Video: Paths to post-extractivism in Latin America

La red latinoamérica de YLNM inició la semana pasada la serie de seminarios en línea “Life After Mining” con un debate que se centró en el surgimiento de la resistencia liderada por las personas y las alternativas a la minería en América Latina.

Vea una grabación completa del seminario aquí.

El camino hacia el post-extractivismo en América Latina: perspectivas y potencial

El 7 de febrero, la red latinoamericana de YLNM reunió a líderes comunitarios, activistas y abogados de Argentina, Ecuador y Colombia para explorar los caminos hacia el post-extractivismo en América Latina.

Nuestros oradores revelan la naturaleza y los impactos mortales del modelo extractivo para el “desarrollo”, el crecimiento económico y la consolidación del poder político en América Latina.

Los oradores examinan colectivamente los fenómenos de las consultas populares, los territorios libres de minería, los Derechos de la Naturaleza como respuestas a la violencia de este modelo, cómo se han establecido en América Latina y la lucha por mantenerlos.

Alternativas al extractivismo ya existentes, el trabajo y las cosmovisiones de los pueblos campesinos e indígenas, dicen los oradores. Pero también deben darse profundos cambios en la cultura, la narración, el poder económico, legal y político para ayudar a liberar a América Latina de la violencia extractiva.

Vea el seminario en línea anterior para la discusión completa.

YLNM Latin America kicked off the network’s year-long ‘Life After Mining’ webinar series with a discussion focusing on the emergence of people-led resistance and alternatives to mining in Latin America.
Watch a full recording of the webinar here (in Spanish).
Find out more about the wider ‘Life After Mining’ webinar series and register here. 

The road towards Post-extractivism in Latin America: Perspectives and Potential

On 7th February, YLNM Latin America brought together community leaders, activists and lawyers from Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia to explore pathways towards post-extractivism in Latin America.

Our speakers reveal the nature and deadly impacts of the extractive model for ‘development’, economic growth and consolidating political power in Latin America.

The speakers collectively examine the phenomena of popular consultations, mining free territories, the Rights of Nature as responses to the violence of this model, how these have become established in Latin America and the struggles to maintain them.

Alternatives to extractivism that already exist in the lives, work and cosmovisions of peasant and indigenous peoples, say the speakers. But deep shifts in culture, storytelling, economic, legal and political power also need to take place to help free Latin America of extractive violence.

Watch the webinar above for the full discussion.

Here is a selection of some of the best quotes from the webinar:

Enrique Viale (Argentina) – Member of Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

“The provinces and regions with the largest number of mining projects have the lowest socio-economic indices. This is true in Argentina and Chile, Peru and other Latin American countries.”


Rodrigo Negrete (Colombia) – Environmental lawyer

“Today legal security in Colombia is for companies and not for affected communities… lawyers and NGOs come to support after, but it is the peasants and communities who lead and lead the defence of the territory”

“Decisions on mining are taken in Bogotá between organs of the state and companies, then reach communities who do not have information about these activities, and it is worse because these activities are considered as national interest which means that people have to go.”

“The pattern of extractivism is the same throughout the continent, from Mexico to Argentina, and unfortunately in Colombia defending the territory costs lives.”


Renzo Alexander García Parra (Colombia) – Head of the Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida in Tolima.

“It’s no secret that the economic model of Colombia, and all Latin America, is fundamentally extractive… and that extractivism threatens and puts at risk our water, our territories, our dreams and is a model that has to change.”

“In order to stop this greed, we need to build our stories. For example, the peasants of Cajamarca express that their real gold is water and arracacha (an Andean root vegetable)… we must move forward in the international articulation of messages like these. There are networks like the Movimiento M4 and Yes to Life, No to Mining which can help us to have greater visibility at the international level.”


Ivonne Yañéz (Ecuador) – Acción Ecológica

“You can’t talk or dream about post-extractivism without talking about peoples, territories and nature. I’m uncomfortable when we talk about post-extractivism alone- it’s as if there wasn’t a world of thousands of indigenous communities, peasants, fishers who are not only outside extractivism but oppose it directly. Post-extractivism already exists and we must recognise this.”

“We need to talk about an ecological debt that exists between the countries of the North and the countries of the South.”


Inty Arcos (Ecuador) – Community leader from the Andean-Chocó region

“We peasants extract. When we grow coffee, this extracts minerals from the soil. We extract fish from the water. Mining allows us to reflect on how we relate to the territory, the difference being that ours are sustainable forms of extraction, but mining is not.”

“The only way to defend the territory is when people are empowered to fight. But many people feel that there are no opportunities to stay in the fields and the countryside. They go to Quito where economic and political power is concentrated… We have to build these living spaces, to avoid emigration so that young people don’t leave to go to cities. That requires changing the image of the peasant in Ecuador. To say ‘I have food sovereignty, I am proud to feed the country‘, it is to build identity and so to win the fight against exploitation.”


Camila Méndez (Cajamarca, Colombia) – Member of COSAJUCA

“They (the government and mining company) told us that we were going to starve without mining and foreign investment, so eight months after we held the popular consultation (which banned mining in the Colombian municipality of Cajamarca) we organized a day in which we produced a thousand dishes of stew in Plaza de Cajamarca to highlight that in this agricultural part of the country we won’t starve without mining ”

“We know that these mining projects disproportionately affect women. It is something we have seen in the experience of women in Bolivia, in Peru, with partners who suffer with their husbands who are sick in mines – that’s why we have formed the Rural Women’s Network of Cajamarca ”

“When Anglogold Ashanti returns, we will be prepared, not only with more legal and social tools, but spiritually also, because we have strong roots in this territory.”


Valentina Camacho (Ibagué, Colombia) – Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida

“In 2009 we organised the first of our parades and people started to join the fight. This is where this notion of the Carnival March was born. It is positive and colourful, and says not only ‘no to the mine’ but ‘yes to life’, too.”

“The Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida did not start from scratch. We learned from the experiences of other communities such as the the popular consultation of Tambogrande in Peru.”

“The principle of non-violence is fundamental, as are those of insistence and discipline. As a groups we have gathered every Saturday since 2011, even though not all these moments were positive.”



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