Extractives in Latin America

by Luis Manuel Claps and Bret Gustafson, NACLA, February, 2014

On the lives, places, and politics impacted by large-scale mining, gas, oil, and agro-energy industries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Police Repression Legalized as Mining Protests Grow in Peru

February 13, 2014

Last month, an article in Peru's penal code was modified to allow police and the military to use lethal force against protestors. Activist Elmer Campos Álvarez lives to tell the story.

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Large-Scale Mining in Uruguay: Time to Vote?

January 17, 2014

Uruguay has earned a reputation as a democratic country, and the recent passage of laws implementing gay marriage and the legalization of cannabis confirmed its progressive stance. But becoming a top global exporter of iron ore could be a difficult test for this thriving democracy. 

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Close the NGOs: Asserting Sovereignty or Eroding Democracy?

December 31, 2013

In past weeks, the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia moved to shut down or expel major NGOs (non-government organizations) that work on issues of the environment, extractivism, and indigenous rights. Is this a reasoned assertion of sovereignty against foreign intervention or a move against social movements and democracy through an attack on their bases of foreign support?

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Peru: Police Abuse in the Pay of Mining Companies

December 16, 2013

In a mining conflict country, police brutality under the pay of mining corporations is the ugliest side of community relations. With financial and logistical support from the corporations, the police find incentives to use force. What would Servando Huanca, Vallejo's anti-miner in El tungsteno (1931), have done about it?

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Fracking for Sovereignty? The Argentine Case

December 06, 2013

Argentina's nationalization of YPF took a strange turn this year when the government signed a deal with Chevron to boost gas extraction through fracking. President Fernández and her team say this will lead the country to "energy sovereignty."  But what does energy sovereignty mean and what does fracking mean for popular democracy and real economic transformation?

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Mountains of Faith? The Church Takes on Large-Scale Mining

December 02, 2013

Faith and large-scale mining have something in common: they both move mountains. On many occasions, the Church has been an obstacle to industry’s efforts to expand into Latin American countries. A growing movement connects anti-mining resistance, spirituality, and environmental struggles.

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Fuel Politics in Latin America: Where to Begin?

November 19, 2013

Extractives in Latin America aspires to draw attention to reality as represented through Latin American eyes and voices. The politics we explore here may run the gamut from getting access to a canister of propane to cook dinner in Bolivia to the paradoxes linking Argentine nationalism, Chevron, and the U.S.-backed fracking push in the hemisphere.

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Leader Opposed to Colombian Mining Project Murdered

November 12, 2013

Pedro César García Moreno, a member of Conciencia Campesina and president of the Community Action of El Cajón-La Leona district, was shot dead close to his home on November 2. He had been actively involved in opposing the development of an open-pit gold mining project, had regularly attended environmental meetings, and had helped persuade many farmers in the area not to sell their lands to foreign miners.