New York Filmmakers: come help documentary director Steven De Castro in the development/brainstorming stage of a new human rights film, set in the Philippines. The film focuses on the Ampatuan Massacre, the greatest atrocity against free press in human history. Come to this brainstorming session, hear about the project, and give us your input.
On November 23, 2009, 34 journalists embarked on a caravan to cover the start of an election campaign against the local governor, Andal Ampatuan, Sr.. The caravan also included the wife and family of the challenger candidate, Ismael Mangadadatu. The caravan stopped at a police checkpoint. Within a few hours, the entire caravan -- bodies and vehicles -- were found half-buried in a mass grave, next to a rented backhoe.
4 years later, justice has still not been done. 97 people have been arrested, including Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son, Andal "Unsay" Ampatuan, Jr.
The arrested people include 17 police officers.
But the case is mired in pre-trial proceedings, prompting one attorney to estimate that at this rate, the case would last 100 years. And an additional 100 alleged conspirators have never been arrested. Meanwhile, 3 witnesses have been killed.
This case has become a symbol of attacks and murders against journalists all over the world. It has sparked its own day of remembrance: the International Day to End Impunity, which is on November 23, the anniversary of the ampatuan massacre, and is commemorated in 31 countries.
Please attend this discussion. Your feedback helps, in a small way, to make this international documentary project a success.
(Kalusugan Coalition is just 15 minutes from Grand Central Station. Take the queens 7 train to 61st Street-Woodside. Then walk two blocks to 63rd Street.