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2010-11-12

East Timorese Journalist Marks 19th Anniversary of Santa Cruz Massacre

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Democracy Now! is in Argentina for the tenth World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters conference, an annual meeting of hundreds of community radio stations from around the world. Among those in attendance is Prezado Ximenes from Radio Lorico in East Timor. Nineteen years ago today in the Timorese capital of Dili, he survived the Santa Cruz massacre, in which Indonesian soldiers gunned down more than 270 Timorese. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Democracy Now! is here in Argentina for the tenth World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters conference, an annual meeting of hundreds of community radio stations from around the world. It’s taking place this year just outside Buenos Aires in a city called La Plata. Among the broadcasters in attendance is Prezado Ximenes from Radio Lorico in East Timor. Nineteen years ago today, in the Timorese capital of Dili, he survived the Santa Cruz massacre, in which Indonesian soldiers gunned down more than 270 Timorese at a cemetery called teh Santa Cruz Cemetery.

PREZADO XIMENES: My name is Prezado Ximenes. When the massacre at Santa Cruz happened, I was 15 years old. So, at the moment, I also participated in the demonstration at the Santa Cruz place. When the Indonesian military tried to shoot the demonstrators, I got out from the Santa Cruz one minute before the shooting. So I survived, because I am — maybe this is my lucky.

AMY GOODMAN: Did you know people who were killed?

PREZADO XIMENES: Yeah, I know some of my friends.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s now 19 years later, and you’re back in East Timor. You live in Los Palos, and you run a radio station.

PREZADO XIMENES: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is radio important to you?

PREZADO XIMENES: I think because through radio, I can express out what people think, what people feel.

AMY GOODMAN: Did you ever think East Timor would be free when you were on the road near the Santa Cruz cemetery on November 12, 1991, just before the Indonesian military opened fire?

PREZADO XIMENES: At the moment, I feel empty. I just feel afraid. But I have a big, big dream that we will get independence.

AMY GOODMAN: Timorese radio broadcaster Prezado Ximenes, speaking about the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor that took place on November 12th, 1991. He is a survivor and now here in Argentina for the meeting of AMARC, hundreds of community radio broadcasters from around the world who have gathered to talk about the future of community media.

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