Community Consultations: Local Responses to Large-Scale Mining in Latin America
By Mariana Walter and Leire Urkidi
This chapter studies the emergence and spread of community consultations in large-scale metal mining projects in Latin America. These consultations are different from the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)-related consultations, or consulta previa, that are fostered by national governments. From Tambogrande (Peru) in June 2002 to Mataquescuintla (Guatemala) in November 2012, 68 consultations/referenda have been conducted in Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia and Peru. In all cases the result has been a large opposition to mining projects. This process is occurring in a context of growing pressures to extract mineral ores in Latin America and an increasing number of related socio-environmental conflicts . The particularity of these consultations is that these are not commissioned by national governments as part of official procedures to consult communities but instead are promoted by environmental justice movements (EJMs), usually with the support of local governments.