News Release

Climate: Chile — Still Heading UN Meeting — “Shooting Eyes Out”

ANNE PETERMANN, anne at globaljusticeecology.org, @gjep123
In Chile since Nov. 22 and there until Dec. 16, Peterman is executive director of the Global Justice Ecology Project. She is able to speak to media and to connect media to local specialists.

She just wrote the piece “Human Rights in Chile and at Chile-Controlled COP25: Attack Children, Medics and Civil Society,” which states: “In a tragic irony, International Human Rights Day in Chile [on Tuesday] ended with a 15-year-old girl in the hospital in critical condition and several others wounded at the hands of the violent Chilean National Police (carabineros).

“Then, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg was named Time‘s person of the year, celebrating the power of youth. I wonder if either Time or Greta heard about the 15-year-old-girl in Chile put in the hospital with a critical brain injury by the same country running this year’s UN Climate Summit (COP25) — where Thunberg spoke, after receiving the award, about the importance of outrage.

“While Greta spoke about the power of outrage at COP25, Chile was ironically cracking down on dissent and ejecting civil society groups en masse over a non-violent protest of ongoing inaction and injustice. But why would this come as a surprise? Chile holds the Presidency of the COP and Chile has shown itself to be utterly intolerant of protest — demonstrated by the 350+ eyes lost in protests, and again yesterday with another violent crackdown to celebrate human rights day — definitely the most violent we have seen since arriving in Santiago. This includes attacking the Red Cross tent with their water cannons, which we videotaped.

“Why is Chile allowed to retain the Presidency of the COP in the face of endless human rights abuses? Where is the outrage?” See from the New York Times: “‘It’s Mutilation’: The Police in Chile Are Blinding Protesters.”

GARY HUGHES, garyhughes.bfw at gmail.com, @vozsilvestre
Hughes has worked for decades on forest, climate and energy issues, and is currently the California Policy Monitor with Biofuelwatch and spent five years in Chile. He is accompanying the Global Justice Ecology Project team in Chile, covering ongoing anti-government protests in defense of the environment and Indigenous rights and monitoring the situation in Chile and Madrid.

He said today: “By a narrow margin, Chilean President Sebastian Piñera has escaped being removed from office by the Parliament a day after his cousin, longtime strong man and disgraced ex-Minister of the Interior, was severely sanctioned by the Chilean parliament over violence to protesters. The fact that such controversy regarding human rights abuses is ignored by a COP25 that is striving to put a normal face on an extremely irregular situation is a clear signal of how totally out of touch with the real world the UN climate process has become.”

DAHR JAMAIL, dahrjamail at gmail.com, @dahrjamail
Author of The End of IceJamail’s recent pieces for Truthout include “Alaska Is Already Irreparably Changed by Climate Disruption,” “The Amazon Is Dying and Bolsonaro Is Fanning the Flames,” “Scientists Are Stunned by How Rapidly Ice Is Melting in the Arctic” and “Scientists’ Advice to People Living in Coastal Areas? Move.”