Latin American Studies ETDs

Author

Amanda Hooker

Publication Date

5-1-2015

Abstract

Currently in Santander, Colombia, a contentious debate over the demarcation of a protective boundary of the Santurbán Páramo is underway. For the approximately 9000 páramo residents, the collateral effects of the outcome could result in dispossession of lands and livelihoods. This paper will argue that status quo Colombian territorial zoning, at the service of Canadian mining interests cast domestically as the principal 'locomotora' (driving force) of national development, allows different expressions of state and civil society actors to either bypass or use environmental protections as means of personal gain and/or capitalist expansion. Mobilizing under a discourse of conservation, down-stream urban residents have made important advances toward water sovereignty while livelihoods of rural upstream residents become more precarious. The central research question of this paper asks: What are feasible development alternatives to large-scale mining for páramo residents and by whom are they being authored? Using field participant interviews and field research to analyze the actors involved and overarching discourses evoked in the debate, I consider the ways that environmentalism collaborates with private capital. In this light, I then question how the ambiguous role of the state may not only limit, but also open opportunities for better outcomes for Santurbán Páramo residents. By examining the entry of the company X Oro into the páramo, this paper considers how the resultant protests by urban residents downstream have stigmatized rural residents near the mine operation. Using a cultural political economy approach, I will analyze the points at which state, civil society, and capital are colliding, reinforcing, and collaborating. I propose that a more productive way of understanding eventual outcomes and possibilities for Páramo residents considers that the central issues in the Santurbán Páramo debate not be viewed only as an arena for environmental protection, but rather a framework for environmental justice that takes full account of the socio-economic equity and access to opportunities for the people most affected. By using Jessop's Framework for transnational economic and social processes, I consider how different forms of private capital interact with state and civil society through social mobilization and environmentalism. My findings suggest ways that land-use planning driven by local actors and grounded in situated knowledge and regional/national land-equality movements could inform the process of participatory development authorship for páramo residents.

Language

English

Keywords

Colombia, páramo, land use planning, environmental protection

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Second Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Level of Degree

Masters

Department Name

Latin American Studies

Second Department

School of Architecture and Planning

First Advisor

Isaac, Claudia

First Committee Member (Chair)

Field, Les

Second Committee Member

Scruggs, Caroline

Third Committee Member

N/A

Comments

Submitted by Amanda Hooker (amh01@unm.edu) on 2015-04-15T12:57:52Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Amanda_Hooker_Tesis_Final.pdf: 6119141 bytes, checksum: d574b6e8fcfabdce56bb440c13d36807 (MD5), Approved for entry into archive by Doug Weintraub (dwein@unm.edu) on 2015-06-26T20:18:49Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Amanda_Hooker_Tesis_Final.pdf: 6119141 bytes, checksum: d574b6e8fcfabdce56bb440c13d36807 (MD5), Made available in DSpace on 2015-06-26T20:18:49Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Amanda_Hooker_Tesis_Final.pdf: 6119141 bytes, checksum: d574b6e8fcfabdce56bb440c13d36807 (MD5)

Share

COinS