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Violence, Ecocide, and Global Corruption in the Venezuelan Amazon: Political Ecology Perspectives


Date: Tuesday 26 April 2022

Time: 18.00 – 19.30

Location: Webinar - Registration Required

This public lecture discusses the current socio-ecological crisis taking place in the Venezuelan Amazon from the angle of political ecology.

Raudales de Ature in Venezuela’s Amazonas State - The Venezuelan Amazon is one of the most affectedRaudales de Ature in Venezuela’s Amazonas State - The Venezuelan Amazon is one of the most affected regions in the country due to resource extractivism. Foto: Edrasaal, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Venezuela faces one of the most complex social, political, and economic crises globally. The oil-rich South American country has attracted international attention due to its migration and refugee crisis, economic hyperinflation, and high levels of institutional corruption. However, little attention has been paid to one of the most devastating examples of the social and environmental costs related to resource extractivism in the country: the Orinoco Mining Arc (OMA). The OMA covers an area of 112.000 square kilometers, accounting for 12% of Venezuela’s territory, and it was instituted by executive decree on February 24, 2016, as a strategic mining zone to exploit the vast gold, diamond, coltan, and other mineral reserves in the Venezuelan Amazon. Historically, the region has alternated between neglect and attention on the part of the Venezuelan national and regional governments. After the Venezuelan crisis took off around 2010 due to the falling of oil revenues and the political and judicial systems, the national administration accelerated the exploitation of the OMA. Although official statements refer to it as a model for sustainable mining, the environmental and socio-ecological costs of this mining enterprise have been calamitous in terms of ecosystem degradation, health crises, the flourishing of illicit businesses, violations of human rights and sovereignty issues in southern Venezuela. This open lecture hosts researchers who have addressed the socio-ecological crises taking place in the Venezuelan Amazon. The panelists will discuss how violence, ecocide, and global corruption converge in the region.


Alicia Moncada
Alicia Moncada

Alicia Moncada is a Human Rights Activist and Researcher at Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho, Mexico. She has postgraduate studies in Women’s Studies and Feminist Theory (Universidad Central de Venezuela), a diploma in International Human Rights Law (Université Catholique de Louvain), and a diploma in Gender and Social Intervention (Universidad Central de Venezuela). She was a professor at Universidad Central de Venezuela and a researcher in Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (ESCR) at Amnesty International. She has consulted on projects related to the Human Rights of groups in situations of social vulnerability for various United Nations cooperation agencies and civil society organizations in Venezuela. Her research work focuses on Human Rights, Amerindian communities, and feminism. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).

Antulio Rosales
Antulio Rosales

Antulio Rosales is an Assistant Professor at New Brunswick University, Canada. His research interests are international and comparative political economy, natural resource extraction/environmental politics, and global development. His research focuses on the politics of state and global capital actors’ interactions in the energy sectors of Latin American countries, especially Venezuela and Ecuador. His recent work focuses on the collapse of Venezuela’s rentier economy and the expansion of mining frontiers, of both gold and cryptocurrencies, in a wider context of social and political tension, economic crisis, and international sanctions. Other interests include the history of ideas and Latin American contributions to notions of development and environmental governance. He is a partner in a research project focused on China’s Multilateralism and its impacts on environmental and democratic governance (University of Oslo and Norwegian Research Council).

Emiliano Terán Mantovani
Emiliano Terán Mantovani

Emiliano Terán Mantovani is a PhD candidate in in Environmental Science and Technology at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (Universidad Central de Venezuela) and a Master’s degree in Ecological Economics (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona). He is an Associated Researcher at the Center for Development Studies in Venezuela (CENDES) and a member of the Observatory of Political Ecology of Venezuela. He is the author of the book El fantasma de la Gran Venezuela (Fundación Celarg, 2014), which received honorable mention in the Premio Libertador al Pensamiento Crítico 2015. He participates in the Permanent Working Group on Alternatives to Development organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, in the CLACSO Working Group on political ecology, and has collaborated with the EjAtlas - Environmental Justice project with Joan Martínez Alier. He is a member of Oilwatch Latin America Network.

To participate, please register here » 

Organiser: Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies
Contact: Gianfranco Selgas
Registration required