By Gustavo García López* Saskia Sassen (Professor of Sociology, Columbia University) argues that the foundational transformation of capitalism since the 1980s is dominated by a speculative and extractive logic, characterized by “predatory formations” such as vulture funds making cities of ‘dead buildings’ and peripheries of expelled people. In her recent keynote speech at the 16th … Continue reading Saskia Sassen on extractive logics and geographies of expulsion
By Anna Kaijser* Capitalist ‘culture of death’ vs. an alternative ‘culture of life’? Recent environmental politics in Bolivia manifest contradictory tendencies and the entanglement of environmental matters with issues of territory, natural resources and national identity. MAS and the politics for living well In December 2009, at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference - December 2009 (COP15) the Bolivian president … Continue reading Tensions and utopias: Bolivian environmental politics under Evo Morales
Different strategies to contest forestry extractivism in Chile show the complexity of these conflicts, with an overlap of present and historical political issues at different levels.* Tree plantations: old and new forms of dispossession Tree plantations are monocultures of a single tree species, typically fast growing species such as eucalypts, poplars, acacias and pines, designed to supply external markets … Continue reading Struggling for land and water: resistances to tree plantations in Southern Chile
By Beatriz Bustos and Felipe Irarrázaval* The recent social and environmental crisis in Chiloé, Southern Chile, triggered by a massive marine life disaster, stems from a long-standing territorial disarticulation between the state, the salmon industry and local communities when implementing regional development. Over the past month, people in Chiloé Island (Los Lagos region, Southern Chile) … Continue reading Years of wrongdoing: territorial disarticulation and the current Chiloé crisis
A recently published study explores the reasons why the socio-environmental implications of mining have not improved under Evo Morales. Mining activities entail serious social and environmental impacts, which are well known to local communities in Bolivia. That is why many of these communities were excited about the adoption of indigenous and community rights, environmental protection principles and … Continue reading Why is Bolivian mining still irresponsible?
by Emiliano Teran Mantovani * The large environmental devastation that the expansion of these extractive megaprojects involves would have a deep impact on life in the whole country. Could the crisis of the accumulation model open a period for a greater “environmentalization” of social movements? Venezuela’s current severe crisis is to be seen not only in … Continue reading New commodity frontiers in Venezuela: extractivism’s new leap forward into the “web of life”
Entrevista con Alberto Acosta, economista y político ecuatoriano. Por Felipe Milanez.* Alberto Acosta ha publicado en Brasil este año la traducción del libro "El Buen Vivir". En esta entrevista, hecho por e-mail, el intelectual ecuatoriano desarrolla una reflexión sobre la actual crisis por la que pasan los gobiernos progresista en América del Sur. La relación … Continue reading ¡El Buen Vivir es para todos y todas, o no lo es!
Petition in solidarity with the afro-ecuadorian ancestral community of La Chiquita and the Awá indigenous community of Guadalito versus two oil palm companies of the San Lorenzo Cantón, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.* (Para la versión española de la petición, pulse aquí. Para a versão em português da petição, clique aquí.) Dear Friends, In this moment the first civil … Continue reading A Portrait of Human and Environmental Devastation — Stop the Invisibilization!!! Petition
by Eduardo Gudynas* Gudynas answers and reflects on the debate his arguments raised about colonialism and extractivism in Latin America. Weeks ago I shared some reflections on how some governments and progressive intellectuals who take ideas from the Global left, and use their limitations or deform them. It is a "friendly colonialism" because it allows them … Continue reading ‘Friendly colonialism’ and the contradictions of our progressive governments
Following the commentary of Eduardo Gudynas, on the careless reproduction of concepts from Western scholars to explicate environmental conflict situations in the global South, scholars from CENEDET (Centro Nacional de Estrategia para el Derecho al Territorio) in Ecuador -a center where David Harvey is the director- gave a heated response. Joan Martinez Alier now gives his own opinion on this debate and on the usefulness of “extractivism” and “accumulation by dispossession” concepts for Latin America.