Bear's photos to appear in new book, "Life in Oil" by Bear Guerra

Bear Guerra has been traveling and working alongside anthropologist, writer and dear friend Michael Cepek in Cofán indigenous communities in the Ecuadorean Amazon. His beautiful portrait of Roberto, Alejandro and Lucia Criollo graces the cover (plus more than 40 of his documentary images are inside) in Michael's new book, "Life in Oil," which tells the history and consequences of the oil industry from a Cofán perspective.



Photographing Ecuador's Cofán community by Bear Guerra

Bear recently traveled to the Cofán community of Dureno (in the Ecuadorean Amazon) with our friend and collaborator, anthropologist Michael Cepek, who is working on a book, "Life in Oil," which describes the history and consequences of the oil industry from a Cofán perspective. Their collaboration will be out sometime next year.

Photo by Michael Cepek.

Photo by Michael Cepek.

Reporting trip to Brazil's Southern Amazon ends abruptly by Bear Guerra

Bear's most recent reporting trip in the Southern Amazon with our friend Juliana Barbassa has ended abruptly with a disturbing incident. Read more about the incident and the alert put out by the Foreign Correspondents' Association (Associação de Correspondentes da Imprensa Estrangeira no Brasil or ACIE.)

They received threats from local authorities as they tried to report on deforestation and land conflicts, and soon after their equipment (with all of their field reporting to date) was stolen. Needless to say, they felt unsafe, and as freelancers, they knew it would have been too risky to stay on without institutional support.

To quote Juliana: Last year, the Catholic Land Pastoral tallied 21 murders of landless peasants or rural activists in the state of Rondônia alone; another five have been killed or disappeared in the first two months of this year. Violence against journalists has also surged. Brazil, a country that is not at war, does not face terrorist attacks, and does not have official censorship, was behind only Syria and France in number of journalists killed in 2015, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

A Portrait of Alicia Cahuiya by Bear Guerra

Portrait of Alicia Cahuiya by photographer Felipe Jacome:

Portrait of Alicia Cahuiya by photographer Felipe Jacome:

We're excited to be able to see Alicia Cahuiya again this May. We met last year in Panama; she's a Waorani leader in Ecuador's Amazon who has challenged president Rafael Correa and transnational companies on oil exploitation and logging in Yasuní National Park, where she lives. Her story will air later this summer as part of a series on climate change and women on The World