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Ukrainian Protesters Clash With Police; Iran's President Defends Nuclear Program; Village Elder Allegedly Orders 20-year-old Indian Woman Gang Raped

Aired January 23, 2014 - 15:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight, a final push for peace as Ukraine's president and opposition leaders continue crisis talks in Kiev. The country's prime minister tells us his government wants to find a negotiated solution for what is this spreading unrest.

Also ahead, the Mexican vigilantes standing up to deadly drug cartels. And we hear what the country's president has to say about what he calls these self-defenders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to survive, I want to live.


ANDERSON: Plus, I'll speak to the Oscar nominated screenwriter John Ridley about the challenges of depicting slavery.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening.

After days of violence, a tense calm on the streets of Kiev today. Protesters agreed to what is a temporary truce while critical talks with the government took place. This comes as Washington says it's considering whether to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government over this violence.

Now three opposition leaders met with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych earlier. Demonstrators had clashed with police over a new law aimed at curbing protests. The president has called a special parliamentary session to deal with this unrest.

Let's kick off our coverage of what is our top story tonight with CNN's Diana Magnay in Kiev.

And I guess the first question is simply this, what's the latest on what are these critical talks?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're still ongoing so we don't know. Yesterday we had three hours worth of talks between the opposition and Mr. Yanukovych, which were described as unsuccessful. These talks had gone on since 3:00 this afternoon. It is now -- that was around six hours ago. And they are still going on.

In the meantime, there has been a truce, as you say. And on the square where those clashes were you have a line of riot police and a sort of frozen wasteland between them and the demonstrators who have built up a series of barricades there as well.

So the demonstrations, which for two months have effectively just been in Independence Square and now holed up in two squares in the center of Kiev.

Some number for you, we know now that 98 people have been detained and the prime minister was speaking to our Richard Quest in Davos saying that he didn't apologize for the clashes or the use of force by police in the last few days of violence saying that it was appropriate. They didn't have live ammunition. And a police statement has come out today also saying that of those four protesters who were killed, two of them were killed with weapons that the police don't carry.

The interior minister suggesting that this was some other force who used this kind of weapons and that they were looking into the possibility of whether they were used to sort of justify that the protesters themselves could carry weapons, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right.

We're going to talk about some of what we believe the protesters have been through shortly. And indeed our viewers will get to see some of that interview that Richard conducted with the prime minister after you and I have spoken. But let me just clear up a couple of things I think are important for our viewers at this stage.

Diana, what is it exactly at this point that the opposition leaders are trying to get out. What sort of concessions are they trying to get from the president and indeed the government? Because it's very unclear. We seem to be morphing from one sort of, you know, issue to the next at this point.

MAGNAY: Well, primarily they want snap elections. They want this government gone. And they want the president gone.

They'll probably have to compromise. They've wanted that since the word go and Mr. Yanukovych hasn't shown that he's interested in resigning his post. But that is their fundamental call.

But as for as clearly defined program, really, of requests, that's been one of the problems here alongside the fact that there are three separate opposition leaders and the crowds are really necessarily behind any of them.

So no clearly defined goals and no clearly defined leadership. And that has been one of the things that has been crippling this protest movement, Beck.

ANDERSON: All right, Diana, we thank you for that. And as you can see it -- you can hear behind Diana, the protests continue, albeit fairly quiet and fairly well controlled this evening there in Ukraine.

A live picture for you here on CNN.

Well, tensions have been brewing in Ukraine for the past few months. The unrest started back in November after President Yanukovych pulled out of it what was a proposed trade agreement with the European Union.

Now tensions continued right through December when police were seen beating protesters. Demonstrators retaliated with the revolutionary tractor that you see here. That's a (inaudible) crowds tore down this statue of Lenin. Yanukovych then signed a deal with the Russian president, a move that further angered demonstrators.

Activists camped out in one of Kiev's main squares in protest, but a small but persistent pro-Yanukovych have also been seen in the city, it has to be said.

As opposition leaders in Ukraine met for talks with the government today as we've suggested. And my colleague Richard Quest sat down with the country's prime minister who is attending the world economic forum in Davos in Switzerland.

Mykola Azarov says his main focus is on reaching a negotiated end to the protest. Have a listen to what they discussed.


MYKOLA AZAROV, PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE (through translator): Well, first of all both the president and the government are ready to hold negotiations. And we are ready to solve all the disputable issues at the roundtable of negotiations. Today, I had a very constructive meeting with the secretary-general of the consular (inaudible) Mr. Yaglund (ph), and he said a very (inaudible) sort of we agree on the absolutely -- that politics should be no other (inaudible) but in the parliament.

We (inaudible) with these, and first of all we call to stop all those violent actions to stop capturing buildings, to stop attacking law enforcement officers.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let me ready you one report. It comes from my correspondent in Kiev. A 17-year-old Ukrainian claims taking pictures of the protest. Police detained him, broke his leg, stabbed him in the leg, removed his clothes, and badly beat him. Now faces multi-years in prison because of the new anti-protest laws.

Are you prepared to deal with that side of the equation?

AZAROV (through translator): The law enforcement officers were given instructions and orders to act within the legislation and not to use any kind of weapon. They do not have firearms with them. And those preliminary actions which they have to take when someone is trying, for example, to capture government buildings and institutions, all those measures are not just analogical to those used in all the European states. We know very well how it was happening in the Great Britain when there were mass riots in this country, how this was in France, how this was just recently in Germany.

And that is why all those laws, which were adopted they do correspondent to the European norms. They foresee responsibility for (inaudible) actions for violence when trying to overthrow the government and we should be looking objective at all the things.


ANDERSON: All right. You can find more about this on with tough police tactics on the street and a government aligning itself more closely to Russia. What does the future hold for Ukraine?

Let me just get you what is just come in to CNN from the White House. Office of the vice president. The Vice President Biden has called the Ukrainian president today to urge and immediate deescalation in the standoff between protesters and security forces in downtown Kiev. There has been talk of consequences, of sanctions if indeed there is no deescalation of this violence.

Some talk of some sort of concessions out of the government. That's the talk, at least, on the streets of Kiev. But as these critical talks continue, no firm solid news for you as opposition leaders and the Ukrainian president continue to talk.

But certainly some international pressure once again on the Ukrainian government as we are well aware. Allegations of torture as these deadly protests have continued.

Today, though, as you can see a sense of calm tonight.

Still to come, a rare look inside Aleppo, one of the most dangerous cities in Syria. The government brought journalists there, including our own Frederik Pleitgen. He's going to tell us what's behind the organized tour.

And then in a speech earlier, Iran's president draws a red line when it comes to giving up what he calls the country's right to a peaceful nuclear program.

And you have to see it to believe it, Justin Bieber is arrested for driving under the influence after a night out in Miami. That, and much more after this.


ANDERSON: This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. 12 minutes past 8:00.

Now the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is prepared to discuss Edward Snowden's return to the country if he pleads guilty, that is according to a U.S. Justice Department official there.

Also there are reports that Holder is willing to negotiate a plea.

Well, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is wanted for spilling state secrets about NSA surveillance programs. And he's holding a web chat with the public right now.

We're going to have much more on that story coming up in about 20 minutes time.

Well, a ceasefire agreement has been reached to end some five weeks of fighting in South Sudan. Rebels and government negotiators signed the deal in (inaudible) where peace talks had been taking place. Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict and nearly half a million civilians forced to flee their homes. The ceasefire is to take effect in 24 hours. The agreement reached to free 11 opposition members jailed by the government as well.

In neighboring Central African Republic Catherine Samba-Panza has been sworn in as the new interim president. The former mayor of Bangui becomes the first female leader of the country. She took the oath of office pledging to bring peace and unity to the war torn country.

Well, the UN special envoy for Syria is trying to keep fragile peace talks on track in Geneva. Lakhdar Brahimi is holding separate meetings behind closed doors with both sides in the conflict, hoping to convince them to meet face-to-face tomorrow.

The long awaited Geneva II conference got off to what was a rocky start as Syrian opposition delegation demanded the removal of Bashar al- Assad while the Syrian government insists that is not up for discussion.

Here is Secretary of State John Kerry was among the diplomats who helped kick off the conference. He spoke today with Al Arabiya.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: If Syria is going to find a political solution it has to find it through a transition government and Assad needs to put Syria in front of Assad. Assad -- you know, this should not be about one man, one family, this should be about all of the people of Syria and the future of Syria and Assad right now is the one person who stands in the way of peace and of a future for Syria.


LU STOUT: Well, the Syrian government is eager to convince the world that that is -- it is gaining ground against rebels in the ongoing civil war. For the first time in years the regime took western journalists into Syria's largest city Aleppo. CNN's Fred Pleitgen was part of that organized tour and sent us this report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTENRAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Takeoff from a Damascus air field. The Syrian government tacked about 20 journalists into a plane and didn't tell us where we were going. But we soon found out it was Aleppo, one of the most dangerous places in Syria.

The airport in Aleppo has been closed for many months. And the folks who are operating this plane say that we're apparently the first civilian flight that's going to land there since it was closed. I'm not exactly sure that's a good thing, but we hope it goes well.

Local officials seemed as relieved as us after we landed safely. They sent a welcoming party, including the governor of Aleppo. His main focus, the negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition in Geneva.

"What we want from Geneva is to stop foreign money, fighters and weapons coming into Syria, he says. "We as Syrians can reconcile with each other and make our own government to rebuild our country."

The Assad regime wants to show it's winning in Aleppo, though we weren't sure how spontaneous these shows of support for the regime actually were as we toured areas recently recaptured by the Syrian army.

Soldiers say they have rebels on the defensive, but the going is tough.

"al Qaeda were the worst people to fight against," this soldier says. "They're Islamists. They see us as infidels and they want to kill us."

The situation in Aleppo is remarkable. The city is one of the worst affected by the civil war and yet the streets in some districts are packed, shops well stocked.

But only a few blocks away, destruction is clearly visible and heavy fighting continues to rage as we saw when we visited a regime sniper position.

The government is very keen to show us the gains that it's made here in Aleppo, but Aleppo still is very much a divided city. If you look over the skyline, and we are at a very high vantage point, everything to this area here is government controlled, but everything that is to the left of that is in the hands of rebel forces.

The regime says Aleppo could be a model city for a ceasefire between government and opposition forces, but even with recent gains, with the opposition very much entrenched in this part of the country, speaking of peace might be a little premature.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Aleppo, Syria.


LU STOUT: Well, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he is committed to greater engagement with the world, promising to strengthen diplomatic ties and economic ties. But during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he also stood firm on Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear program.

Well, it's a country that has suspended higher grade uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief as part of what is a landmark international agreement.

Well, Mr. Rouhani elaborated on the nuclear issue when he sat down with CNN's Fareed Zakaria.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is a widespread feeling in the United States and France, in many western countries, that Iran should have almost no enrichment capability, that it should instead get its enriched uranium from outside.

You said in an interview with the Financial Times Iran will absolutely retain its enrichment. Do you believe that it will be possible to bridge this gap by allowing Iran to have a small enrichment capacity, but for the most part to forgo enrichment?

HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): Iran will not accept discrimination under any circumstances. The people of Iran in the field of nuclear technology are extremely sensitive. This has become part of our national pride. Nuclear technology has become indigenous in Iran and most recently we have witnessed extensive new progress and achievement in the fields of fabrication and production of centrifuges.

So in the context of nuclear technology, particularly of research and development and peaceful nuclear technology, we will not accept any limitations. And in accordance with the parliament law, in the future we're going to need 20,000 megawatts of nuclear produced electricity. And we're determined to obtain the nuclear fuel for the nuclear installation at the hands of our Iranian scientists.

And we are going to follow on this path.

ZAKARIA: So there will be no destruction of centrifuges, or existing centrifuges?

ROUHANI (through translator): Not under any circumstances, not under any circumstances.


ANDERSON: The Iranian president talking there to CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

You are live from London. This is Connect the World. You're watching CNN. Coming up, fighting the Mexican drug cartels. These vigilante groups say the state has failed to protect them so they are taking up arms to protect themselves.

First, though, how India's government is failing its women. A look at the problem of mob justice up next.


ANDERSON: Ordered to be raped -- yet another shocking case of violence against women has emerged in India. This time, a 20-year-old woman was allegedly gang raped on instruction of a village elder who objected to her relationship with a man from a different community.

Now that victim is currently in critical condition in hospital. And 13 other people have been arrested so far.

Sumnima Udas has the details.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been reporting on the various incidents of rape in urban Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai. But it's often far worse in rural India. In this case, as 20- year-old tribal woman in a remote part of west Bengal state says she was gang raped. And it was in fact the village head who ordered the men to rape her.

Now the village elders allegedly disapproved of her relationship with a man from a different community so they decided to fine her family. And when the family said they couldn't afford the fine, the village elders, according to this woman, allegedly told the other men to rape her as a form of punishment.

Now village councils like these are illegal in India, but they continue to exist and command huge influence over rural life. Police say 13 men have been arrested so far, including the village head.

Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.


ANDERSON: Well, as Sumnima said rulings by village councils have been deemed illegal by India's supreme court, but they are still very common in rural parts of the country. And due to the immediacy of the punishments they enforce, it is hard to put a stop to them.

Well, here's a look at some of the more radical dictates that they have issued in recent years. This is what we found.

In July 2012, in Uttar Pradesh state, the Azara village banned love marriages insisting that arranged marriage should be the norm. They also banned all women under 40 from shopping alone, going out without their heads covered and using mobile phones outside.

Two years earlier, in 2010 in Majar Pradesh (ph), a woman from the dulut (ph) caste, formally treated as an untouchable due to the Indian caste system, was ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 rupees in compensation after she fed a dog. Now the dog's owners who belong to a higher caste claimed that their pet had become untouchable after eating food that she had touched.

And in August that same year in West Bengal, a woman was ordered to walk naked through large crowds as punishment for having what was deemed to be an illicit love affair with a man from a different community.

Earlier I spoke to Kadambari Gladding from Amnesty International in India. And I began by asking her why these awful crimes are still taking place today. Have a listen to what she said.


KADAMBARI GLADDING, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: It's important for the government to start recognizing that the decrees that are issued by village councils like this are actually illegal. I mean, to incite violence against a woman simply for falling in love with someone outside the community is illegal.

It's also a large social reform thing and that's something that needs to be addressed as well. I think mindsets begin -- need changing. And holding to actually -- to be more conscious of human rights and to be able to respect the choices of women to choose their own partners, the rights of women to choose their own partners. I think these things are really important.

I also think that a lot of these village councils are very politically backed as well. And you know a lot of both banks come from these parts of India. So they tend to involve quite a bit of political backing. So automatically the political will to enforce justice when it comes to situations like this enforce the law when it comes to situations like this isn't necessarily there.

ANDERSON: So things aren't going to change overnight? That's clear. Where do you start? Where do you start changing cultural attitudes and politically backed pseudo village systems, for example?

GLADDING: A good starting point would be for the government to respond more efficiently and in a wider way to the sort of formations of village councils, because as we know they've existed for a long time. Some people might even argue that they have -- people form certain social orientation functions.

But at the end of the day when their decrees incite violence against women, the government needs to act.

So a good starting point would be -- would be that, because the laws are in place. In fact, the justice vimar committee (ph) itself contains chapters of information based on these so-called honor killings. So why those frameworks are actually there, it comes down to the enforcement of it and the government actually taking action when things like this happen.

And for example, the case in West Bengal, it was very encouraging to see that the police had made several arrests after the incident took place and the police actually wasn't as slow as perhaps in other situations as well.

So you can see that people -- or the government is beginning to respond to things like this, but it needs to happen in a much more prompt way and in a much more widespread manner around the country as well.


ANDERSON: Speaking to the appalling gang rape news out of India today.

Well, the latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, they say it's either fight or die -- some Mexicans are arming themselves and taking on the cartels as the drug war there rages on. We are live in Central Mexico.

And Justin Bieber has been released on bail. The young singer went before a judge in Miami and then did this on the way out. We'll tell you what he was charged with a little later in the show.

And also taking one man's story of slavery from the page to the big screen. We'll speak to the Oscar nominated writer behind 12 Years a Slave.


ANDERSON: In Ukraine, talks were held today between President Viktor Yanukovych and the country's opposition leaders. These are your headlines this hour. This comes after days of violent demonstrations against a new law aimed at curbing protest. Meanwhile, the US vice president, Joe Biden, says further violence will have consequences for Ukraine's relationship with the United States.

The UN envoy for Syria is trying to keep the fragile peace talks on track after a rocky start in Geneva. Lakhdar Brahimi is holding separate meetings behind closed doors with both sides in the conflict, hoping to convince them to meet face-to-face tomorrow.

Out of Canada, where a massive five at a seniors' home has killed at least three people. Police say the flames began overnight. The building, in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec, and some 30 people still missing. Police fear they may be trapped in the charred building.

US attorney general Eric Holder is prepared to discuss Edward Snowden's return to the US if he were to plead guilty. That is according to a US Justice Department official. The former NSA contractor is wanted for spilling state secrets, and he's holding a web chat with the public right now.

Our CNN justice reporter, Evan Perez, is monitoring the story for us. And Evan, is he responding? What's he been saying to those who've been putting questions to him?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Becky, this began a little bit late, but at this hour, he's been asked some questions about whether or not there's enough protection for people who -- in the United States, they call it "whistle-blowing," which is essentially calling out the government for doing things that are -- persons believe are illegal or are not authorized.

And so far, he has been pushing back on this question whether or not he had other options other than leaking all this information about the NSA programs to journalists, which is what has generated all these headlines in the last few months.

Now, here's -- the first question began with "Do you think it's possible for our democracy to recover from the damage of NSA spying -- that NSA spying has done to our liberties?"

In response, he wrote, "Yes. What makes our country strong is our system of values, not a snapshot of the structure of our agencies, of the framework of our laws. We can correct the laws, restrain the overreach of the agencies, and hold the senior officials responsible for abusive programs to account."

As you know, there's been a lot of question as to whether or not people from the administration, people from the NSA should maybe be facing charges as a result of these programs that Snowden and a few of his supporters say are in violation of the law.

The federal government, the US government, and President Obama himself say what the NSA does is legal, that it protects --


PEREZ: -- the United States and its allies from terrorism and that everything they've done is legal.

ANDERSON: Evan, just very briefly, has he responded at all to what Eric Holder has been reportedly saying, that if he were to return to the States and plead guilty, then they may be able to negotiate something?

PEREZ: No, he has not yet. He hasn't been asked that question. I'm not sure if people are aware of the headlines as they're breaking. Some of this began just as this live chat began. We know some of his supporters already on Twitter are rejecting this idea. They say he's not guilty of anything. And so we'll be keeping an eye on this to see what he says, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. All right, stay with it, Evan. Thank you for that.

Now, they call themselves self-defense groups and are taking justice into their own hands amid Mexico's often brutal drug war. Residents and farmers are arming themselves to repel drug cartels in the country's west.

Now, Rafael Romo is live in Morelia in central Mexico for you. And these vigilantes or self-defense groups, as they like to be know, say they were forced to fight because the Mexican government has failed to protect them. Have they won their battle?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: We cannot say that they have won the battle, Becky. What I can tell you is that they have managed in certain towns of this state, the state of Michoacan, where I am, where they have been able to drive away members of a drug cartel by the name of the Knights Templar. But the peace that they have been able to achieve is quite fragile.


ROMO (voice-over): Seventy-one-year-old Samuel Gomez walks through his broken and deserted house. Symbolic of his life after he and his family were forced to flee their 50-acre ranch near the small time of Felipe Carrillo Puerto three years ago.

Gomez was a victim of the Knights Templar, a ruthless drug cartel in Mexico's Michoacan state. He was forced to pay ever-increasing protection money for the cattle he raised and the limes he grew. But when the cartel tried to take his land, he knew it was time to leave.

"They would tell us, 'you either sell it to me, or I will buy it from your widow,'" he says. He wasn't the only one living in fear. "They killed our people, they raped our young women, and they did as they pleased," he says.

Hipolito Mora was among the first to fight back. The 58-year-old farmer led a self-proclaimed group of vigilantes that forced the drug cartel out of their town last April. "I know I'm operating outside of the law," he says, "but I'm doing it for my family just like every other man in this movement."

His rebellion became an inspiration for others in the area. Since early January, several other towns have taken up arms and confronted drug traffickers in violent clashes. The cartel struck back, torching vehicles and businesses and killing several people. In the end, more than a dozen townsmen managed to drive away the criminal organization that had terrorized the region for years.

ROMO (on camera): This is the checkpoint at the edge of the town of La Huerta. It's just like many others in towns throughout the region, where vigilante groups control access, letting townspeople in and out while hoping to keep the cartels from getting back in.

ROMO (voice-over): They're young and old, farmers and laborers, and even some migrants who have returned from the United States to reclaim what used to belong to their families. This man, who wants to be called "Juan," used to live in North Carolina.

"JUAN," VIGILANTE: In the last couple of months, there's been a lot of violence and we haven't been able to make any money to support our families. And we just -- we've all got to eat. And if we're not working, we can't eat, so we just -- it was something that had to be done.

ROMO: The Mexican government has sent in thousands of soldiers and federal police to help patrol and control the area.

ROMO (on camera): So, what's going to happen if the army decides to leave?

"JUAN": Well, we hope they don't leave. We hope they stay here to back us up.

ROMO (voice-over): Their fight has given hope to Gomez that life can go back to normal. He knows that there are no guarantees the cartel won't try to come back, but this time, he says, he and the vigilantes won't give up.

"They would have to kill us all, because we're all going to fight," he says, "not only for our lands, but more importantly, for our families."


ANDERSON: Rafael, stay with me for one moment. I want you and our viewers to hear what the president said today, responding to some questions from my colleague, John Defterios. The president of Mexico, of course, along with so many other presidents and prime ministers these days, at the Davos forum.

John asked Enrique Pena Nieto if the move to deploy troops to the area was making progress. This was the president's response.


ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (through translator): I believe the strategy is showing evident results. And we are accentuating our attention on places where I insist the problem is being experienced in a very particular fashion with very specific characteristics. And this also deserves a specific, particular strategy. That's exactly what we've designed for those places.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You must see a different strategy is needed if you have vigilantes teaming up with farmers to protect their land against the drug cartels. It's quite dramatic.

NIETO (through translator): I would like to reiterate the fact that there are particular conditions. Michoacan is going through specific conditions into which, in effect, there have been some groups of self- defense, as we call them, that have been organized to defend themselves from organized crime.

And here, the Mexican state has clearly said -- and we've also indicated that it is the Mexican state the only one responsible and the only one with the necessary attributions to really establish conditions of security and to fight organized crime.

We have convened the self-defense groups that are genuinely having this interest, telling them that if they really want to participate in those tasks, they may do so through complying with the requirements that fortify the law. That they may be incorporating into the defense groups of the Mexican state, but after showing their vocation and capacity and training to perform such activity.

But the Mexican state cannot be permissive. It cannot tolerate the presence of these vigilante groups that, although they may be very genuine to defend themselves -- self-defend themselves, they cannot be over and beyond the attribution and single attribution and capacity of the Mexican state.

That's why today, the Mexican state is present, especially in Michoacan, where we saw the creation of self-defense groups to order, control, and permit to help the conditions of order and tranquility that have been lost in some municipalities of the state of Michoacan.


ANDERSON: Rafael Romo is in the state of Michoacan. How did you read what the president said there?

ROMO: It's the same arguments that the president has made here in Mexico, Becky. And when I went to the vigilante groups, the people here in the state of Michoacan, and asked them whether the president had some valid points, what they tell me is that they have been asking the government for years to help them fight these cartels, and they were ignored. There were no troops sent, no federal police sent.

And so now that the president is saying this, they say, well, the government didn't respond until we did something about it, until the international community started paying attention, and until the media is here.

So, they say we are glad the army is here, we're glad the federal police is here, but we're not going to just put our trust 100 percent behind them. We're just still going to keep our weapons and defend ourselves. And if the cartel comes back, we're going to fight them and just keep what we have and our property and defend our families, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, thank you for that. Your reporter there in Michoacan.

OK, you're live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, as "12 Years a Slave" aims for Oscar gold, we're going to hear about the challenges of telling the story of slavery from the man who wrote the screenplay live here in London.

And he's posted bail and he's left jail. That's after Justin Bieber faced a judge in Miami. We're going to tell you about his run-in with the law after this break.


ANDERSON: One of the year's most talked about films revisits a dark chapter in American history. "12 Years a Slave" tells the story of Solomon Northup, a man born free but sold into slavery in 19th century America.

Now, this film won big at the Golden Globes and is nominated for nine actors -- actors. Let me do that again. Nine Oscars. Let me just explain, I didn't feel very well tonight, so I'm not doing very well. Anyway, nine Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director. Take a listen.



PAUL DANO AS TIBEATS, "12 YEARS A SLAVE": I thought I told you to commence to putting on clappers.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR AS SOLOMON NORTHUP, "12 YEARS A SLAVE": Yes, Master, I'm about it. These have all been replaced.

DANO AS TIBEATS: Well, then, didn't I tell you to get a keg of nails?


DANO AS TIBEATS: God damn you! I thought you knew something!

EJIOFOR AS NORTHUP: I did as instructed. If there's something wrong, it's wrong with the instruction.

DANO AS TIBEATS: You black bastard. You -- goddamn -- black bastard. Strip your clothes. Strip.



ANDERSON: This is an amazing movie. I'm joined now by John Ridley. He wrote the script for "12 Years a Slave" and is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year's Academy Awards. Amongst other things, John, I've got to say because as you were arriving here, I was sort of going like this on my iPad and looking at what you've already won and what you are pended to win, as it were.


ANDERSON: Remarkable stuff. Where did you start?

RIDLEY: Really, it began, the director and I sat down and had breakfast. He had done film called "Hunger," which was a very special film.

ANDERSON: This is Steve McQueen, of course, yes. Yes.

RIDLEY: Yes, and he'd read a manuscript that I'd written. And in that breakfast, he was demonstrative about trying to explore this aspect of American history. It took us a while to find this document. Actually, his wife found it.

But you read it -- Solomon's memoir is a truly special document. The way he speaks, the eloquence, the depth of reportage at a time when many Americans were not familiar with the institution of slavery, it began with that, and honestly, it ends with Solomon's work, his words, his life, his character.

ANDERSON: And that last scene is quite something, it's got to be said. Listen, it's not the first time this story has been done. This time, you wrote a film which is very graphic. It's to some people's minds, too brutal. Do you get that? Do you get that criticism? Do you buy it?

RIDLEY: I only get it because what I found out in taking this film around, in all demographics across America, we had no idea of what the system of slavery is like. And for a lot of us, our recollection of slavery is "Gone With the Wind," "The Song of the South," it's "Birth of a Nation."

And for people to genuinely -- not in a dismissive way -- say "this is powerful stuff," it really sort of tells me that we as people have not done a very good job of educating ourselves on what it takes to enslave people

Our nature is to be free. And just ask yourself, ask any of us, what it takes to put these people down. It's mass psychosis. It's difficult also because the filmmakers have done such an amazing job of creating people that we care about. If you don't care, you don't feel things.

So yes, we care. Ultimately, there are a few scenes that are tough, but it's tough because we care, the actors make us care, the circumstances make us care.

ANDERSON: And Steve McQueen, I know, has made no apologies for the fact that he hangs around on a number of scenes, which are those scenes that I believe people will find pretty disturbing. But he does it for a reason, because it was a disturbing period of history.

RIDLEY: It's certainly in the memoir as well.


RIDLEY: Solomon, he spares no details about what happens. But at the same time, he does an amazing job of communicating the beauty and the humanity around it, and you certainly see that in the film as well.

ANDERSON: You're up for an Academy Award. A number of Academy Awards doing the rounds for this film. And BAFTAs, and Golden Globes, you did very well at.

Listen, let me put this to you: I hope this cleans up at the Oscars, I really do, and I hope people don't think I'm being partisan about this. I've seen most of the movies that have been nominated, now, but for the BAFTAs and the Oscars, and I think this is absolutely terrific.

RIDLEY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: One thing to you: the average age of an Academy judge is about 71, 75 percent or more of them are white, and it's very rare that you get black actors and black directors and screenwriters like yourself winning awards. Do you think there's a problem there?

RIDLEY: I don't think there's a problem in the sense that we need to have some kind of a quota system --

ANDERSON: Are they going to cope with this movie?

RIDLEY: I will say, up to this point, people have recognized this film regardless of demographic. To have gotten this far in a year where there's so many quality films, it speaks to people's ability to empathize and go beyond whatever their demographic is.

I have to be honest with you. I -- it's one thing to say, these folks are older white folks, so they're not going to get it. But the moment you say they're older white folks, you're generalizing about them as well.

ANDERSON: You're absolutely right. Yes.

RIDLEY: And I don't mean you as a person. I've heard that all the way around. So, I think we have to be careful. These individuals have proven that they can feel. I'm appreciative of it, more than anything because having sat with Solomon's story for so long, to know that after 165 years, people care about this. That's powerful. That's powerful.

ANDERSON: Good luck.

RIDLEY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Hang in there, Beliebers. We haven't forgotten about you. After the break, we get the latest on Justin Bieber's first time in jail. Not sure how else I was going to tell that story after talking to you about "12 Years a Slave," but there you go. That's coming up, viewers.


ANDERSON: Pop star Justin Bieber has posted bond and walked out of a jail in Miami in Florida. The 19-year-old was arrested in the early morning for charges including drunken driving and resisting arrest. Now, this is just the latest incident to put Bieber in the spotlight. Have a look at this.



ANDERSON (voice-over): He sings, he dances, he acts. He's adored by millions.


ANDERSON: And now, he gets arrested. Justin Bieber was taken in by Miami Beach police on Thursday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence and drag racing. Serious allegations for a 19-year-old superstar. Police say he showed signs of impairment while driving a yellow Lamborghini in a residential area.

Troublemaking seems to be a mainstay in the singer's life. Earlier this month, authorities swarmed his California mansion in connection to an alleged egg-throwing incident. The bizarre antics, including losing his pet monkey, which was taken away by German officials.

JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER: (expletive deleted) What did you see?

ANDERSON: And a disastrous trip to London, involving a paparazzi tussle and showing up late for thousands of young Beliebers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was really annoying because I wanted to get home and sleep because I've got school tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm totally and utterly disgusted.

ANDERSON: Still, he is not the first young star to fall into a bizarre cycle of behavior. More than a decade in the spotlight took its toll on pop star Britney Spears, leading to an infamous head-shaving incident and increasingly odd behavior.

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Do you were the restroom is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a restroom that she can use, please?

ANDERSON: And then, there was Lindsey Lohan. Drugs, drunk driving, and theft landed the once squeaky-clean Lohan in serious trouble with the courts.

KEITH SCHWARTZ, JUDGE: You are going to jail. Period.

ANDERSON: Lessons from the past that Justin Bieber should maybe take to heart.


ANDERSON: Well, let's bring in entertainment reporter David Caplan. He's in New York for us. And a man who knows the highs and lows of being young, rich, and in the spotlight, it's actor Corey Feldman. He's detailed his experience in his book: "Coreyography," and he joins me now from CNN Los Angeles.

Hello to you both. Corey, let me start with you. You were, what, pretty mature by 19 years old? We'd seen you and almost done you, and then you'd been married already by that stage as well. So listen, were you surprised to hear what had happened to Bieber today?

COREY FELDMAN, ACTOR: Well, I was surprised to hear it because at the end of the day, he's got such a squeaky-clean image that you kind of go, wow, could this really happen to somebody like him?

But as you mentioned, it is very detailed in my book, it can happen to anybody. Bottom line is, it's a really topsy-turvey world, the entertainment business, and it's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure for all of us.

But at the end of the day, the one thing that people need to understand, and this isn't to say that I endorse his behavior, but I do want to say that people have got to understand, you've got to give him a little bit of a break, because at the end of the day, he's just a kid growing up. And we're all just kids growing up.

And most kids have these problems. The only thing is that they're not in the spotlight. It's not focused on them. It's not the whole world watching when somebody gets a hiccup in life.

ANDERSON: And David, the pressure, not least from the likes of me and you, who put him in the spotlight -- I mean, he's in the spotlight, and then we write about him, of course. There was this terrible, terrible sense from so many quarters that we build these kids up in order, to a certain extent, for them to fall, right?

DAVID CAPLAN, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. These kids are -- they're built up, they have such high expectations, and I can tell you, having worked with the likes of "People" magazine and TMZ, I've been on the front lines. And in a weird way, you are guilty about it.

But at the same time, just as much as there's many celebrities who do fall victim to this, like Justin Bieber, which is only temporary, I don't think it's this massive deal, there are others who manage to avoid it as well.

But you know what? There was huge throngs of press waiting for him when he left the courthouse. And you know what I was thinking? If there weren't all those people waiting for him and all the press, I bet he'd be just as disappointed, because he probably thrives on that.

ANDERSON: He comes out of the courthouse, and let's run the video while we talk to Corey again. He comes out of the courthouse, he jumps on the top of his SUV, he smiles and waves to the throngs gathered, Corey, and then he disappears. Listen, walk me through what's going on in the mind of this, as you suggest, a 19-year-old child who has grown up in the spotlight.

FELDMAN: Well, I can tell you quite efficiently that I was 19 when I went through the exact same thing that he's going through. So, I was literally 18 turning 19 years old, I got busted for having illicit drugs on me, and I didn't know what to do. I was heartbroken.

To be completely honest with you, if I go back to that exact space and time, I was so disappointed in myself. I felt like I had totally let down all my fans. I had droves of kids, millions of kids all over the world who looked up to me, who wanted to hear what I had to say, and all I wanted to do was just cry and apologize to them, because I felt like I was their hero, I was their idol, and I let them down.

So, I can only imagine what he's going through right now, and my heart is really aching for him. I feel really bad for Justin.

ANDERSON: He needs a lot of support, doesn't he? Does he have it? This is man --

FELDMAN: That's right.

ANDERSON: Yes, this is a group of -- a management group who've been around him since he was a wee teenager, you know? Are they good enough? Are they strong enough at this point?

FELDMAN: Well, first of all, I don't know Justin. I've never met him in person, so I have no idea what kind of people he has around him. All I can tell you is, generally, when you go through these types of problems and you're a celebrity, you usually have a support group that is yes-men, the people that are there just to tell you what you want to hear.

And at this point, I think he's really going to need to toughen up. He's going to have to get out there, and he's going to have to say to the world, look, I am ready to change. And with that change, I am willing to put a whole new circle of people around me that are going to be a positive influence, they're going to tell me the truth and not just what I want to hear.


ANDERSON: Yes, but is he going to listen?

FELDMAN: And that's the most important thing. He's going to have to get his life together now.

ANDERSON: Corey, is he going to listen? Because we've all been 19 years old, and you remember and I remember it --

FELDMAN: Well, if he --

ANDERSON: -- you know.

FELDMAN: If he's ready for change. If he's ready to take the world and say look, I realize that I've got to be humble, I've got to realize that I have a lot to learn about life. Because at 19, we still have a lot to learn. Hey, at my age, I still have a lot to learn. We all have a lot to learn, or we'd be dead.


FELDMAN: So, life is about continuous growth, continuous change. So, if he's able to embrace the idea that now it's time to learn the next lesson in life and humble himself a bit, he'll be just fine.

ANDERSON: David, final word.

CAPLAN: I was going to say, I think Justin Bieber, his camp is really concerned. I spoke to someone in his camp earlier today, who wanted to stay anonymous, saying that they're very concerned about him and they really do hope that he gets some help.

And listen, he was partying with his dad last night, so I think he does have a bit of a shaky support system around him.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, guys, thank you so much to both of you. David, there in New York -- I think you're in New York -- absolutely. And Mr. Corey in LA, thank you chaps.

What do you think about young stars, temptation, and the pressure they face under the spotlight? The team here at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, You can have your say. You can always tweet me @BeckyCNN. You know we're on Instagram as well, of course. You can get the daily preview of the show there.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.