Micropolíticas de campesinos colonos en territorios indígenas de Nicaragua
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In this investigation I discuss power relations between agricultural frontier colonists and the Nicaraguan State, within a framework of neoliberal environmental policies. In so doing, I analyze the origins of this relationship, construction and nature of the State, mestizos-peasants-colonists identity, migration to the agricultural frontier, and the space under contention. Under the pressure of the World Bank, the State has passed several environmental and indigenous rights protection laws. This legal framework involves evicting the colonists from indigenous territories and natural reserves. It has been a decade since the framework was passed, but the government has not fulfilled this duty. This fact raises question about the capabilities of the colonists to remain within those places and the willingness of the government to enforce the law. Between 2009 and 2014, I did ethnographic work and collected geographic information in Mayangna Sauni Bas and Mayangna Sauni Bu indigenous territories, located in the northwest region of Nicaragua. My findings reveal that the colonists are engaged in micropolitics relations with local mestizo power groups. These relations grant protagonism to the colonists to negotiate with the government those measures that they regard as unfair. I reached two main conclusions: the State has marginalized and racialized the colonists, and contradictory interests among the power groups that form the State contribute to these micropolitics relations. This dissertation argues the need to focus agricultural frontier studies in more inclusive and integral ways. Colonists have played the double role of being victimizers of indigenous people and their environmental resources, and victims of ambitions and discrimination from the State. The experiences that colonists, and peasants in general, have acquired through generations under abuses and violence are shaping their own knowledge and political standpoint.