2017, “Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism, and Expertise in Peru by Fabiana Li.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

A specter haunts Latin America—the specter of mining. As multinational mining corporations have spread across the continent, their grasp has been tightest in the Peruvian Andes where they have sparked dozens of anti-mining protests. Fabiana Li, an anthropologist at the University of Manitoba, provides a timely study of mining conflicts in Peru in her new book Unearthing Conflict.

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Muddy Decisions: Gold in the Chocó, Colombia

As gold prices rose between 2002 and 2012, Afro-descendant gold miners confronted illegal outsider-owned gold mines on their land in Colombia’s northwest Chocó department. This article examines why these Afro-descendant miners, who used hand tools and techniques, often invited the outsiders, who used heavy machinery and mercury, to work their mines. Their reasons included: familial pressure over land, profit sharing, high prices, access to gold, and dangerous working conditions. The decision to invite in the outsiders complicates the conventional narrative of a coercive relationship between outsiders and Afro-descendant communities, even as the relationship produced worse than expected outcomes for both sides.

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