Pacifica Campaign News
September 5, 2001
In recent months, Pacifica management and their supporters have
been alleging that Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman fabricated her
award-winning coverage of the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East
The following is a statement from 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Jose Ramos-Horta on these allegations.
Statement by Jose Ramos-Horta
Nobel Peace Prize, 1996
September 3, 2001 Dili, East Timor
I was distressed to learn that Amy Goodman's reporting on East
Timor has been questioned and that some have alleged that the
November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz massacre may not have taken place. As
an East Timorese, I want to express my outrage that her account of
the massacre has been challenged by a campaign of innuendo and
insult. As a former journalist, I want to express my wholehearted
support for Amy Goodman and the staff of Democracy Now!
As an occasional guest on her program, I can attest to her
professionalism. Her reporting on East Timor, some of it done at
great personal risk, has always been accurate, ground-breaking and
Her presence and actions at Santa Cruz are undisputed by
observers. The massacre of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators and
mourners was a turning point in our struggle for self-determination.
At that tragic time, the presence of foreign journalists like Amy,
was key. Their words and pictures were a vital source of accurate
information on the massacre in the face of official Indonesian
denials and misleading reports. This reporting inspired action and
policy change worldwide.
I have especially admired the non-Timorese who have dedicated
themselves to East Timor. It is not their country, and journalists
traveling there faced special risks. Although she knew that five
foreign journalists had been murdered by the Indonesian military in
East Timor at the start of the invasion in 1975, Amy went to East
Timor in 1990 and 1991 to cover a story most ignored.
In East Timor, we have renamed a major road Avenida Liberdade da
Imprensa, or Freedom of the Press Avenue. On that road, a Dutch
journalist was murdered in September 1999. We have dedicated a
memorial to his memory and the memories of the other journalists
killed while covering East Timor.
We are now working to build our own media and train our own
journalists. I can only hope, that they will contribute to our
democracy by probing deeply and asking the critical questions -- the
way Amy has always done.
Pacifica and WBAI should be proud to have a journalist of such
high caliber working for them. They should be supporting her, not
attacking her, and improving her working conditions, not hindering
her ability to do her job.
For more info contact:
John M. Miller
Media & Outreach
East Timor Action Network
Link to statement and additional background can be found at http://www.etan.org/news/2001a/goodman.htm