Sanchez Villa, Margarita Maria


Organization: Conciencia Campesina
Location: Tolima, Colombia
Year: 2015

MRP/Thesis abstract:

The Political Ecology of Territorial Transformations: Community Response to La Colosa Gold Mining Project in Cajamarca, Colombia

This Major Research Paper (MRP) analyzes the diverse responses of the community of Cajamarca (Tolima, Colombia) to La Colosa gold mining project by the giant multinational mining company AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) and the polarization that followed the start of the exploratory phase of the project. I cluster the diverse community responses into three major camps, namely, the pro-mining, the anti-mining, and the pragmatic camps. A study of the respective strategies of each camp, and their views about development in the territory of Cajamarca, reveals that the camps are mutually constituted through dynamic processes and that building legitimacy and support for or against mining is a contingent and fluid process, even at the exploration phase. This MRP aims to make these camps visible to understand how their responses, discourses, and strategies continuously shape and reshape the development of the region.