Radio Kurruf is an autonomous and social means of communication that produces and spreads information everyday mainly through the internet, giving coverage to different events and situations related to social demands, the territorial defense and the seek of good living in the Ngülumapu, i.e. the ancestral Mapuche territory located to the west of the Andes.
This project began in 2015 as a result of organization of citizens, Mapuche people, students and workers, who have a connection with different social movements taking place in the Ngülumapu, because of the need to create means of communication to inform the society about the abuses, repression, exploitations and injustices that are currently experiencing some communities in this territory, facts that are often unknown or misread by the majority of the people, due to the omission or distortion from the traditional media.
This decision was based on the acknowledgement of the current situation in the Chilean region, where communication is fundamental for the development of the social dynamics and the new domination forms. It is not a coincidence that the media with largest audience in Chile are closely related to large companies, political parties, billionaires and the State. So those are the platforms, where the power shares its ideology, its reasons, what is right, what is wrong.
For this reason, the Radio Kurruf project was born, to create a space in which people spread their problems, experiences, demands and the processes they are going through to defend life and dignity facing the injustices of this system. The news that we cover is direct and indirectly related to the history of the Ngülumapu, what today are the Biobio, Araucania, Los Ríos and Los Lagos regions. These regions have the highest levels of poverty and inequality gaps, conditions that have taken place there along the centuries due to the greed of those who have arrived to this part of the world to plunder the wealth of this territory starting with the exploitation of gold and silver and the workforce that caught the attention of the Spanish empire, followed by the exploitation of forest and fertile lands that the Chilean State developed through slaughter and plunder, a process which is mistakenly known as “Pacification of Araucania” and also the establishment of the neoliberalism first set up through the dictatorship, preparing the way for the wood industries on one hand and the current energy projects that seek to settle in volcanos, rivers and sacred territories on the other hand.
Facing several mobilizations and the constant struggle of the Mapuche people, the State and each one of the governments in power have taken measures such as the increase of militarized police in the cities and in the communities where the Mapuche live, which in turn translates into young Mapuche’s murders, children’s shots, raids, beatings, intimidation, arbitrary detentions, prolonged incarceration and hoaxes against the Mapuche, social fighters and communicators. These situations portray the reality lived in this territory. Moreover, paramilitary groups and landowners have murdered, kidnapped, tortured and threatened people related to the Mapuche’s fight, social protests and some media. In this context Macarena Valdés’ murder in 2016 is one of the most shocking cases due to the threats she received from the officials of the company RP Global, because she opposed to the building of a hydroelectric station in Tranguil (Panguipulli), where she lived. Later the young environmental activist was found dead at her home. The experts and the police concluded that she committed suicide. However, after another independent expert’s report, it was concluded that third party participation was involved in this case.
Macarena’s case and so many others have come to light thanks to the participative attitude of the protagonists here, who have spread the most relevant events in the region on Websites, sending their audios, photos and videos to different social media. For Radio Kurruf we all contribute in exposing the problems and the struggles of those who live in this territory. We contribute by supporting this site of information dissemination as organizers and writers. We write newsletter and press releases, we share radio programs, photos, videos and live streamings. Our work is voluntary and self-managed by each of the people who contribute to this project without being necessarily journalists by profession. The collaborative, horizontal and solidary labor between us and the communities that have requested our support, has allowed the achievement of important communication progress.
We have created very important links this past two years with other social media that work in the Wallmapu and in different territories dominated by the Chilean State. We are now part of the “Red de medios de los pueblos” (media network of the people in Chile), we have created links with media from different parts of Abya Yala (Latin America) being part of the “Red de medios libres, autónomos, comunitarios o como se llamen” (network of free, autonomous, community media or whatever they are called) and at an intercontinental level we are part of the “Anarchist Radio Network”.
Thanks to the strong relationship between us and these media networks, we are able to spread programs and news from all over the world. At the same time, the information coming from the Ngülumapu are spread in different places in Latin America, so we can know and inform about the experiences and struggles taking place in the continent, as well as present the claims and mobilizations of this territory to the international public opinion.