The Significance of Memory and Monitoring: Resistances from the Valle de las Luciernagas
Since the exploitation agreement for the large-scale mining project Fruta del Norte (FDN) between the Ecuadorian government and Swedish-Canadian Lundin Gold was signed in December 2016, construction work has intensified at the mine site, impacting surrounding communities in a number of ways. This study focuses on the community of El Zarza, which is closest to the project. Beyond the disenchantment elicited by the laundry list of unfulfilled promises about employment and financial benefits, families in the community of El Zarza also report negative impacts on family, community and their socioecosystemic health, as well as impacts to the community’s infrastructure (roads, water system, housing). Furthermore, the processes of subtle dispossession or induced migration (displacement resulting from development) are gaining strength with the closure of more community schools. In 2015, schools in the communities of Santa Lucia, La Libertad, and Jardin de Condor were shut down. To date, two communities have been disappeared – the community of San Antonio in 2012 and El Playon in 2015. In this context, the present study draws on the fields of collective health and political ecology to posit two fundamental processes: on one hand, the reclaiming of collective memory as an option to strengthen community organizing in communities threatened by the extractive industry; on the other hand, the implementation of a rigorous participatory community monitoring process as a scientific and political tool to systematize, condemn, and increase the visibility of the impacts with regards to the territory, family and community health, psychosocial harm, and infringement on rights. The overall purpose is to strengthen processes for the enforcement of the right to holistic reparations from, with, and for the community.
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- Repositorio Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar
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