David Mathre Photography

Welcome to my Images of the Day Photo blog. My goal is to post images from each day of the year going back to 2006 when I got my first DSLR camera. My photographic interest include Travel, the Natural World, Landscapes, and Photographic Techniques. I try to include information for each image as to where, when, why and how the image was processed. Most of the images are available for purchase -- either as prints or rights managed (Clicking on an image brings you to the ShepArt Studio Team Site). Comments about the images or this site are always welcome. DJM

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14-January-2011

Political Prisoner and Hostage in Puerto Natales Chile.  Day 19 of a Photography Workshop in Patagonia.

Another day and nothing has changed much. The locals are still patrolling the town in cars with black flags (black garbage bags) or the local flag.  The vehicles range from old pickup trucks to high-end sports cars. We checked out of the hotel at noon, but will probably check in again in a bit. The locals tell us that we are not hostages since we can walk through the picket line and then walk 20-30 km with our luggage to the Argentine border (but don’t go off the road because of the mine fields). They have not been letting ambulances through. There is an doctor here to do two kidney transplants in Punta Arenas that cannot get to the hospital. News has made it to the BBC, but we don’t see much if any coverage in the US press. There are several hundred tourists stranded here in Puerto Natales, many more in Punta Arenas, and 4000-5000 stranded in Torres del Paine National Park.  The protest is over the repeal of a fuel credit of ~$6/month for this region. All of the cars and trucks driving around for the last several days checking to see if each house has a black flag flying and making sure that we don’t try to sneak out have already burned through much more money.  This is going to devastate the economy in the region once the word gets out and tourist stop coming. The US Embassay in Santiago did finally issue a press release today to a Chile travel site (and not on the US State Dept site) — but no guidance or help getting out of the country.

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22-January-2011 edit: Check out Thom Hogan’s blog about being held hostage in southern Chile.

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Black Flag Protesters Patrol the streets of Puerto Natales (David J Mathre)

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Strikers on Patrol, Driving Through Puerto Natales. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 125, 5.3 mm, f/5, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

Strikers on Patrol, Driving Through Puerto Natales. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 125, 5.3 mm, f/5, 1/500 sec).

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Strikers on Patrol in Sports Car, Driving Through Puerto Natales. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 125, 5.3 mm, f/5, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

Strikers on Patrol in Sports Car, Driving Through Puerto Natales. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 125, 5.3 mm, f/5, 1/500 sec).

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Refuges Living Rough on the Street of Puerto Natales Cooking Lunch. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 80, 49.2 mm, f/4.9, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

Refuges Living Rough on the Street of Puerto Natales Cooking Lunch. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 80, 49.2 mm, f/4.9, 1/250 sec).

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Hotel and Rainbow. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 80, 5.1 mm, f/5.4, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)

Hotel and Rainbow. Snapshot taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 80, 5.1 mm, f/5.4, 1/1000 sec).

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7 Responses to “14-January-2011”

  1. Ann says:

    Is there anything I can do ?

    • David says:

      Right now we want the word to get out to as many folks as possible. The American press so far is ignoring this story even though OOM 10K international tourists are caught up a pawns here.

      • Alan says:

        Wow. Laura just let Jeremy and I know of your situation. It’s hard for me to judge the seriousness or your level of concern. Please let me know.

        • David says:

          Got a note late last night to have bags ready to go by 9 AM. There was also word yesterday that the Red Cross would be organizing a bus caravan when the road blocks open. This won’t be the first time that we have had our bags ready to go.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michele and Michele , Michele . Michele said: Brother-in-law is trapped in southern Chile because of a strike! http://david.mathre.com/2011/01/14/14-january-2011/ [...]

  3. Jim Batey says:

    Wow, this is pretty exciting stuff! Not the kind of excitement you signed up for though. Hope it works out ok. Maybe you can sell your story to Time magazine :-)

  4. [...] I’ve been going back and processing images from the Patagonia trip. I’ve added a number of new images to the 14-January-2011 blog. [...]

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