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Cease-Fire in Colombia After Century of War; Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff Testifies at Her Impeachment Trial. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired August 29, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Tonight cease fire in Colombia after a century of war. My exclusive interview with the President Santos in Bogota. Will

the people ratify his peace deal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They know that perfect peace is impossible. But a good piece like the one that we just negotiated that's the best thing for every

Colombian and the world.

AMANPOUR: Plus she's faced torture and cancer and now she's facing the accusers. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff testifies at her impeachment

trial saying her only fear is the death of democracy.

DILMA ROUSSEFF, SUSPENDED PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL: (As translated) They are trying to take down and bring down through the process of impeachment

without the responsibility of a legitimate government that was elected by a direct vote with the participation of millions of Brazilians.


AMANPOUR: Good evening everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.


AMANPOUR: It just goes to show that with patience, persistence and commitment even the most intractable war can end. A permanent cease fire

came into effect today after 52 years of war between the government of Colombia and (inaudible) Gorilla's known as the FARC.

Half a century which claimed a quarter million lives and displaced nearly 7 million people from their homes. On Sunday their leader traded in his

jungle fatigues and the leader of FARC is now calling himself a man of peace.

RODRIGO LONDONO ECHEVERRI, FARC LEADER: (As translated): In my position as commander of the FACR I order all of our leaders, all of our units, each

and every one of our combatants to cease fire and hostilities in a definitive manner. Today more than ever we regret so much death and pain

caused by the war. Today more than ever we want to embrace as compatriots and begin to work together for a new Colombia. The war has ended.


AMANPOUR: The deal calls for the FARC to disarm and join the political process as an official party and there'll be a tribunal where any fighter

or indeed government solider who confesses to an atrocity will face a period of restricted movement not jail. Those who admit to lesser crimes

will get amnesty. The Colombian people will have to approve this in a referendum in October.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated): We have to give an opportunity to take a break from war because I don't actually know what peace feels like. I

don't know what peace is. I would vote to know what peace is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (As translated) We are closer to peace. We are closer to being able to say no more victims of the conflict, no more displaced

people, no more kidnappings, no more disappearances. This is change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (As translated) As a person, I have been affected even if I haven't been affected as directly as many other Colombian families.

The war damages all whether we want it or not. And if we can put an end to something this ugly, why not. The moment is now, and we have to make the

most of it.


AMANPOUR: Well there are some very high profile critics like former President Alvaro Uribe whose own major offenses against FARC paved the way

for negotiations that started in 2012 under the current President Juan Manuel Santos. Mr. Santos joined me from Bogota moments ago.

President Santos, welcome to the program. How does it feel to have ended this war? It's the longest running war right now; it's the last holdout

since the cold war. What is this moment for you?

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA: Of course I feel very happy. This is a historic step for Colombia for the whole region. It's the last

and oldest armed conflict in the whole of the American continent and I think that after five and a half years of negotiations we've finally

reached an agreement, everything is agreed. And now the post conflict starts, and this is going to be also very hard work.

AMANPOUR: Well, they do say don't they that waging peace can be much more difficult than waging war. So do you believe that your people will ratify

your efforts in the referendum that you have scheduled for October?


PRESIDENT SANTOS: Yes, I have no doubt that the Colombian people will support what we have agreed. Colombia is really fed up with the war. We

don't want any more war, and the more we explain what we have achieved and the terms of the agreement, people are accepting it more and more. Because

they know that perfect peace is impossible but a good peace like the one we just negotiated that's the best thing for every Colombian and for the world

because always to have peace is much better than to have war.

AMANPOUR: I see the satisfaction that you feel right now but you know you have your critics, very fierce critics including the former president

Alvaro Uribe who has said and is tweeting Santos has seeded everything. He's basically said that you've given away the shop to the FARC. And this

is what he says specifically about the amnesty and the deal that you have negotiated. Take a listen, and then we'll talk about it.


ALVARO URIBE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF COLUBMIA: (As translated) To this terrorist group they also give impunity and political legitimacy to all its

actors including those responsible for massacres of the most severe offenses and crimes against humanity. The government has accepted all of

the FARC's agenda.


AMANPOUR: What do you say to that accusation that you have accepted the FACR's agenda?

PRESIDENT SANTOS: Well, its simple matter of comparing what the FARC started to ask for and what we finally achieved. There's a tremendous,

tremendous difference and what former President Uribe is saying is simply a lie. There is no impunity. The most responsible of the crimes against

humanity will be investigated, judge and condemned. But they will be condemned in a transitional justice which is a justice that the world has

created to allow armed conflicts to reach peace. And if we give the FARC political legitimacy it's simply because every single peace process in the

world and in history what we want to achieve is an organization, an armed organization that is trying to achieve power by violence to lay down their

arms and continue in legal terms in a democracy.

AMANPOUR: We've heard the leader of FARC saying that he agrees and that is what they have committed themselves to. But we've also seen for instance

in the Good Friday Agreement with the IRA here in Britain. It was really difficult to get the decommissioning and the giving up of weapons for

instance. And not only that the fringe groups those who didn't want this peace process to succeed, the real IRA, other splinter groups have done

their best to ruin it. How do you guard against that and those eventualities in Colombia?

PRESIDENT SANTOS: Well, to start with we have a very meticulous and a very well planned protocol for the FARC to give up their arms. They're going to

give the arms to the United Nations. And we have a set of protocols to guarantee the safety of the FARC and the safety of the people in the areas

where the conflict was concentrated.

One of the good things about this process is that it has been well planned very much analyzed step by step and that's why I think it's the most

comprehensive peace agreement and I'm confident that we can achieve. And if you compare it to other peace agreements throughout the recent history,

you will find that this is the most comprehensive and the most complete. We do not leave any detail out.

AMANPOUR: I want to get back to former president Uribe. You basically criticized his criticism but remember that his own father was murdered by

this group and that his war against FARC definitely weakened them and paved the way for your negotiations. That's one fact. But what would you say to

the victims or to the families of victims of the worst FARC atrocities

PRESIDENT SANTOS: Well, this is the first process where the victims are at the center of the solution of this agreement. Their rights, their rights to

reparations, their rights to justice, their rights to the truth, their rights to non-repetition, the first process that puts the victims at the

center of the solution.


PRESIDENT SANTOS: And the victims are very happy. We have more than 8 million victims, and they are the ones who are supporting even more the

transitional justice and what we have achieved. Because what they say is that they don't want other people to suffer what they suffered. Which is a

beautiful thing because I thought that the victims were going to be the most stubborn or at least they would not be as generous as I have seen the

victims in Colombia and this for me has been one of the big lessons in the process.

AMANPOUR: And finally Mr. President is that a dub of peace that I see on your lapel is that relevant to these negotiations?

PRESIDENT SANTOS: Yes, it is. This is a dub that we use as a symbol for the peace. I've been using it since we started this very difficult process

and the day I signed the final agreement, I will give this to the leader of the FARC.

AMANPOUR: I wonder what he'll give you in return. Mr. President, thank you very much indeed for joining me from the Palace in Bogota.

PRESIDENT SANTOS: Thank you Christiane.

AMANPOUR: And as the cease fire went into effect today, I also spoke to Ingrid Betancourt.


AMANPOUR: She's a former senator and former presidential candidate who was captured by the FARC in 2002 and held in brutal conditions in their jungle

hideout until she was rescued in 2008.

INGRID BETANCOURT, FORMER FARC CAPTIVE: Well, it was six and a half years held captive in the (Amazonian) jungle. For more than four years I was

chained by the neck to a tree. In many occasions I was isolated from the other prisoners as a punishment for trying to escape. The treatment was

harsh. It was abusive, humiliating and very, very diminishing. My identity was ignored.


AMANPOUR: Ingrid, you say that you were chained by the neck to a tree for all those years, you describe in detail the abuse and you use that word and

the violence to which you were subjected. And yet you still welcome this deal, you still believe that it was the right thing to bring these people

out of the jungle and into the political process many will never ever face jail time at all.

BETANCOURT: Yes, many won't. But it's those who were forced to get involved into the FARC. We're talking about young people. My guards for example

ranged between 90 years old to 18. They were brainwashed, there were kids, adolescents that didn't have any opportunity or choice to do something

different. So I think it's fair for them to have an amnesty.

For the others who committed war crimes they will face tribunal and they will be judged. What I think, and it's something that has been core of my

life since separation is to find higher horizons than those of my suffering.

AMANPOUR: Powerful words and incredible forgiveness. And you can see the whole of that interview with Ingrid Betancourt online at


AMANPOUR: So can peace pave dividends with the miles of beaches, the Amazon and it's famous Andean coffee? Ads like these are trying to tempt tourists

to rake in the dollars and deliver more infrastructure and employment to the people as well.

Next, we go next door to Brazil. That tourist mecca, recent hopes of the Rio Olympics and home to corruption plagued dysfunction where today

Brazil's elected president, Dilma Rousseff fights for her political life.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.


AMANPOUR: Now after basking in two weeks of Olympic limelight, Brazil now confronts the (inaudible) of its dysfunctional and the dysfunctional

politics as Dilma Rousseff makes her last stand in a dramatic face off with a hostile senate. Brazil's first female President who was suspended last

May made an impassioned defense and answered hours of questioning in an effort to head off impeachment and the end of her political career.

ROUSSEFF: (As translated) Do not expect from me the silence of the cowards in the past with the weapons and now with the law and we will fight for

democracy. I come to look directly at each one of you and tell you that I have nothing to hide. I have not committed any crime of responsibility. I

have not committed any crime of which I am being accused for.

AMANPOUR: Indeed, while she herself is not accused of corruption, most of her accusers are. She has vowed to fight on and she calls for charges of

fiscal irregularities which have been leveled against her a political vendetta not a legal move aimed she said at toppling her.


AMANPOUR: With me now is Anthony Pereira, director of King's College Brazil Institute. Professor welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So this questioning is continuing and is going to continue for another day. How do you judge her performance so far and her chances?

PEREIRA: Well, I think her chances are pretty limited. I think really she's fighting for her legacy and not for her job. I think she pretty much knows

that unless something very dramatic changes, she's likely to be impeached either Tuesday night on Wednesday morning. But she's making a case I think

and she's planting a seed of doubt in the electorate, in the people watching this. And she's saying - I think one of the best points she made

was the clip that you had there about remember the guy who started this process back in December, Eduardo Cunha, who was then President of the

Lower House. He's now lost his mandate for personal corruption. And I think so she's raising the question is this rule of law or is this rule by

law? Is this the selective use of rules that wouldn't be applied to another President?

AMANPOUR: When I spoke to her literally days before she was suspended I was there in Brasilia and she said to me that -- well I posed this question and

see how feisty she was in her response.


AMANPOUR: Do you think you will be President at the end of this process.

ROUSSEFF: (As translated): I wish to tell you one thing more than just thinking that I will survive. I will fight to survive not just for my term

in office but I will fight because what I'm advocating and defending is a democratic principle that governs political place in Brazil.

Who found the impeachment process against me? All of them are being charged for corruption charges especially the speaker of the house. My life was

turned upside down. They look everywhere to find something against me, and there's no corruption charge at all against me.


AMANPOUR: I mean it's as extraordinary today as it was a few months ago that the majority of her accusers and you just mentioned Cunha and she just

mentioned him whose no longer actually in power, and we can see her speaking live now in the senate as she continues this face off.


AMANPOUR: Give us an understanding of what might change, if anything, even if she is impeached.

PEREIRA: Well, I think the people in favor of the impeachment they claim that this is although this was down by previous presidents the magnitude of

this was such and the jurisprudence has changed, they say that this is justified under the rule of law.


PEREIRA: I think the real test will be; is this now going to be a precedent that other Presidents will be held accountable to this standard?

I think that's a very good question for Brazilian democracy because if it's consistent and if it's the law for everybody then this interpretation must

stand now for all subsequent holders.

I think what Michel Temer will try to do if Dilma is convicted is have a speech, address the nation try to reconcile these - this polarization, try

to stand for a united government and then fly off to the G20 meeting in China in a very sort of presidential act and say this is constitutionally

normal and I am now President. He's been waiting a long time for this moment.


AMANPOUR: He has indeed but he is equally despised if not more than she is. I mean his poll - there she is there live in this senate. I mean it really

is sort of in the lion's den and she does not give up. So she is really fighting for that legacy. But what legitimacy even after an impeachment if

it should happen and even if he flies off to his other world leaders, will Temer have? Because as I said his poll numbers are not high.

PEREIRA: You're absolutely right he's not any really much more popular than Dilma. The polling is inconsistent, is quite you know all over the place

and there's lots of different things that come out. But one of the things that's consistent is that the electorate, the preferred option would be

neither Dilma nor Temer but a new presidential election. And that's what Dilma has promised if she were to escape this conviction in the senate.

It's unlikely to happen but that's very revealing and so I think Temer, even though he will have the support of congress, even though he will have

support of most business actors, will I think have to address this issue of legitimacy and tread very carefully. He'll have to walk on egg shells

because he knows that there's a segment of the electorate that doesn't see this process as having been fair.

AMANPOUR: But - and getting back to the corruption issue there's - I mean it is really mind boggling how much this purveys almost every avenue of

political economic, social and cultural life in Brazil.

Could this be a launching pad for some kind of an extra crackdown on corruption? I mean frankly it was Dilma Rousseff who started this whole -

didn't she start this whole judicial process and enable these independent inquiries which they're coming after her about now?

PEREIRA: Yes, I think President Dilma has an ambiguous relation to corruption because she did you know oversee a quite autonomous action by

the Ministry of Public, by the police. At the same time she was in Petrobras when this quite large systematic kickback scheme was apparently


AMANPOUR: Do you think she knew about it? I mean she's always denied knowing about it, much less condoning it?

PEREIRA: I'm not sure, I've never seen any evidence of her personal corruption or knowledge of corruption but it does look like an act of

omission if as Chairman of the board of Petrobras at the time that she wasn't aware. That's sort of a failing if you like even if it wasn't

direct participation.

AMANPOUR: And now the very base of this is Brazil's economy. It was a power house and because of you know commodity prices et cetera it's

hurting, unemployment is rising et cetera. What is the chance for Brazil to get that part of its house in order?

PEREIRA: I think that it can. I mean I think in Dilma's first year she was steiny because she fought - congress wasn't approving her measures, she

wasn't able to get the budget deficit down, that problem won't exist under a Temer government, he is an arch congressman if you like. He knows how to

build a coalition, business will support this government. And so you'd expect the bleeding to at least stop. You'd expect perhaps a little

slither of growth behind us projecting 0.5 in 2017. And this is partly because one of the problems right now is just lack of investor and consumer

confidence. There's too much uncertainty in the political system and this won't last forever.

AMANPOUR: Such an important part of that hemisphere.

PEREIRA: Yes absolutely it's half of South America in population and GDP.

AMANPOUR: The stakes are enormously high. Professor Pereira, thank you very much indeed for joining us tonight.

PEREIRA: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And next Rio's is the biggest but London is up there too when it comes to carnivals that is.


AMANPOUR: It's 50 years since the Notting Hill Carnival first hit the street. And imagine giving Ipanema a run for its money, that's when we

come back.




AMANPOUR: And finally tonight imagine button down Britain holding Europe's biggest and most colorful street festival.


AMANPOUR: That is the Notting Hill Carnival and it has turned West London into an important pilgrimage site for partiers for the past half a century.

And over this August bank holiday more than a million people come for two days of reveling, singing, drinking, smoking from all over Europe and

beyond bidding farewell and dancing away the dog days of summer.

It began when the first Afro-Caribbean immigrants arrived here in the U.K. to help rebuild during the post war boom. With Calypso and steel bands

they found new freedom to express their cultural heritage and to cast off the bonds of slavery that shackled their ancestors.

Now trying to foster community relations activists first celebrated this culture with block parties. That later turned into a carnival when these

parties began parading through the narrow winding streets of Notting Hill.

Today gentrification, rom com movies and sky high property prices have driven out a large part of that Caribbean community that initially settled

there. But the carnival carries on despite spates of community riots and face offs between carnival goers and police.

Even this year four people have been stabbed, one of them was 15. There have been dozens of arrests but the show goes on.

That's it for our program tonight and remember you can listen to our Podcast, see us online at, and follow me on Facebook and


Thanks for watching and good night from London.