No Man’s Lands? Extractive activity, territory, and scial unrest in the Peruvian Amazon: the Cenepa river

No Man’s Lands? Extractive activity, territory, and scial unrest in the Peruvian Amazon: the Cenepa river

This case study shows how the activities of a large foreign-invested mining company on land held by the Awajun community in the northern forests of Peru have led to a characteristic cycle of state permissiveness in granting mining concessions, thus leading to social conflict.

It describes encounters between the company and the indigenous community who, though lacking land title, have protected their rights by demanding that their territory be declared a national park. It analyses Peru’s legal and institutional frameworks, and shows how successive governments have deemed the Amazon an "empty" territory to be exploited in order to bring "progress". It documents the emergence of this particular conflict, which has gradually escalated in severity, and argues that the temporary equilibrium that currently exists can only be sustained if all the actors involved recognise the common ownership of the lands in question.

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