.
JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] After 26 days in Iran,
my trip official and unofficial is almost over.
The students are having my interview tapes smuggled over the
mountains into Turkey, where Ill pick them up. Im
destroying any last evidence linking me to the students.
Ive learned a lot about their movement and the repression,
but Im still not satisfied I have the full story on the
death of Zahra Kazemi. Four weeks after I left Iran, I come
to Amsterdam to meet a man who might know what really happened
[on camera] Im on my way to meet Hamid Zakeri,
a former Iranian intelligence officer who defected over a year
ago. Hes been on the run ever since, but hes agreed
to meet me at a safe house here in Amsterdam.
[voice-over] Hamid Zakeri worked directly for the Supreme
Leader and says hes now under the protection of the FBI
and security agencies in Europe.
HAMID REZA ZAKERI, Former Intelligence Agent: I have
information from the people who are in Iran right now and who
were my colleagues before.
JANE KOKAN: He says Zahra Kazemi was taken to one of
the mullahs secret detention centers, an unofficial prison
without a name, only a number.
HAMID ZAKERI: There is a place right now. It used to
be 325. And they are taking there people who are special people,
like Zahra Kazemi and the others.
JANE KOKAN: And he names the interrogator his former
colleagues say actually beat Kazemi.
HAMID ZAKERI: Jafar Nemati. Hes the one who punched
her, who hit her. Hes the one who beat her up until she
JANE KOKAN: He says what really drove the interrogator
wild was that Kazemi took everything and wouldnt flinch.
HAMID ZAKERI: She was not accepting what he wanted from
her. Thats why Jafar Nemati was upset and beat her, beat
her on the head and lots of different kinds of beating.
JANE KOKAN: Zakeri says after she was beaten unconscious
and near death, the mullahs men tried to hide their responsibility.
Saeed Mortesavi, a top judge in the mullahs justice ministry,
ordered her transferred to the custody of their rivals, the
reformers. In their care, she died.
Kazemis death caused an international uproar. And now
Irans most famous champion of human rights, Shirin Ebadi,
winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has agreed to investigate the
SHIRIN EBADI, Nobel Peace Prize: [subtitles]
In addition to the punishment of the murderer in this case,
I also want, as a result of the investigation of these events,
to ensure that there will not be another Zahra Kazemi.
JANE KOKAN: Finally, at the end of this journey, Im
back in Canada, in Montreal. Its where Zahra Kazemis
son, Stefan, lives. Ive come to tell him what Ive
learned about his mothers death. He says hes still
trying to get her body back from Iran.
STEFAN HACHEMI: This was a picture she really liked
JANE KOKAN: [on camera] What are the reasons
your mothers body wasnt repatriated back to Canada?
STEFAN HACHEMI: Well, she has been beaten. She has been
tortured. She has been pushed to false declarations. To have
the body sent back to Canada, it would have all the evidence
of the treatment she received in prison, I mean, while she was
JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] As for his mothers
alleged murderers, I ask him about Jafar Nemati and Saeed Mortesavi.
STEFAN HACHEMI: The guilty is not one man. Responsible
is the Iranian government. Responsible is Khamenei. My mothers
dead, but there is other journalists and there is other people
who get such a treatment. I dont want the death of my
mother to be in vain.
JANE KOKAN: Zahra Kazemi lies in her grave in Shiraz.
Amir Fakhravar is still in prison and tells friends hes
being tortured. And weve heard that Arzhang was arrested
and jailed. They all suffered to get this story out to the world
in the hope we would all listen.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up later: Garifuna music, the sounds
of Africa in Central America.
But first we investigate the secret history of a notorious
Spain: The Lawless Sea
Reported by: Mark Schapiro
MARK SCHAPIRO, Reporter: [voice-over] Northwest
Spain, Galicia, the edge of Europe, a wild stretch of jagged
coast and some of the worlds richest fishing grounds.
To locals, this is a holy site. A church commemorates the place
where the Virgin Mary is said to have come ashore in a stone
Theres another monument here depicting the cracked hull
of a more modern ship, recalling a tragedy just off shore. In
November, 2002, a Greek-owned oil tanker called the Prestige
broke apart in a storm. Twenty million gallons of oil began
to pour from the ship as it sank into the freezing Atlantic.
On shore, the people of Galicia watched and waited, braced
for what might be coming. A terrible black tide began to arrive,
devastating the coast of northern Spain all the way into France.
It was one of the worst oil spills in history.
The story of the wreck of the Prestige begins in Russia, where
the ship is loaded with oil in the port of St. Petersburg. The
oil tanker has a shady and complicated history. Her owners are
Greek, but they have registered their ship through a front company
in Liberia. Its a strategy that limits taxes and liability.
At 26 years old, the rusting single-hulled tanker is well past
the age of retirement. But that doesnt stop the owners
from loading the aging ship with crude oil number four, one
of the most toxic fuel oils in the world.
On October 30th, 2002, the Prestige sets off, not certain of
her destination or who will buy her oil. The Prestige passes
through the narrow Straits of Denmark. She sails across the
North Sea and through the crowded English Channel. As the ship
enters the Atlantic, the captain receives word of a buyer in
The Prestige is entering the area off Spain known as Costa
del Muerte the Coast of Death just as a winter
storm is building into a force nine gale. The captain, Apostolos
Mangouras, hears a loud bang from the starboard side. Suddenly,
the ship begins to take on water. Her hull is battered by 20-foot
waves, and her engines shut down. The Prestige is overwhelmed.
Captain Mangouras issues a call for help. Rescue copters hurry
to evacuate the Filipino crew. In the tradition of the sea,
the captain and his two top officers remain on board. He wants
to bring the ship into a safe harbor. Already leaking oil, the
ship drifts to within four miles of the coast.
Spanish authorities dispatch a man to take control of the Prestige,
68-year old Captain Serafin Diaz.
SERAFIN DIAZ: [subtitles] I boarded the copter
and they took me to the ship. This was in the middle of a storm,
with waves and strong winds. The boat looked like an alligator
in the middle of quicksand. They dropped me onto the deck of
the ship. It feels like you are a pendulum moving side to side,
no time to think. I started to feel real fear.
MARK SCHAPIRO: As Diaz reached the deck, he realized
it was covered with oil. The ship was dead in the water, crippled
by a gaping 50-foot hole on the starboard side. The steel had
been ripped away, and the ship was flooding.
SERAFIN DIAZ: [subtitles] I climbed up to the
bridge, and I saw an old man, who looked startled.
MARK SCHAPIRO: It was Captain Mangouras. Diaz explained
that the Spanish government had ordered him to restart the ships
engines and steer the Prestige out to sea, away from Spain.
But Captain Mangouras refused, saying the ship should be brought
out of the storm, into port, where the leaking oil could be
contained. The two men argued for hours. Finally, Diaz threatened
SERAFIN DIAZ: [subtitles] I told the captain
to start the engine. He said no. He rebelled against me, and
he told me he was the captain and he was in charge of the ship.
I told him, "Look, you are the captain, but in 10 minutes,
I can get the navy to come on board and replace you." Then,
he went like this, "OK, OK, OK." He said, "Ill
start the engines, but dont go too fast."
MARK SCHAPIRO: The Spanish plan was to get the wounded
ship out to deep water in the middle of the Atlantic. But after
several days of sailing and only 130 miles off the coast, the
Prestige breaks in two and it sinks. Captain Mangouras was airlifted
to shore the night before the ship sank and immediately arrested.
He was charged with negligence and resisting Spanish authority.
The oil started coming fast. It came in sheets. Massive clumps
of oil washed in with the tides. The entire northern coast of
Spain was devastated, as the oil killed everything in its path.
Millions of fish and birds were suffocated or poisoned by the
black tide. The Spanish government was completely unprepared.
GALICIAN MAN: [subtitles] It is covering everything.
Weve been here all night with the boat covered in fuel.
There is nothing, no equipment, no help. Theyve promised
nothing. We have to do it all ourselves.
MARK SCHAPIRO: The people of Galicia had to clean the
poisonous oil by hand. The damage stretched along 350 miles
of coastline, with almost twice the oil that spilled out of
the infamous Exxon Valdez in Alaska.
For people in the United States, this was a one-day story just
before the war in Iraq. For the people of Galicia, the Prestige
would be an enduring nightmare.
BELEN PINEIRO, Environmental Activist: All of us whove
been cleaning the beaches, we know that even if we get everything
clean, our environmental land is going to be dead for many years.
Maybe our children arent going to be able to enjoy the
beaches and this land. So I dont know. I dont know.
Sorry, but I dont want to talk anymore.
MARK SCHAPIRO: For the next six months, the beaches
were like a scene from science fiction. High-pressure hoses
blasted sticky oil from the rocks. The clean-up will cost an
estimated $2 billion dollars. The ships insurance only
covered $25 million. And the toxic oil doesnt just disappear,
it washes down into the sand and will remain there for decades.
Spain imposed a six-month ban on fishing along most of its
northern coast. Only recently have Galician fishermen returned
to the sea. The clams and mussels here used to be sold all over
Europe. Now environmentalists question whether people should
eat shellfish from this region at all. But Galician fishermen
are anxious to reassure me that the fish is OK.
[www.pbs.org: Read an interview with the reporter]
FISHERMAN: [subtitles] Very good shellfish!
MARK SCHAPIRO: Rafael Mouzo is a fisherman and the mayor
of a coastal village, Concurbion, hard hit by the oil.
RAFAEL MOUZO: [subtitles] This was an act of
terror, a criminal act. We need an international tribunal to
judge everyone from the oil merchants to the flags of
convenience, to the ship owners, to the government. We need
to judge them all for an enormous crime against humanity.
MARK SCHAPIRO: On the first anniversary of the Prestige
disaster, 100,000 people took to the streets in the Galician
capital of Santiago de Compostela. A new movement has emerged,
Nunca Mais Never Again. Like Mayor Mouzo, people here
want to know exactly who was to blame and who should pay.
The Spanish government says they have found documents that
show the Prestige should never have been at sea. Just before
the Prestige sank, the Spanish government sent Serafin Diaz
back onto the ship in a risky mission to search for evidence.
Lowered onto the ship once more, Diaz ran up to the bridge and
began to grab everything he could.
SERAFIN DIAZ: [subtitles] Everything that I found
on the bridge documentation, papers, so on I put
them in a black plastic bag. Then, as if I was a beggar, I carried
the bag on my shoulder.
MARK SCHAPIRO: The documents reveal the secret history
of the Prestige. It turns out that while the ship was in St.
Petersburg, another captain was in command, Esfraitos Kostazos.
He sent a series of urgent messages to the Greek shipowners,
warning that the Prestige was in unsound condition. In fact,
he threatened to quit unless the ship was repaired.
The Greek owners response was to replace Captain Kostazos
with Captain Apostolos Mangouras. Now awaiting trial, Mangouras
has refused to talk about the case, including the condition
of the ship.
The warnings from Captain Kostazos did not stop the owners
from taking a huge risk sending an ailing ship out to
sea with a full load of oil. There were no rules of international
shipping to stop them.
In Madrid, when the Spanish government began their investigation,
they wanted to question the owners. But at first, they couldnt
even tell who the owners were.
ADOLFO MENENDEZ, Lead Investigator: [subtitles]
There is long line of companies that change their names, that
change their locations, are located in different countries.
As our lawyers say, we are working to get the data on all the
players, like the ship owner.
MARK SCHAPIRO: The mysterious owners of the Prestige
have now been identified as a Greek shipping family. The Coulouthros
family were able to disguise their ownership by creating a front
company in Liberia. The only thing that company owned was the
Prestige. When the ship sank, there were no other assets to
The Prestige tore open in a storm that other ships plowed through.
The investigators wanted to know if the ships inspection
company had been aware of any problems that might have caused
the catastrophe. The company responsible for inspecting the
Prestige was the American Bureau of Shipping, ABS.
This is their corporate video. For over 20 years, ABS had the
contract to monitor the Prestiges condition. In May, just
six months before it sank, ABS certified that the Prestige was
seaworthy. But the original captain, Captain Kostazos, inspected
the ship himself in St. Petersburg and sent this fax to ABS.
In this hand-written note, the captain alerts ABS to nine serious
deficiencies on board the Prestige. The problems include: boilers
"in very bad condition," leaking pipelines, and cracked
and corroded beam parts in the ballast tank.
We contacted ABS at their corporate headquarters in Houston.
They are a well-respected ship inspection company with offices
throughout the world. But they declined to be interviewed on
camera and sent us this written response.
"ABS has no evidence that the fax was ever transmitted"
to them. They say that the role of ship inspectors is very limited.
They form "only one part of a maritime safety net in which
the ship owner is the most important member." They say
their inspection of the Prestige last May was a limited one
and that it was the ship owners responsibility to inform
them of any problems.
ADOLFO MENENDEZ: [subtitles] This is the reason
we are suing American Bureau of Shipping, so that they will
answer for doing a bad job, for creating a false image of the
ship and for letting a ship go to sea that should never have
been at sea.
MARK SCHAPIRO: Menendez says it wont be easy.
They are battling powerful forces in the maritime system.
ADOLFO MENENDEZ: [subtitles] I want you to remember
the Spanish have a special characteristic. We are like Don Quixote.
We dont mind battling windmills, no matter how gigantic.
We have time, we have patience, and we are right.
MARK SCHAPIRO: Meanwhile, the only one the Spanish are
prosecuting is Captain Mangouras. In jail, one of the captains
few visitors was Jose Manuel Ortega, a maritime union official
who believes Mangouras is being singled out unfairly.
JOSE MANUEL ORTEGA: [subtitles] In this case,
there was a huge social catastrophe. There were 900 kilometers
of contaminated coast. So there was a lot of political and social
pressure and there was a need for a scapegoat. And for me, Captain
Mangouras is the scapegoat.
MARK SCHAPIRO: Ortega says the people most responsible
for the Prestige disaster are protected by the way the system
JOSE MANUEL ORTEGA: [subtitles] The system that
permits substandard ships to sail the sea, poorly maintained
ships, poorly paid crews, companies that only care about profit
and not safety, and the nations that permit such conditions.
MARK SCHAPIRO: There are still 150 aging single-hulled
vessels like the Prestige at sea. After the disaster, the European
Union banned them from entering their ports, but they cant
control international waters.
Mayor Mouzo is furious that not enough has been done to protect
the Galician coast.
RAFAEL MOUZO: [subtitles] In this shipping lane
at Finisterre, 152 ships pass by every day. Ten percent of them
are bad ships, pirates. At any moment, there could be another
accident. Even if the accident is far away, the oil will end
on the coast again. So moving the shipping lanes is not the
answer. We need to control how much the ships can hold, the
condition of the ships, and what exactly they are carrying.
MARK SCHAPIRO: The Prestige lies 130 miles off this
coast. Some days, its oil still washes ashore. The Spanish and
French have sent submarine robots down to the shattered vessel.
Two miles below the surface, the ships rusted hull still
contains 13,000 tons of oil. They use the robots to seal the
leaks. One day, they hope to extract the remaining oil.
Above this graveyard, along the Costa del Muerte, the oil tankers
ANNOUNCER: Finally tonight, a musical discovery in Central
Belize: The Exiles Song
Reported by: Marco Werman
MARCO WERMAN, PRIs The World: [voice-over]
"Hes gone. Hes gone away, Mama. This stranger,
hes not from here."
This is the song of the Garifuna. I first heard the music of
the Garifuna 10 years ago on a trip to Central America. It stayed
with me. Ive come back to Belize for the radio program
The World to see how much roots music like this is still
Belize is a small country. Its mostly jungle and mountains
tucked between Mexico and Honduras. Some 10 percent of the population
are the Garifuna.
I arrived on a national holiday marking the day the Garifuna
settled in Belize. Its a cause for big celebration here
in the south, where the Garifuna have lived for nearly two centuries.
The marching bands recalled the days of British rule. But that
night, the sound and feel here reminded me of West Africa.
MAN AT CELEBRATION: Its beautiful because you
come here, you hear all the cultural music. You hear the songs.
You hear the rhythms.
MARCO WERMAN: The Garifuna are the descendents of African
slaves who arrived in the Caribbean some 400 years ago. They
lived freely on the island of St. Vincent and created their
own Afro-centric culture until they were exiled by the British.
IFASINA IFANYEME: We are Africans in the diaspora. We
are Africans away from home.
MARCO WERMAN: Ifasina Ifanyeme is a local journalist.
Shes trying to trace the Garifunas history in Central
America and the Caribbean. But shed also like to reconnect
with her original ancestors.
IFASINA IFANYEME: [singing] Oh, Africa, oh, Africa
Thats the main message in that song, "How could
I forget Africa?" Its the place, its the roots,
its the mother of all Garinagu. Its the mother of
all black people.
MARCO WERMAN: The mournful ballads of the Garifuna are
called Paranda. One of the last great singers of these songs
is still alive, and I went looking for him.
[on camera] Well, were in the town of Punta Gorda,
and were going to the house of Paul Nabor, hopefully,
if we can find him. We need some good information here, some
good intelligence from the locals.
MAN IN ROAD: Just take a right here, and you take
MARCO WERMAN: OK. Thank you.
Were looking for a man named Paul Nabor.
Im looking for Paul Nabors home. Which one?
Hi. How are you? Do you know the guitarist Paul Nabor? No?
So you dont know where he is? No.
[voice-over] This is how I imagined the home of an old
parandero. And then, from inside a chicken shack, he appeared.
[on camera] Paul Nabor? Hello. My name is Marco, Marco
[voice-over] On the day I met him, Paul was tired and
his guitar was in rough shape, but he slowly came alive when
he began to play a Paranda. The
song was about love and loneliness and longing for home, the
themes of Garifuna music and Pauls life.
PAUL NABOR: That was the first song that I made when
I was young. And right up to now, I didnt forget them.
MARCO WERMAN: Paul used to travel the country performing,
but no longer. He hopes that the rich history of this music
will not die with old paranderos like him.
This is Aurelio Martinez. He learned Garifuna music from elders
when he was a boy. Now hes trying to bring the music to
his own generation.
AURELIO MARTINEZ: [subtitles] The lyrics of Garifuna
music, of Paranda, are very often tragic. Its tragic music.
The songs are about the problems of everyday life for people.
Sometimes you dont understand it, but you feel it. If
you cant feel it, you cant sing Paranda.
MARCO WERMAN: Aurelio has had some success recently
with this music. Hes recorded songs for a Paranda CD thats
been popular with world music audiences. But locally, he says,
its an uphill battle.
AURELIO MARTINEZ: [subtitles] The music is in
danger. The music is in danger because this generation no longer
MARCO WERMAN: If theres an audience for Garifuna
music in Belize, its not for Paranda ballads but for the
more up-tempo "punta rock." This is what Aurelio was
playing when we caught up with him later that night. Punta rock
takes traditional punta drumming and soups it up with some Caribbean
thump. Its what youll hear in the clubs. And here
at the first-ever punta fest, the turnout was huge and Aurelio
put on quite a show.
With the crowd warmed up, Aurelio slipped in a more traditional
Paranda ballad. Thats Andy Palacio on the right. Andy
is perhaps the best known Garifuna musician.
ANDY PALACIO: Theres a certain style of poetry.
There is no composition in Paranda. We dont we dont
sing the way we speak in Garifuna. Songs tend to do something
something musical to words. Punta rock does not accurately reflect
that, the way Paranda does.
MARCO WERMAN: Palacio made his reputation with punta
rock, but now Paranda is the music he really loves.
Andy and Aurelio are deeply inspired by the old paranderos
like Paul Nabor. They also know that without Paul, theyre
the ones who will take Garifuna music into the future.
[www.pbs.org: Hear more Garifuna musicians]
Reported and filmed by
Produced and directed by
LASSO FILMS and TV (Netherlands)
A Hardcash Productions film for FRONTLINE/World and Channel
THE LAWLESS SEA
ORIANA ZILL DE GRANADOS
Co-Producer and Videographer
FIA NA ROCA
DEPARTEMENTO DE SALVAMENTO MARITIMO,
MINISTERIO DE FOMENTO
ATLAS ESPANA TELE 5
WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTER, UC DAVIS
OCEAN FUTURES SOCIETY
ABC NEWS VIDEOSOURCE
AMERICAN BUREAU OF SHIPPING
AP / WIDE WORLD PHOTOS
DEER CREEK FOUNDATION
EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION OF AMERICA
A coproduction with The Center for Investigative Reporting
THE EXILE'S SONG
MARCO WERMAN REPORTS DAILY FOR PUBLIC RADIO ON PRI'S THE WORLD
Coordinating Producer for KQED
Web Site Design
SUSAN HARRIS, FLUENT STUDIOS
Erin Martin Kane
Brent Quan Hall
Ellen Schneider, Active Voice
Michael H. Amundson
Post Production Supervisor
Post Production Assistant
FRONTLINE Coordinating Producer
FRONTLINE Production Manager
FRONTLINE Series Manager
KQED VP, TV Station Manager
Executive in charge for KQED
Sue Ellen McCann
Executive in charge for WGBH/FRONTLINE
WGBH and KQED
All rights reserved
FRONTLINE/World is a coproduction of WGBH Boston and KQED San
Francisco, which are solely responsible for its content.
ANNOUNCER: Theres more of the world to explore
on our Web site, including an interview with Irans Nobel
Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, more on the secretive international
shipping industry and problems with regulation, a reporters
scrapbook from Belize and teachers guides to use FRONTLINE/WORLD
in the classroom. Discuss the WORLD and tell us
what you think of our Stories From a Small Planet at pbs.org.
Next time on FRONTLINE
NEWSCASTER: Chinese double agents
I.C. SMITH, FBI Special Agent, 73-98:
Shes the classic dragon lady.
NEWSCASTER: sexual relationship while serving
as her handler.
I.C. SMITH: He would think that he seduced her.
Actually, she seduced him.
NEWSCASTER: secrets about the neutron bomb
BRIAN SUN, Attorney for James J. Smith: The Chinese
thought they had recruited her. The FBI thought that she
was in their camp.
NEWSCASTER: repercussions for national security
EDWARD APPEL, FBI Special Agent, '73-'97: This is
a stunning security violation.
ANNOUNCER: From China With Love next time on
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