Contextualizing consent: spaces for repression, resistance, and accommodation in Bolivia’s TIPNIS consultation

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  • Lisbet Christoffersen

The expansion of extractive activities and the development of associated infrastructures are reviving land disputes in the Bolivian lowlands. Consultation based on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which has been a longstanding demand of indigenous peoples, is now being employed in cases of interventions on their lands. This paper chronicles a contested consultation in the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro-Sécure (TIPNIS). The case study displays a built-in paradox in FPIC, which is based on presuppositions of equality but fails to consider the very structural imbalances that it is meant to resolve. It casts light on the implications of the consultation for those involved and depicts fundamentally different visions of the Plurinational State: the wish for a strengthening of national level institutions, on the one hand, and for self-governed collective entities, on the other. The article thus enters the debate of the ambiguous attempts of various Latin American countries to establish post-liberal democratic systems. I argue that the implementation of FPIC as direct democracy only reproduces inequalities. A closed space, after a thorough deliberative process, can provide more equity in decision-making, which is what lowland indigenous representatives also suggest.

TidsskriftLatin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)105-129
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 243062501