Residents of Cuenca, in Azuay province, voted overwhelmingly in a 'consulta popular' to ban mining that would affect key water resources. Incoming president Guillermo Lasso may find it hard to ignore this result.
A small community takes on mining giant Anglo American which drains aquifers of water while households are forced to queue at water tankers ... just part of Chile's dictatorship legacy where water, like everything else, is a trade commodity

The Rights of Nature Movement

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Ashaninka women in Tsiquireni, in the shores of Ene River. April 2012. Photo/Tomas Munita
A recent report, published by the Cyrus R. Vance Centre for International Justice, Earth Law Centre and International Rivers has found that the movement to grant legal rights to rivers and the natural environment is rapidly gaining momentum around the world.
Chubut, Argentina. Communities engaged in a battle against mining giant Pan American Silver have their own local and national government to contend with as short-sighted politicians hail mining as the panacea for development shortfalls.

Chile’s water crisis

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Chilean politics are marked by several long-running and highly divisive controversies, many deriving from the most consistently neoliberal economic policies and property arrangements  in the world. One of these is the management and control of water resources. Water is unevenly distributed throughout the national territory  – scarce in the north of the country and abundant in the south – a problem accentuated by privatisation, drought...
Conversing with Goliath is a research project carried out by FLACSO-Mexico and De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, sponsored by the British Academy (2017-2020). The project aims to understand why violence in Mexico persists in the design and implementation of projects in the extractive industry when a wide range of participatory institutions exist in law and policy programmes which, in principle, promote citizen participation (information, consultation...

Lithium: draining the desert

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Peine, Chile and Susques, Argentina – Within minutes of driving out of tourist hotspot San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile you are deep in the Earth’s driest desert. Vast stretches of reddish-orange sand fly past on both sides. Every now and then you pass the odd dwelling, but this sparse setting changes when you reach the Salar de Atacama: Chile’s largest salt...
Brazil is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and contains 20% of the Earth´s water springs – but all this is threatened by the development model implemented in the countryside. In the west region of Bahia, in the Northeast of the country, communities are feeling the effects of land and power concentration in their daily lives. The region is home for...
Written for LAB by William Costa 'We were very happy when we lived on the banks of the Paraná River. We had our houses, we had our animals and our mint crops, which we sold on the Brazilian side of the river', says Carmen Martínez. With notable melancholy, the 84-year-old says that she does not know how to begin talking...
A new manifesto by eight of Brazil’s past environment ministers has accused the rightist Bolsonaro administration of “a series of unprecedented actions that are destroying the capacity of the environment ministry to formulate and carry out public policies.”The ministers warn that Bolsonaro’s draconian environmental policies, including the weakening of environmental licensing, plus sweeping...

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