Natural Gas Extraction and Indigenous Contentious Politics: Peru’s Camisea case

Authors: Ana Watson*, University of Calgary, Conny Davidsen, University of Calgary
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Latin America
Keywords: Extraction, Natural Gas, Amazon, Indigenous
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Over the last decades, Latin America has seen a confluence of forces that includes the roll out of neoliberalism, pro-market territorial reforms, rising environmental discourses coupled with tenure indigenous rights, as well as the dramatic expansion of hydrocarbon extraction into biologically and culturally sensitive areas such as the Upper Amazon rainforest. This process is accompanied by resistance from various sides, from grassroot movements to corporate counter-narratives. Natural gas extraction projects are interwoven with diverse forms of power, spatial re-appropriation, compensation models, ideas of resource nationalism, as well as cultural conflicts.
This paper examines the history of Camisea, Peru’s largest, oldest, and most influential gas extraction site, through a political ecology lens that highlights evolving power relationships, indigenous rights, multiple territorialities and strategies that feed national perceptions of natural gas extraction. Camisea looks back on more than three decades of environmental impacts, intercultural negotiations and conflicts between indigenous communities and transnational companies, as well as political pressures, which have all shaped the face of energy in the country and neoliberal energy extraction politics across Latin America.

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