Extractive projects and communities. Counseling mechanisms.

Extractive projects and affected communities. Finally, rare mechanisms for citizen participation and counseling constitute the third element. Despite the recent adoption of the consultation law, these mechanisms have many limitations. This law guarantees the right to prior and informed advice to indigenous people on administrative and legislative measures that directly affect their collective rights. Consultation should be conducted by the state.

It is expected that this law will be applied for the first time in 2013 in relation to prospecting for an oil project in the Peruvian forest. However, there is still a lack of tools for effective implementation, as well as a database of indigenous peoples at the national level and methodological guidance. In addition, some are calling for amendments to several paragraphs of this law, especially those regarding a possible lack of agreement after consultation; indigenous opposition is optional. Thus, in Peru there are currently no mechanisms for participation and access to information at the stage of entry into the concession; The population gathers only when the EIA is going to be approved, that is, before the start of the operation phase and, therefore, when almost everything has already been decided.

The Department of Energy and Mining is also not required to take into account the contribution made during the public hearings. The intensity of the conflict can also be measured by the polarization of the country they are affecting, and their impact on public debate. Ten years ago, it was inconceivable that a conflict over mining in a remote part of the country made headlines in the headlines and caused controversy for several weeks, covering almost all media. 

Today, this has become not only a common occurrence, but a conflict like the one in Kong or Espinar leads to political crises that led to the breakdown of two ministerial posts or hastened the interruption of the work of the majority of Congress. republic.

However, the conflicts also changed and underwent a clear evolution: the conflict in Kong is not comparable with the main conflicts that took place ten years ago, such as those in Tambogrande or Cerro Quilic. What are the main differences we can highlight? Previously, conflicts such as those mentioned expressed demographic strategies aimed mainly and almost exclusively at halting mining projects, which were perceived as a threat to their housing conditions.

As a result, the strategies were aimed at resisting and rejecting the threat of a specific project. However, for some time, conflicts and local actors were not limited to the issue of a specific mining project, which is wanted in their territories. They also challenge policies that encourage unlimited expansion of minerals. Thus, they criticize the policy of concessions for mining in general, the EIA tool, the lack of mechanisms for prior consultation and citizen participation, the lack of taxation, the unreliability of environmental management … These characteristics appear more visible in current conflicts. Depending on the specific situation of the conflict, reforms and alternative government policies were proposed.

For example, in the case of Conga, and then the national water procession, a legislative initiative arose to protect water sources. Regional authorities also proposed a debate on mining and environmental protection skills and emphasized the need to establish levels of coordination between national, regional and local governments. In addition, the need for a regulatory framework on land use planning and management were discussed.

The main hypothesis. Unsustainable mining policy in Colombia. Although conflicts are changing, the state conflict management strategy has not changed much. Since conflicts related to mining appeared on the public agenda, government actions almost always followed one pattern; the reaction occurs in each case, when national authorities almost always intervene when conflicts enter a phase of exacerbation and extreme polarization, that is, when hidden conflicts must become active, in accordance with different categories.