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News > Latin America

CNN Gets Schooled on Aleppo by a Guest Who Was Actually There

  • Carla Ortiz said it was time the U.S. started listening to what Syrians really want, which is peace.

    Carla Ortiz said it was time the U.S. started listening to what Syrians really want, which is peace. | Photo: YouTube

Published 23 December 2016

The filmmaker says it's time to "really listen to the voice of Syria," which is to end the war.

In an interview with CNN, a Bolivian filmmaker criticized how Western countries have no idea what is really happening in Aleppo due to fake news, emphasizing that world leaders need to help end the war in Syria.

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Carla Ortiz had been working in Aleppo and other cities in Syria on a documentary about women's empowerment in the country, and experienced firsthand the evacuation of Aleppo.

Ortiz said that people have been spreading false news about the situation in Aleppo, which in return has worldwide citizens believing in lies. According to Ortiz her team has real images of people leaving Aleppo during the planned evacuation, and says there wasn't any shooting as some media outlets reported.

"You would never understand unless you look at the eyes of a Syrian," said Ortiz.

For example, she used the case of 7-year-old Bana al-Abed, who allegedly began tweeting from eastern Aleppo in September. The Twitter account was managed by Bana’s English teacher mother Fatemah, but supposedly written by Bana herself, and was often cited in mainstream new coverage of the siege of Aleppo.

"It is impossible, I've been there, there is no internet ... there is no electricity for more than 85 days over there, and 3G only very few people have," said Ortiz. "I was with people from the U.N. and the BBC and you cannot send a tweet when you're in the frontline."

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"I'm so sorry to tell you this, but I was in Aleppo, I don't think she was in Aleppo," said Ortiz. "Show me real footage of when she's been taken out and I will believe it."

Many questioned the account’s authenticity, suggesting the linguistic, political, and digital sophistication of Bana’s tweets were well beyond the capacities of a 7-year-old writing in her second or third language.

The filmmaker also said that people should take real actions and demand politicians be more human in resolving the crisis in Aleppo.

"Power can create change, and maybe at the beginning, we thought that people wanted support, and we supported the rebels, and we supported the opposition," said Ortiz. "But now it's time that we sit, and help and listen really to the voice of Syria, which is 'Let's end the war'."

"Every decision we make now, in the entertainment business, as newscaster, it has to be to help them end this war," said Ortiz.

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