International law and resource extraction : the reconstruction of indigenous identity in Cajamarca, Peru




Egerstrom, Anne Marie

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Why has there been a sudden upsurge in the politicization of indigenous identities in Latin America? Drawing upon constructivist assumptions of ethnic identity, I find that ILO 169 and the rights contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have been accompanied by a re-construction of indigenous identity in Cajamarca, Peru. Communities that are vulnerable to the deleterious effects of natural resource extraction and have historically identified as non-indigenous, despite having an indigenous identity in their identity repertoire, have re-constructed their indigenous identity as part of a strategy to maintain tenure over traditional lands, but only after the fact that power and rights have been awarded to these communities by international bodies of law and national legal frameworks alike. That is, bodies of law can activate an indigenous cleavage under a condition of grievance.



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