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Participatory Institutions as a Focal Point for Mobilizing: Prior Consultation and Indigenous Conflict in Colombia's Extractive Industries

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This article systematically analyzes how the participatory institution "prior consultation" indirectly gave Colombian indigenous communities a voice in five major hydrocarbon and mining conflicts by creating opportunities to organize around the institution. Mobilized indigenous groups did not express their concerns about extraction within the prescribed prior consultation meetings. Instead, they refused to be consulted, they challenged the lack of, or their exclusion from, prior consultation, and they preemptively achieved environmental protections. Variation in tactics is explained by (1) the stage of the planned extraction, (2) whether the state initially determined that a community was affected by the extraction, and (3) the degree of unity among affected communities. The article further highlights the role of Colombia's Constitutional Court in interpreting and weighing the rights that underlie prior consultation procedures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

This article was made available online on January 2, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Participatory Institutions as a Focal Point for Mobilizing: Prior Consultation and Indigenous Conflict in Colombia’s Extractive Industries".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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