LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

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This video includes many of my photographs – Orin Langelle

This video was shot over the week of 25 November, during the trial of Mapuche Lonko Alberto Curamil over manufactured charges that he was involved in a robbery.

Lonko Alberto Curamíl during court hearings in Temuco, Chile               photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

In fact, his arrest and subsequent year and a half in jail awaiting trial are understood to have been retribution for his role in leading a campaign that stopped two hydroelectric projects on the Rio Cautín, a sacred river to the Mapuche, the headwaters of which start in the snowfields of the Lonquimay volcano.

Rio Cautin. The Lonko’s role in lead a campaign that stopped two hydroelectric projects on the Rio Cautín, a sacred river to the Mapuche, the headwaters of which start in the snowfields of the Lonquimay volcano. photo:Langelle/GJEP

In the video, his attorney Rodrigo Román speaks about the case and the greater issue of state repression against Mapuche people, whose land has long been the target of expropriation for industrial timber plantations.  As another Mapuche Lonko explained, “first they stole our land, now they want to steal our rivers.”

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Also please visit Mapuche Lonko Alberto Curamíl Acquitted of All Charges

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Photojournalist Orin Langelle takes a break by graffiti celebrating Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile. Langelle has been photographing the frontlines of the peoples rebellion in Chile. The musician Jara, a Chilean hero, was murdered by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. photo: Petermann/GJEP

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2019 Goldman Environmental Prize winner to walk out a free man

Lonko Alberto Curamíl during court hearings in Temuco, Chile               photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Temuco, Chile – On 13 December the Court of Temuco acquitted Lonko Alberto Curamíl and Werken Álvaro Millalén of all charges, allowing the Goldman Environmental Prize winner to walk out a free man.
His daughter Belén Curamil said, “I am very happy because we knew they were innocent, both the lonko Alberto Curamil and the werken Álvaro Millalén. If they were in prison for so long, it is because they raised their voices and fought for our territory, for the freedom of our Mapu, the freedom of our rivers and the freedom of the people and the Mapuche people.”  Belén Curamil accepted the Goldman Prize on behalf of her father, because he was imprisoned awaiting trial.
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Santiago: where militancy, music and art meet and complement each other

Copy and all photographs by Orin Langelle

Protesters tear up the sidewalk to make projectiles for later street fight with the Carabineros (national police)

Santiago, Chile – Last night, 13 December, thousands of people took to the streets lengthening the almost daily protest to almost two months. Plaza de la Dignidad was filled and overflowing down side streets in what was reportedly one of the biggest turnouts to date in the mobilization. It appears unless the government backs down and organizes a constitutional assembly, the protests promise to keep going.

Anonymous musician heads to the front lines. The majority of the front lines are personed by youth.

Tactic diversity, including property destruction, is an accepted part of the struggle, unlike in the U.S. where taking the streets without a permit is often frowned upon. Things are more real here, people do not have the false expectation that there is a future under capitalism or that the young generation will survive the climate catastrophe certain under business as usual.

Person with slingshot fires at the teargas defended Catholic Church where the Carabineros are said to go to mass to confess their sins and receive absolution. Person in foreground is suffering from the teargas.

In Chile and elsewhere in Latin America the Catholic Church for the most part, except under Liberation Theology, has sided with the wealthy colonizers that have taken away land from the Indigenous Peoples and profited handsomely.

Tear gas canisters fired in the crowd are picked up and extinguished in a solution, as seen in the above bottle

Breaking up the sidewalk of the Alemada to make projectiles

Crowne Plaza Santiago

The hotel boasts, “Everything revolves around business, almost. At Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, life does not stop when business starts. We want you to enjoy everything: increase your productivity, recharge and feel inspired to minimize your downtime and improve your performance. Sometimes, a mojito is as important as a meeting.” But in Santiago people feel a molotov cocktail (or brick) is what is needed to improve the performance of the protests. Santiago’s Crowne Plaza is shut. The tourist industry in Chile has taken a beating due to the uprising.

This metal street light was toppled onto La Alameda moments earlier and used as one of the street blockades. A young person uses it as a tight rope.

Art is always present in the protests

In the city almost every wall is a canvas covered with grafitti and other art

Young person in training

How the government plans in the future to deal with the uprising is unclear except for the ongoing violence used against the people. So far they have used rape, murder, torture, shotgun blasts to the face with rubber coated plastic pellets that taken upwards of 350+ eyes, tear gas and water cannons.

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In Chile where COP25 was cancelled due to the people’s rebellion, and where so many have lost their eyes, here is what we think the logo of COP25 should really look like:

The symbol of the bleeding eye is omnipresent in street art and graffiti throughout Chile

Photojournalist Orin Langelle takes a break by graffiti celebrating Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile. Langelle has been photographing the frontlines of the peoples rebellion in Chile. The musician Jara, a Chilean hero, was murdered by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. photo: Petermann/GJEP

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Civil society shut out behind the men in suits. Photo source: Global Forest Coalition

Two videos below by Liane Schalatek

Unprecedented protest rocks ‘Kafkaesque’ COP25

from Canada’s National Observer

Protests led by Indigenous leaders shut down the main hall of COP25 in Madrid on Wednesday. In an unprecedented event, about 500 people stormed the area outside the high-level negotiations decrying the lack of action by assembled governments to address the climate emergency…

CHILE CLIMATE NEWS received reports that many who were shut out yesterday thought they would lose their badges (credentials) but that did not happen and they are were allowed back in today.

One source told us, “there were assaults by UN security. People were really pissed off…about the whole process and the bullshit and the Secretariat was quite bad. Social media has been actively censored on what happened yesterday. The press was threatened to be debadged if they went outside to cover the protest. Corporate media obeyed.”

Additionally we were told the metro stations close to COP25 were closed at one point yesterday to prevent the counter summit from getting to the COP25 protest.

Video #1

From Madrid by the Women & Gender Constituency:

Feminists joined Wednesday’s peaceful protest with indigenous peoples, youth, trade unions and other climate activists to call for more ambition in the current climate negations. The peaceful action calling for human rights and gender equality in climate negotiations turned violent by the police when they used excessive force to assault and shove women and gender rights activists, forcing them outside the COP 25 premises in freezing cold and barricading them by shutting the steel doors.

Civil society has faced constant backlash at the climate negotiations by closing down the space for our voices to be heard, acknowledged and considered during the policymaking process for Gender Action Plan and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement among other pressing issues. There is growing frustration among civil society on the fact that human rights and gender equality language is being traded off for resources by powerful countries. Women and gender groups continue to demand rich countries to step up and pay up for the historical responsibility for causing the climate crisis. We highlighted these issues at the peaceful protest yesterday.

Video #2

We also want to highlight that women environmental rights defenders continue to be on the frontlines to save the planet, especially indigenous, black and those from the Global South and yet are harassed, threatened and persecuted by those in authority in their own countries and elsewhere. We need a strong human rights language in our text so that there are social, environmental and human rights safeguards in place.

Thanks to our colleague Coraina de la Plaza from Global Forest Coalition who is in Madrid at COP25 and also Dave Bleakney from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers for helping provide information.

In Chile where COP25 was cancelled due to the people’s rebellion 350+ people have lost their eyes due to being shot by rubber coated metal pellets fired by the Carabineros de Chile (national police) at people’s faces. Here is what we think the logo of COP25 should really look like:

The symbol of the bleeding eye is omnipresent in street art and graffiti throughout Chile

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22 November to 6 December 2019 

This young Mapuche is from the community of Quilape Lopez re-occupying ancestral lands that were stolen. Elders say the young are the future of the Mapuche as is the land. photo: Langelle/GJEP

I Can Still Spit

Field Notes – I landed in Santiago, Chile on 22 November from Buffalo, NY via Toronto with Anne Petermann. Anne is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and we are married life partners. We crashed for a couple of hours in Hotel Forestal. That afternoon we met up with Gary Hughes from Biofuelwatch and we hit the ground running to start covering, exploring and understanding the peoples’ rebellion in Chile.

We are the team for CHILE CLIMATE NEWS. My photos start here in Santiago and the diaries cover that day of arrival and the street protest we joined, and are followed by our subsequent journey to Temuco, Curacautin, and the Mapuche land occupations at Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez, and eventually back to Santiago. In Temuco we met the other partner of the team, Alejandra Parra from RADA, the Environmental Rights Action Network.  We met Alejandra back in 2004 when we first came to Chile to work with the Mapuche group KONAPEWMAN on the problem of genetically engineered trees and industrial tree plantations.

On this journey we covered marches against a toxic new waste-to-energy incinerator planned for Mapuche territory (being promoted as “green renewable energy,” a powerful women’s march in Temuco, land occupations in remote Mapuche territory where we spent good times with the kind and generous communities of Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez and the hard times when members of the Liempi Colipi occupation called to tell us the Carabineros de Chile (national police) had raided their community, using tear gas and shooting people with rubber coated metal pellets. We dropped everything and went to the community.

More copy after the video produced by Global Justice Ecology Project’s Steve Taylor.

I Can Still Spit continued…

Okay WTF does ‘I can still spit’ mean? Gary Hughes from our team told me early on in the trip that if you are afraid, as long as you can still spit, it’s ok. If you can’t spit, you better get out of whatever situation you’re in very quickly and maybe you shouldn’t even be where you are. I have questioned a few times if I should have been in particular situations. When the Carabineros came charging at us from the middle of nowhere, where people have been shot and then in other situations when I was choking from teargas, I did briefly question why I was there. But I could still spit. I had to be there because that is what I do. It is what I have done for 50 years now.

The reason I could still spit was because of the people. With the Mapuche, who welcomed us, not only into their community that also fed us, but onto the front lines when no one knew what the outcome would be if the Carabineros attacked the occupation. I could still spit because I knew and deeply felt I was part of something bigger than myself.  I could spit because, although the adrenaline was pumping, although I fell and injured my leg climbing over a blockade, I was with strong, kind and generous people.

And then I knew I could continue spitting (at the elites and their police) back in Santiago the evening of 6 December when the Plaza de la Dignidad lit up with red flares, fires and lasers. The exuberance of the scene. The hope.

I’m putting these photos and diary together after International Human Rights Day on 10 December where I covered the activities in Santiago, and where the authorities did anything but honor human rights, including critically injuring a 15 year old girl with a teargas canister to her head. Visuals: How Chile Dealt with International Human Rights Day.

We originally planned to come to Chile when we heard the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP25 would be here. For Anne and I, after covering so many COPs, from our first COP in Buenos Aires in 2004, then to Montreal, Nairobi to Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Mexico, and our final COP in Durban in 2011, coming back to Chile was to stand up against the final nail being driven into life itself with the capitalist’s scheme for the total commodification of Earth and all its inhabitants. A scheme greenwashed with the name “natural climate solutions” – solutions for corporations to use nature to maintain business as usual while pretending to address climate change through biodiversity and carbon offsets. The same old same old, but with new shiny packaging. Plus, we knew Chileans protesters knew how to throw a party. This was before the uprising began. Little did we dream we would walk into a revolution-in-process.

I was accredited as media from the UN climate COP25 originally scheduled for Santiago, Chile. Due to the popular rebellion in Chile and the government’s desperate desire to hide its human rights crimes–like rape, torture and 350+ eyes lost to carabinero shotguns, COP25 was moved to Madrid, Spain. I also received UN accreditation there. I chose to come to Chile and photograph the people in resistance instead of going to Madrid.

Madrid is the uplifting of the neoliberal model to use false solutions to climate change – Chile is the fight against that neoliberal model.

I will still spit because I must.

Photojournalist Orin Langelle takes a break by graffiti celebrating Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile. Langelle has been in Chile photographing the frontlines of the peoples rebellion, and has documented movements for struggle around the world since 1972. The musician Jara, a Chilean hero, was murdered by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet, under whose regime neoliberalism was ushered in. photo: Petermann/GJEP

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Man injured by the police close to Plaza de la Dignidad in Santiago, Chile during International Humans Rights Day. photo: Langelle/GJEP

Cruz Roja Chilena (Red Cross) about to be sprayed with water cannon. photo: Langelle/GJEP

Santiago, Chile – On the international day of human rights, protesters in Chile held a march commemorating the 350+ eyes lost to the violence of the Carabineros de Chile (national police) during the days of the Chile uprising. When the march arrived at the Plaza de la Dignidad, they were joined by many more protesters from across the city.

The Red Cross came and set up an aid station on the edge of the plaza. Not long after, the Carabineros arrived with their water cannons and gave the Red Cross extra special attention.

Please see Biofuelwatch’s Gary Hughes’ short video after the photos: Chilean National Police Attack Red Cross. Hughes, Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project and myself are the field team of CHILE CLIMATE NEWS.

All photos by Orin Langelle/GJEP

“Truth – Justice –  Reparations for the children raped by the state” translated banner at the National Museum, Belles Artes

Depicting blood and eyeballs in the hands of the government

The eyes go to Plaza de la Dignidad and the statue of Manuel Baquedano

Hundreds of women march together into Plaza de la Dignidad

Young protesters running down the avenue as the freshly painted art canvas of water cannon passes on the street

Water cannons chase crowd

Tear gas canister fired from the truck in air before it lands in the streets. A canister like this struck a 15 year young woman in the demonstration and sent her to the hospital for surgery. She now is in critical condition.

Tear gas in the streets

Carabineros with shields between the police vehicles

After returning to our apartment in another part of the city in Santiago, this fire blockade, seen on the corner of San Diego and Sta. Isabel, was accompanied by protesters banging in rhythm on the metal barricade – rebellion and outrage spreading through the city.  Passers by honked in time to show their support.

On International Human Rights Day Chilean National Police Attack Red Cross video by Gary Hughes.

 

Photojournalist Orin Langelle takes a break by graffiti celebrating Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile. Langelle has been photographing the frontlines of the peoples’ rebellion in Chile. The musician Jara, a Chilean hero, was murdered by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. photo: Petermann/GJEP

 

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View from the Mapuche occupation camp Quilape Lopez. “Our land is far as you can see…” photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

You can view this five minute video here:
And in Madrid 10 DEC: The video is playing at COP25 in Madrid at the Global Forest Coalition exhibit booth 3, COP25 Hall 4
10 DEC: The video is planned to show at the GFC event in Cumbre Social por el Clima “Driving Deforestation – drifting away from real climate solutions to address the climate crisis”. 16:00 to 17:30  –  SP/EN  –  Classroom 1107, Em Rosane Santiago
Description:
From 22-30 November, Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch filmed this series of short statements opposing neoliberal market-based climate schemes and so-called “green energies” that enable business as usual at the expense of the peoples, rivers, forests and ecosystems of Chile.
Intro from the video:
Chile was to be the host of the COP25 Climate Summit. But in the face of a massive popular uprising against the free market neoliberal economic model, and hundreds of cases of human rights abuses, Chile canceled the COP. The COP moved to Spain, yet Chile retained Presidency of the COP.
Chile, meanwhile, remains a striking example of the impacts of “natural climate solutions” – the carbon market, carbon offsets and large-scale “green” energy. In Chile, these schemes have led to vast tree plantations, destroyed forests, led to forced displacements, loss of fresh water, toxic incinerators and huge devastating copper and lithium mines.

Through the following statements, Chile offers a warning to the world about the dangers of “natural climate solutions” being promoted at the COP.

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All photographs by Orin Langelle

Peoples Summit 2019

Monday 2 to Saturday 7 December,
University of Santiago de Chile

No Commodification of Nature

The Peoples Summit, which is convened year after year, brings together organizations and social articulations from various territories and sectors of the world, to share experiences and promote alternative solutions to the system and strengthen global organization and local action to curb the socio-environmental catastrophe.

This year, Chile was going to be a global focus for two international events of the greatest relevance: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) in November, which would bring together economic and government leaders from major world economies (including the US and China), to deepen the inequality, poverty and pollution generated by the current system; and the Conference of the Parties (COP25), in December, which would bring together representatives from 197 countries of the world that are members of the United Nations, to take agreements on actions that must be carried out to curb Climate Change, meetings that have failed for 25 years ensure the change of course of the world’s economies and policies to protect and guarantee the survival of the human species.

Both were suspended because, precisely, Chile was a world focus but for other reasons: the Chilean people rose to the social, economic and environmental crisis they suffered and, since Friday, October 18, there exists a situation of strong national unity with large protests and popular organization, which has been brutally repressed by state forces.

Attendees discuss the need for a new Constitution. The old Constitution is a leftover from the Pinochet dictatorship.

In this new scenario, the responsibility and need to carry out the People’s Summit is more current and necessary than ever.

Discussion from one of the many workshops. All of the workshops were held in rooms named after assassinated environmental and Indigenous activists.

Inside the Women’s Tent

Inside the Women’s Tent

The Cumbre began with dance…

…and the dance was a protest to the neoliberal model

NO PERSECUTION AND MURDER OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDERS

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On the morning of Thursday 28 December the Mapuche communities of Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez mobilized to defend their land occupation after Carabineros de Chile (national police) fired metal-filled rubber pellets and injured several people at the blockade.

After the photo essay, a short video follows.

All photos by Orin Langelle and video by Anne Petermann.

With the momentum of the national uprising across Chile, two weeks ago, two Mapuche communities near Curacautin, Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez began an occupation of 1500 hectares of ancestral lands.

Carabineros illegally stop and prevent traffic from continuing on the road that passes the Mapuche land occupation outside of Curacautin.

The public road is also the main route to Conguillio National Park in Chile.

After an emergency call from the Mapuche occupation about the Carabineros attacking, we were stopped by them at a road block on our way back to help. Alejandra Parra from Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales (RADA) and Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) were allowed to proceed on foot several kilometers to the blockade while Biofuelwatch’s Gary Hughes and GJEP’s Orin Langelle were guided by Mapuche toward the blockade by way of a back road.

Mapuche men guarding another back entrance into the blockade

Mapuche put cut trees and debris on the road

These logs block the road coming from Curacautin

At one of the entrances to the occupation

Mapuches on guard

Mapuches going into the main entrance where the shootings occurred earlier that day

One of the men shot earlier that morning returns to camp and is videoed by Anne Petermann and Alejandra Parra

The man was shot in the head with metal-filled rubber pellets by the Carabineros earlier in the morning.

Mapuche Lonko Juan Huenuhueque of Liempi Colipi raises his fist as the imminent threat fades of the Carabineros coming to evict the Mapuche communities from their ancestral lands.

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!)”

 

 

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Posted In CLIMATE JUSTICE NEWS December 4, 2019 by

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

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