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B.2.b. Global Indigenous Resistance to Environmental Threats

Volume Two -> B. Indigenous Movements -> B.2. Indigenous Resistance to Government and Corporate Threats to their Environment -> B.2.b. Global Indigenous Resistance to Environmental Threats

Threats to indigenous peoples’ land and rights from corporations and government around the world are growing as the search for resources becomes more desperate. This sub-section cannot provide a comprehensive bibliography – it aims simply to indicate some relevant sources.

Anderson, Robert S. ; Huber, Walter, The Hour of the Fox: Tropical Forests, the World Bank and Indigenous People in Central India, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1988, pp. 173

Baird, Vanessa, Virginia Pinares, New Internationalist, 2020, pp. 61-62

Interview with indigenous human rights defender, Virginia Pinares, from Peru, who came to London to represent communities in the Andes actively resisting - for example by blockades - mining for copper concentrates and molybdenum, which is controlled by the Chinese company MMG. Pinares argues that her community is not against all mining, but against the environmentally reckless way operations are conducted and the minerals transported, and they also demand a stop to the violence used against environmental and human rights activists.  She stressed the need for environmentally protected zones, which could be used f or sustainable tourism. 

Boelens, Rutgerd ; Getches, David ; Gil, Armando Guevara, Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity, New York, Routledge, 2011, pp. 384

Compares struggles over water in Andean communities of Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia and Native American communities in S .W. USA, noting the combined goals of cultural justice and socio-economic justice.


Chávex, Marxa ; López, Claudia, Women in Tariquía, NACLA Report on the Americas, Vol. 50, issue 4, 2018, pp. 408-410

Explores women’s fight against oil extraction in the Bolivian Tariquía Reserve and the threat against forms of self-governance, of dispossession from the land and the environment this constitutes. The authors bring into the analysis the false division between the public and the private sphere. The threat of dispossession, in fact, is projected in daily life, as when women have to endure divisions within their families, occurrence that is considered a form of private and public violence.

Fulmer, Amanda ; Godoy, Angelina ; Neff, Philip, Indigenous Rights, Resistance and the Law: Lessons from a Guatemalan Mine, Cambridge Core, Vol. 50, issue 4, 2008, pp. 91-121

This case study of the Marlin gold mine in Guatemala, which was a source of controversy among the local indigenous people, examines the role of national and international law as well as of international financial institutions and the concept of corporate social responsibility in major mining  projects in developing countries.

See also: 'Gold Mine's Closing leaves Uncertain Legacy in Guatemala Mayan Community;  Global Sisters' Report, 23 May 2016, pp. 20.

Survey of the impact of the Marlin gold mine in Guatemala, owned by a subsidiary of Goldcorp, on the local Mam, one of the Mayan nations in the country. Some found jobs and temporary prosperity through the mine, whilst others campaigned against a breach of indigenous right to proper consultation, the challenge to Mayan customs and the environmental hazards. Catholic nuns joined with Mayan activists to found the 'Parish Sisters and Brothers of Mother Earth Committee' to resist the mine in 2009. The closing of the mine prompted further debate about the conduct and impact of the project. 

Gandhi, Ajay, Indigenous Resistance to New Colonialism, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 25, issue 3 (Fall), 2001, pp. 4-3

Notes opposition by indigenous activists (at ‘People’s Summit’ in Quebec City April 2001) to Free Trade Agreement of the Americas debated at official government Summit of the Americas elsewhere in the city, and reports some of speeches.

Mander, Jerry ; Tauli-Corpuz, Victoria, Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance to Globalization, (new expanded edition), Los Angeles CA, University of California Press, 2007, pp. 272

Documents how multinationals are targeting resources in indigenous lands and strong indigenous resistance. Section V discusses activism and social movements and what can be done.

Palma, Lillian, A Struggle for Sacred Land: The Case of Wirikuta,, 26/09/2013, pp. 5-4

Examines resistance by indigenous people in desert of Central Mexico to government granting mining concessions to Canadian First Majestic Silver in their protected zone, and wider support in Mexico for their cause.

Sawyer, Suzana ; Gomez, Edmund Terence, The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 336

Studies cover Peru, India (Orissa), Philippines, Nigeria (the Niger Basin), Chad and Cameroon, as well as Australia and Canada.

Environmental struggles involving indigenous peoples are also listed under C.2.b., C.2.c. and C.2.d.