Mapuche men block entrance to Liempi Colipi, a Mapuche community occupying 1500 ha of ancestral lands begun two weeks ago. They were attacked by the police twice, with some members injured and others hospitalized. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Taylor in the U.S. +1.314.210.1322 / In Chile: Anne Petermann (English) +1.716.364.1188 / Gary Graham Hughes (Spanish and English) +1.707.223 5434
As UN Climate COP launches in Madrid Activists in Chile Demand Rejection of Neoliberal Model and Removal of Chile from COP Presidency
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Abandons Plans to Travel to Madrid for COP25
Due to Threat of Detention for Human Rights Abuses
Santiago, Chile–While the annual UN Climate Summit (COP25) commences in Madrid, protesters across Chile, the country in which the COP was originally planned, are demanding that Chile be stripped of the Presidency of COP 25 due to the human rights abuses happening in Chile. At the same time, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón has threatened to have Chile’s President Piñera detained if he attempts to enter the country.
Protesters are rising up against Chile’s neoliberal model, imposed under the Pinochet dictatorship. More than two dozen people have been killed in the protests and hundreds have lost eyes as Carabineros de Chile (national police) intentionally shoot metal-filled rubber bullets shotgun-style at people’s heads.
Chilean and Indigenous Mapuche protesters explain that they are not seeking simple reforms. “We are not marching for social reforms,” said Mapuche elder Ana Llao, “we are marching for a total change of the system!”
Mapuches point out that political repression has been going on against them for decades, and escalated under the Pinochet regime, when vast expanses of their territory were stolen and turned into industrial monocultures of non-native pine and eucalyptus for pulp and paper companies.
Mapuche communities have long resisted this land theft, with Mapuches being attacked, murdered or jailed as recently as 2018. In November 2018, an unarmed Camilo Catrillanca was shot in the back of the head and killed by Carabineros. In April 2018, Mapuche Lonko (leader) Alberto Curamil was arrested on trumped up charges after years of fighting deforestation and successfully stopping two hydro-electric dams. In 2019 he was awarded the coveted Goldman Environmental Prize. As the COP begins, Lonko Curamil’s trial continues in Temuco, Chile.
“There is a political problem of permanent violence executed by the state regarding Mapuche people here in Wallmapu. The Chilean state has repressed, shot people in the back, and imprisoned them permanently. We live under a model of dispossession and exploitation–of misery–that has not only attacked Mapuche people but all Chileans,” said Rodrigo Román, attorney for Lonko Curamil.
With the momentum of the national uprising, two weeks ago, two Mapuche communities near Curacautin, Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez began an occupation of 1500 hectares of ancestral lands. They have been attacked by the police twice, with some members injured and others hospitalized. Referring to a series of hydroelectric projects planned for rivers throughout Mapuche territory, including the sacred Rio Cautin, Juan Ramón said, “Chile has now moved on from stealing our land to stealing our water.”
Alejandra Parra of Environmental Rights Action Network (RADA) points out, “Chile provides a warning to the world. Our environment and people are already being devastated by these neoliberal ‘climate solutions’ being lifted up by the Chilean Presidency at COP25. From hydroelectricity that steals our rivers, to electric cars, solar panels and industrial wind farms that ravage our mountains and deserts for lithium and copper, to the expansion of tree plantations onto Indigenous lands for the ‘bioeconomy’–Chile shows why ‘climate action’ cannot be motivated by profits.”
The neoliberal model has long been a feature of the climate COPs in the form of REDD, carbon offsets and other carbon market schemes, but this year under Chile’s leadership, it is rising to new prominence in the form of “Natural Climate Solutions.” These so-called solutions have been condemned as the commodification of the Earth for the purpose of creating vast quantities of carbon and biodiversity offsets designed to enable climate-destroying business as usual under the pretense of climate action.
Contacto: Steve Taylor en los EE. UU. +1.314.210.1322 / En Chile: Anne Petermann (inglés) +1.716.364.1188 / Gary Graham Hughes (español e inglés) +1.707.223 5434
Mientras se lanza la COP del clima de la ONU en Madrid, Activistas en Chile exigen el rechazo del modelo neoliberal y la remoción de Chile de la presidencia de la COP
El presidente chileno, Sebastián Piñera, abandona los planes de viajar a Madrid para la COP25
Debido a la amenaza de detención por abusos contra los derechos humanos
Santiago, Chile – Mientras la Cumbre climática anual de la ONU (COP25) comienza en Madrid, los manifestantes en todo Chile, el país en el que se planeó originalmente la COP, exigen que Chile sea despojado de la Presidencia de la COP25, debido a las violaciones de los derechos humanos que han ocurrido en Chile. Al mismo tiempo, el juez español, Baltasar Garzón, ha amenazado con detener al presidente de Chile, Piñera, si intenta ingresar al país.
Los manifestantes se están alzando contra el modelo neoliberal de Chile que fue impuesto bajo la dictadura de Pinochet. Más de dos docenas de personas han muerto en las protestas y cientos han perdido los ojos ya que Carabineros de Chile (policía nacional) ha disparado intencionalmente balas de goma llenas de metal, al estilo de una escopeta, a la cabeza de las personas.
Los manifestantes chilenos e indígenas mapuche explican que no buscan reformas simples. “No estamos marchando por reformas sociales”, dijo la anciana mapuche Ana Llao, “estamos marchando por un cambio total del sistema”.
Los mapuches señalan que la represión política ha estado en su contra durante décadas, y se intensificó bajo el régimen de Pinochet, cuando grandes extensiones de su territorio fueron robadas y convertidas en monocultivos industriales de pino y eucalipto no nativos para empresas de pulpa y papel.
Las comunidades mapuche han resistido este robo de tierras durante mucho tiempo, con mapuches siendo atacados, asesinados o encarcelados en 2018. En noviembre de 2018, Camilo Catrillanca, desarmado, recibió un disparo en la espalda, siendo asesinado por Carabineros. En abril de 2018, el mapuche Lonko (líder) Alberto Curamil fue arrestado por cargos falsos después de años de combatir la deforestación y detener con éxito dos represas hidroeléctricas. En 2019 fue galardonado con el codiciado Premio Ambiental Goldman. Mientras comienza la COP, el juicio de Lonko Curamil continúa en Temuco, Chile.
“Existe un problema político de violencia permanente ejecutada por el estado con respecto a los mapuche aquí en Wallmapu. El estado chileno ha reprimido, disparado a las personas en la espalda y los ha encarcelado permanentemente. Vivimos bajo un modelo de despojo y explotación, de miseria, que no solo ha atacado al pueblo mapuche sino a todos los chilenos ”, dijo Rodrigo Román, abogado de Lonko Curamil.
Con el impulso del levantamiento nacional, hace dos semanas, dos comunidades mapuche cerca de Curacautín, Liempi Colipi y Quilape López comenzaron una ocupación de 1500 hectáreas de tierras ancestrales. Han sido atacados por la policía dos veces, con algunos miembros heridos y otros hospitalizados. Al referirse a una serie de proyectos hidroeléctricos planificados para ríos en todo el territorio mapuche, incluido el sagrado Río Cautín, Lonko Juan Ramón dijo: “Chile ha pasado de robar nuestra tierra a robar nuestra agua”.
Alejandra Parra of Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales (RADA) dijo: “Chile proporciona una advertencia al mundo. Nuestro entorno y nuestra gente ya están siendo devastados por estas “soluciones climáticas” neoliberales que la Presidencia chilena en la COP25 está impulsando. Desde la hidroelectricidad que roba nuestros ríos, autos eléctricos, paneles solares y parques eólicos industriales que arrasan nuestras montañas y desiertos en busca de litio y cobre, hasta la expansión de plantaciones de árboles en tierras indígenas para la ‘bioeconomía’- Chile muestra por qué la ‘acción climática’ no puede ser motivada por las ganancias “.
El modelo neoliberal ha sido durante mucho tiempo una característica de las COP climáticas en forma de REDD, compensaciones de carbono y otros esquemas del mercado de carbono, pero este año bajo el liderazgo de Chile, está adquiriendo un nuevo protagonismo en forma de “Soluciones climáticas naturales”. Las llamadas soluciones se han condenado como la mercantilización de la Tierra con el propósito de crear grandes cantidades de compensaciones de carbono y biodiversidad diseñadas para permitir negocios que destruyen el clima, como siempre, bajo la pretensión de una acción climática.
Global Justice Ecology Project, 266 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
Graphic for COP25 looks to normalize highly irregular dynamic of Chile remaining as “president” of the meeting, even as human rights violations continue to occur from military and police violence being used to repress an increasingly volatile social movement against neoliberal policies in a country that has been celebrated as a case study in the supposed success of free market extractivist economies.
Organisations can sign the statement by completing this form.
(ESPAÑOL ABAJO, FRANCAIS EN DESSOUS)
In response to the announcement by Sebastián Piñera to suspend COP25 summit in Chile, we as international civil society reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Chile who are rising against austerity and growing inequalities; we condemn the violent repression and human rights violations from the government and the military against peaceful protestors.
In the past few weeks, mass protests have taken to the streets of Chile in response to the disastrous neoliberal economic and social policies that have deepened inequalities and injustices as well environmental conflicts across the country. Although the protests were sparked by a hike in transport fares, it is clear that the discontent of the Chilean people has much deeper roots and is very much linked to the ecological emergency and the crisis of inequality.
In response to the uprising, President Piñera has unfurled a wave of violent repression, releasing the military onto the streets, installing a curfew under the now lifted state of emergency, and attacking, torturing, raping, and killing non-violent protesters. This horrific repression brings back memories of 11 September 1973, when the people’s democratically elected government was violently deposed, unleashing relentless neoliberal violence on the country ever since.
To read the full statement go to Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice
In April 2018, Mapuche Longo (leader) Alberto Curamil [looking back at the courtroom] was arrested on trumped up charges after he successfully stopped two hydro-electric dams. In 2019 he was awarded the coveted Goldman Environmental Prize. As COP25 begins, Longo Curamil’s trial continues in Temuco, Chile. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP
Gary Hughes, Biofuelwatch December 1, 2019
At this writing thousands of government officials, extractive industry executives and non governmental organization (NGO) staff are descending on Madrid for the UN climate summit. One of the most irregular aspects of COP25 is that the nation “presiding” over the meeting is not only unable to host the conference, the president of Chile is not even going to attend.
In the wake of scathing reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about the human rights violations in Chile, including sexual assault, torture, deaths from military action and indiscriminate police violence that has resulted in more that 200 people with severe eye injuries, it has been announced that Chilean President Sebastian Piñera will not be going to Madrid.
To highlight the gross irregularities of COP25 retreating to Madrid in an effort to hide from the world the violent and unjust realities on the ground in Chile, human rights, environmental justice and indigenous sovereignty advocates in Chile are already filing lawsuits to hold Piñera accountable for crimes against humanity.
In this context, environmental justice, labor union and indigenous leaders in Chile are demanding that Chile not be allowed to continue presiding over COP25.
The message from social movements is that Chile has no moral authority at this point in time (if ever, say the Chilean groups) to be presiding over COP25.
To highlight this call to hold the Chilean government accountable are these quotes from an article in the independent news source El Mostrador (elmostrador.cl).
“Chile has no moral authority at all to lead a global process when Chile is engaged in state terrorism at home.”
Another environmental leader has said that “if it was already reprehensible that Chile was going to host COP25, a false gesture that was nothing more than a smoke screen to hide environmental crimes, now it is absolutely disgusting that Chile retains the presidency of COP25 when such extreme human rights violations continue to happen every day.”
Another leader has said that “we need international civil society to support us in solidarity and to do all they can to internationally isolate the repressive regime of Sebastian Piñera.”
“The international community cannot permit that there be impunity for the massive human rights violations by state agents. Chile cannot lead COP25 and the President should be investigated by international human rights bodies.”
And this statement in detail from a Mapuche spokesperson (Sergio Millaman) with mapuexpress.org regarding the assassination of Camilo Catrillanca, a Mapuche leader who was shot in the back by the Carabineros in Nov 2018, explains this call for solidarity even further.
“The highest officials of the executive were complicit, silent, and helped cover up for the Carabineros (national military police) when they assassinated Camilo Catrillanca. One year later these same officials are responsible for more human rights violations in Chile. Piñera’s hands are stained with the blood of Catrillanca and the hundreds of people who have lost their eyes. For this reason Piñera cannot continue to preside over Chile, much less over COP25. The organizations that participate in this summit must demand that Piñera not preside over COP25. A person who is being investigated for human rights violations cannot preside over an international meeting.”
And as thousands arrive to Madrid for this international meeting, in the south of Chile the trial on fabricated charges of Mapuche leader and environmental defender Alberto Curamil continues. Curamil was the 2019 Goldman Prize winner and is now facing 50 years in prison for a crime for which there is an absolute absence of evidence connecting him to the events in question.
It is these examples from Chile that convey the seriousness of the situation and explain the call from affected communities in Chile to international climate justice advocates to stand in solidarity by denouncing COP25 for allowing Chile to preside over the conference.
GJEP-Biofuelwatch-RADA team in Mapuche territory films interview in post below. Photo: Langelle/ photolangelle.org
Near Curacautin, Wallmapu (28 November 2019) – On U.S. “Thanksgiving” Day (known now as the National Day of Mourning) Indigenous Mapuche in Chile occupying their ancestral lands in defiance of the state were attacked by Carabineros (Chile National police). In spite of this repression, they continue to stand up for their rights to land. This photo essay was shot during that day.
Below the photo essay is a brief video interview with a young Mapuche man who speaks about the invasion and his injury in the attack by the Carabineros. Under the video is the translation of his comments.
All photos by Orin Langelle and video by Anne Petermann.
TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS VIDEO
“We want to make a public statement to the Chilean territory, to Mapuche people, to the whole country, to inform about this situation where riot policemen have done things here in the Liempi Colipi community, in the district of Curacautín, La Araucanía region. They have entered the community today-the riot policemen-without any previous dialogue, any eviction order. When we reached them to have a conversation, they started shooting tear gas canisters. They started shooting at us, and one of them passed by no more than fifteen meters away from me. So, we make a public statement for you to be aware of this. There are more injured peñis, on their arms, on their stomach, in their tummy. So, we encourage you to pay attention to this, to be prepared because the riot police officers are coming after us again. Marichiweu! (We shall win a hundred times in Mapudungun)”
Women involved in the protests taking place across Chile have been targeted for sexual abuse and rape by the Chilean National Police (carabineros), leading to marches around the country demanding an end to violence against women. Photo: Langelle/photolangelle.org
Excerpt From Human Rights Watch, Chile: Police Reforms Needed in the Wake of Protests – Excessive Force Against Demonstrators, Bystanders; Serious Abuse in Detention
The police detained more than 15,000 people and ill-treated some of them.
Of 442 criminal complaints filed by the National Human Rights Institute on behalf of victims of abuse, 341 refer to allegations of torture and inhumane treatment and 74 of sexual abuse. Many detainees allege they were brutally beaten by police. Another of the most common allegations was that police forced detainees, including children, to undress and squat fully naked in police stations, a practice banned by police protocols in March 2019 but that still occurs, including before the protests.
The police appear to be more likely to force women and girls to strip than men, based on data that the National Human Rights Institute collected and interviews Human Rights Watch conducted. A Chilean human rights lawyer told Human Rights Watch of a case in which men and women were detained in the same circumstances, but only women were forced to undress, and cases of police touching women’s genitalia after they were forced to strip.
For the full piece, go to: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/11/26/chile-police-reforms-needed-wake-protests