Indigeneity vs. extractivism: Lucas Savino, ‘Landscapes of contrast: The neo-extractivist state and indigenous peoples in “post-neoliberal” Argentina’, The Extractive Industries and Society, 2016

06Mar16

Abstract: Prior to the elections of left-leaning governments, Latin American states witnessed the organization, mobilization, and political participation of indigenous peoples demanding the recognition of new cultural and political rights. This new wave of indigenous mobilization took place in the midst of the return to electoral political systems and the consolidation of neoliberal development. In a context not exempt from violence, some states generally responded by granting the recognition of new collective rights, including territorial autonomy, while maintaining their commitment to neoliberalism. The collapse of the Washington Consensus that sustained neoliberalism in the region and the widespread popular resistance toward such policies resulted in the election of new governments committed to increasing the role of the state in development efforts. Such increased state activism, which included some efforts to redistribute wealth, resulted in the end of earlier neoliberal policies—although not necessarily in its logic of capital accumulation. The initial optimism and political support of indigenous organizations toward the “new left” have started to fade as the result of state-sponsored neo-extractivism. This paper focuses on Argentina’s support of resource extraction and the Kirchner’s government’s approach to “national-popular development” and argues that such discourses inform state practices that threaten not only indigenous lands but also future possibilities for indigenous peoples to secure their own visions of development, decolonization, and autonomy. This article also demonstrates how neo-extractivism serves to understand the deterioration of political negotiations between indigenous peoples and the state.



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