Ethnogenesis, Indigenous Identities and Contemporary Issues of Natural Resources Exploitation. The Example of the Conga Project in Peru.
(Université catholique de Louvain)
Paper short abstract:
The paper will emphasise the emergence and (re)building of indigenous identities when coping with conflicts related to natural resources’ exploitation in Peru. It will especially focus on the case of the conflict surrounding the Conga mining project in Cajamarca.
Paper long abstract:
The paper will emphasise the emergence and (re)building of indigenous identities when coping with conflicts related to natural resources exploitation in Peru. Arguments based on ethnic identity seem to be reinforced by conflicts with extractive companies as well as by international laws protecting indigenous populations and their land use (particularly the Convention No 169 of the International Labour Organisation). The relationships between local and global stakeholders (NGOs, Human Rights organisations, etc.) contribute to a new politicisation of cultural identities and lead to the emergence of an "alternative scene" where indigenous groups can express their rights and citizenship claims. We especially focus on the case of the conflict surrounding the Conga mining project in Cajamarca, a region where few people traditionally recognise themselves as indigenous. The outbreak of the conflict in October 2011 showed the difficulty for the population who opposes against the development of the gold mining megaproject Conga to be heard in a crucial topic for the government policy. The ethnic argument is present in the opposition as a strategy (to attempt using indigenous rights), but also as an assertion to a specific lifestyle and another model of development that crystallises his claims around the defense of water (much needed resource to the mine and peasant life).
Self-conscious indigeneity in Latin America