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Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in the Bolivian Lowlands

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Ways to Mitigate Inequalities in Resource-Related Issues

image of International Human Rights Law Review

Land destitution and expropriations disproportionally affect indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands in the Bolivian lowlands, namely Guaraní communities. Due to recent extractive projects in the lowlands land rights are seriously infringed. The close relationship with indigenous peoples’ lands and its significance for survival generates vulnerabilities. This concerns indigenous communities and individual community members in particular. This article analyses inequality dimensions in indigenous communities in the context of prior consultation mechanisms regarding natural resource extraction. Inequalities among indigenous community members in consultation processes are an unobserved phenomenon which requires further research. In this case, inequalities particularly emerge in forms of gender- and age-related factors. This stems from uneven impact on such groups by state and corporate conduct. Therefore, the role of vulnerable members in indigenous communities concerning land destitution is explored in a case-study and recommendations for mitigating inequalities in indigenous communities in resource disputes are developed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK Visiting Researcher, Centre for Judicial Studies and Social Research, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (2014–2015)


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