The resistance to extractivism in Latin America

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This past May, Greenpeace International hosted a live conversation with a panel of dynamic speakers about extractivism in Latin America and the communities that are resisting it. 

The chat was part of a Roundtable Discussion series, put together in collaboration with activists, leaders, and groups around the world to highlight the intersectionality of the climate movement, amplify local and global battles, and demonstrate how we’re all more connected than we may think.

In the latest discussion, the experiences shared by the group about the work they do to challenge extractivism in their communities. The accounts were moving and, at times, even shocking. But every word was essential. 

Hosted by renowned journalist Stefanía Dommarco of Latin American media outlet Filo News, this Roundtable Discussion featured Gustavo Huici, the executive director of Surfrider Argentina; Riccardo Tiddi, representative of Somos Monte Chaco; Juan Sarmiento Lobo, lawyer and member of Comité de Santurbán in Colombia; Lorena Donaire, founder of water rights group Mujeres Modatima in Chile; and Alejandra Jiménez Ramírez, member of Alianza Mexicana Contra el Fracking.

Their work ranges from combating the threats of deep sea oil exploration in the Argentine Sea, deforestation in Chaco, to challenging destructive mining in the Páramo de Santurbán, the struggle for the right to access water in Chile, and tireless battling  to stop fracking across Mexico.

Check it out:

Throughout the discussion, one thing was clear: Latin America is a key battleground in the fight for the environment. Against the backdrop of European, Asian, and North American colonisation, environmental defenders in this region have been actively resisting extractivist models for hundreds of years in pursuit of sovereignty, equity, and balance with the Earth.

In this region, it’s not merely enough to prioritize fighting for the environment – it’s crucial to recognize it as a dual and interrelated struggle for basic human rights.

Discussions like these are key in highlighting the importance of coming together to connect different battles around the world. In turn, they also demonstrate that the richness of the movement comes from the commitment and the diversity of the communities that drive it forward.

As the climate crisis worsens, the alliances between movement groups around the world deepen. We’re seeing that when we unite, we can build a new reality – a future where the planet doesn’t have an expiration date, and where environmental and social justice will prevail.

Rosario Coll, Movement & Media Organizer and Sophie Schroder, Communications Coordinator are with Greenpeace project Collective Climate Action 

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