In Ecuador, the promotion of mining by the Correa government has led to an escalation of conflicts at specific mining sites, as well as an intensification of the public debate concerning the relationship between resource extraction and development. In this article, we compare the contexts of two different mining sites in Ecuador, the Project Mirador in Zamora Chinchipe and Intag in Imbabura to analyse how territorial dynamics play out in these conflicts and affect the local responses to mining. More specifically, we scrutinize why and how in Intag a strong opposition alongside a clear polarization between the supporters and opponents of mining emerged, while in Mirador both groups remained weak and fragmented. We develop our analysis on the basis of the concept of territory, understood as the totality of social relations historically produced in a particular space and the meanings different groups have assigned to it. By examining the processes of territorial fragmentation of the Shuar communities in the area of project Mirador, and the construction of a territorial identity as part of a broader political project of alternative development in Intag, we can better understand the divergent trajectories of the two conflicts.

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Extractive Industries and Society
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Avci, D., & del Consuelo Fernández-Salvador, E. (2016). Territorial dynamics and local resistance: Two mining conflicts in Ecuador compared. Extractive Industries and Society, 3(4), 912–921. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2016.10.007