CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Indigenous Peoples & Extractive Projects with Dr. Eisenstadt

October 24th, 2017

On Monday, October 23, CIPR hosted Dr. Todd Eisenstadt (American University). Dr. Eisenstadt’s current research focuses on conflict over the extraction of natural resources in Latin America. In many Latin American countries, the growth in oil drilling, mining, and other extractive industries has been met with a growing number of protests and other acts of resistance by indigenous peoples. His research seeks to better understand the relationship between prior consultation with indigenous peoples and the decision to carry out an extractive project.

While the right to prior consultation for indigenous peoples is guaranteed by international law, it is not applied consistently across the region, with some countries only conducting consultations infrequently or for certain industries. In Ecuador, survey results showed that most of the population had little to no understanding of the process of prior consultation. When reviewing over 60 prior consultations in Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, Dr. Eisenstadt found that all of the projects under consideration ultimately went forward, suggesting that such consultations are used more for bargaining and negotiation rather than deciding whether or not a project should go forward.