After neoliberalism? Environmental justice and the politics of natural resource management in Rafael Correa's Ecuador
Veronica Davidov (Monmouth University)
For decades indigenous actors and indigenous-campesino alliances in Ecuador have protested against environmental negligence endemic in an oil state interpolated into the IMF/World bank economic framework. Through their strategic use of global media, environmental devastation from oil extraction in Ecuador has become an iconic issue in the international public imagination of global injustices, epitomized as the "crisis in the Amazon" or "the Amazonian Chernobyl." Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador since 2007, has been internationally perceived as "pro-environment" and "tough" on oil companies, but has elicited domestic opposition for supporting strong pro-mining laws. This paper examines the effect of Ecuador's shift from a neoliberal petrostate to a "newly progressive" state with a pro-mining agenda that is not (yet) internationally recognized as a "crisis" on the field of grassroots environmental activism in Ecuador and on representational strategies deployed by indigenous and campesino advocates for environmental justice.
Engaging resources: anthropological perspectives on the formation and contestation of natural resource environments