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Dr Ainhoa Montoya: Dispossession through Juridification

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Research Seminar co-organized with Dr Ali Birkett, LEC
Speaker: Dr Ainhoa Montoya
Abstract: The Honduran political regime that emerged following the 2009 coup has promoted its extractive development model through legislative and judicial channels. This presentation explores the irregular use of legal mechanisms by the Honduran state, along with repression and persecution sometimes in tandem with organised crime, to counter local opposition to extraction in places like Tocoa, in the Bajo Aguán Valley. The legal-political strategies of locals from Tocoa who have opposed to mining have been mainly defensive, seeking to reveal irregularities by the state and to highlight the ‘gray areas’ of politics that have enabled them. However, the mobilisation of Tocoa locals has also inserted within political-legal circuits notions of nature and territory characterised by commoning logics with roots in the region’s peasant past. Such notions could encourage the development of collective rights with regard to territory among non-indigenous populations. In so doing, these notions, which resonate with the concept of the indigenous commons, could also potentially foster political alliances between indigenous and non-indigenous populations that are both seeking to lay claims over territory.