“In some areas, Filipinos were forced into concentration camps, called reconcentrados, which were surrounded by free-fire zones. These camps were overcrowded which led to disease and death. Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. "One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and ‘home’ to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed.“ In Batangas Province, where General Franklin Bell was responsible for setting up a concentration camp, a correspondent described the operation as "relentless.” General Bell ordered that by December 25, 1901, the entire population of both Batangas Province and Laguna Province had to gather into small areas within the “poblacion” of their respective towns. Barrio families had to bring everything they could carry because anything left behind—including houses, gardens, carts, poultry and animals—was to be burned by the U.S. Army. Anyone found outside the concentration camps was shot. General Bell insisted that he had built these camps to “protect friendly natives from the insurgents, assure them an adequate food supply” while teaching them “proper sanitary standards.” The commandant of one of the camps referred to them as the “suburbs of Hell."”
Tim Watters, a photographer aboard The Steve Irwin, gives his personal account of finding the Nisshin Maru and documenting the grisly scene aboard the decks of the factory vessel. On the 5th of January, The Steve Irwin’s helicopter found the Nisshin Maru with three protected Minke Whales on its decks, dead and awaiting butchering. The decks were smeared with the blood and remains of a fourth whose body had already been carved and processed into uniform pieces of meat, with the undesirable selections dragged across the decks and tossed overboard.
Operation Relentless is Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign to intervene in the illegal slaughter of protected and endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by the Japanese whaling fleet. In our previous nine campaigns, Sea Shepherd has saved the lives of over 4,500 whales.