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Latin America, a region rich in both energy resources and native heritage, faces a rising politico-social confrontation that has been growing for over two decades. While resources like oil and gas are exploited to enhance the state’s economic growth, indigenous groups feel threatened because the operations related to this exploitation are infringing on their homelands. Furthermore, they believe that the potential resource wealth found in these environmentally-sensitive regions is provoking an “intrusion” in their ancestral territory of either government agencies or corporations allowed by governmental decree.

Indigenous groups, which have achieved greater political voice over the past decade, are protesting against government violations. These protests have reached the media and received international attention, leading the discourse on topics such as civil and human rights violations. When this happens, the State finds itself “between a rock and a hard place”: In a debate between indigenous groups’ rights and economic sustainability.


"The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report (paper) are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by the official documentation.

Funded by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE), ID W91WAW-09-D-0022, delivery order number 0616."



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