Quechua Indigenous Political Organization in the Context of Modern Resource Extraction- Case Study in the Apurimac region of the Andes of Peru

Authors: Yojana Oscco*, University of Toronto
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Development, Latin America
Keywords: Indigenous politics, ecology, resource extraction
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 49
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Abstract: This investigation focused on the forms of Quechua political organization in two Indigenous communities in the Apurimac region of Peru. This community political organization extends from the villages to their associated migrant communities in the national capital.

As the mining industry has been expanding rapidly throughout the Apurimac region in recent decades, the political organization and political structure of these remote communities have been impacted, especially in the context of their negotiation practises with external industries. This research was conducted in a comparative case-study format by analyzing two communities and their associated migrant communities from the Juan Espinoza Medrano district. Research conclusions indicate that a unique form of organization exists within Indigenous communities, shared between villages and their associated migrant communities. Indigenous political organization is used for land management, a delegation of civic/communal duties, and relations between the associated migrant communities and villages, and has had a direct effect on negotiations with the mining companies, even extending to suspending operations. Conversely, mining operations have had a substantial effect on customary political organizations, communities, and local economies by undermining the ability of villages and migrant communities to effectively work together.

Therefore, in regions where extractive industries are located, further in-depth research and comparative analysis is required to determine where associated indigenous and migrant communities need to be incorporated into the decision-making process regarding mining operations, especially in small Andean communities.

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