Showing posts with label Guatemala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guatemala. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala and the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters the Church of the Poor

Holden, W. N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2011) Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala and the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters the Church of the Poor. In Brunn S. (ed.) Engineering Earth, Volume 3 pp 383-411, Springer Netherlands.

Abstract

In recent years, as a result of the prevailing neoliberal development paradigm and the influence of the World Bank, many countries in the developing world have liberalized their mining laws to attract investment into their economies. In both Guatemala and the Philippines, governments have revised mining laws in an attempt to encourage more investment. This chapter discusses the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to the neoliberal policies enacted by the governments of those countries to encourage the extraction of nonferrous metals by multinational corporations. The chapter begins with a discussion of the countries’ mineral
resources (and efforts of the respective governments to encourage mining), and then discusses the ecclesial opposition to mining in the two countries; the chapter concludes with a discussion of how neoliberalism is encountering the church of the poor. This research finds its home within the discipline of geography, as one of
human geography’s core areas is the relationship between people and their environment, and conflicts about mining are conflicts about different understandings of human-nature relationships.


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The Roman Catholic Church: committed to the poor in Guatemala

Jacobson, R.D and Holden, W.N.  (2010) The Roman Catholic Church: committed to the poor in Guatemala. The Canadian Geographer / Le G´eographe canadien, 54 (3), 378-380. DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-0064.2009.00295_2.x
 Abstract
The coexistence of conservative and liberation perspectives within the Roman Catholic Church still causes disagreements. However, since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in Guatemala has established a commitment to act as a church of the poor. There is tension between Guatemala’s elite and the Church, which has led to the murders of Church members and the issuance of death threats to others. Although the growth of evangelical movements has caused the Church to lose influence, the Church remains committed to the poor, which places it in sharp contradistinction to neoliberalism.

Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Mining in Guatemala

Holden, W.N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2009) Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Mining in Guatemala” Neoliberalism Meets the Church of the Poor in a Shattered Society. The Canadian Geographer / Le G´eographe canadien, 53 (2), 145-164.

Abstract

Guatemala, a nation plagued by the legacy of its brutal 36-year civil war, has, in recent years liberalized its mining law to encourage the entry of multinational mining corporations. These mining companies have included two Canadian companies, which have developed the two most prominent, and controversial, mining projects in Guatemala. Using the lens of political ecology to demonstrate how environmental analysis and policy can be reframed towards addressing the problems of the socially vulnerable, this article analyses the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to mining in Guatemala. The article reviews the development of liberation theology in Latin America and how this has imparted empathy for the poor into the pastoral praxis of the church.The church is opposed to mining largely because of the potential implications of mining’s environmental effects upon the livelihoods of the poor. The article postulates that the opposition of the church to mining is an example of an environmental issue connecting groups of people across class and ethnic lines to offset powerful global political and economic forces. The article concludes with a discussion of how this opposition to mining is a demonstration of the  opposition of the progressive church to neoliberalism in general.


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Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala

Holden, W.N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2008). “Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala.” Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 19 (4): 325-350. 

Abstract

Drawing on a range of fieldwork interviews, this paper discusses the opposition of civil society to nonferrous metals mining in Guatemala. Guatemala’s mineral resources, and government efforts to encourage their extraction, are discussed, as is the emergent civil society of that nation. Guatemalan civil society has opposed mining due to the impacts of its environmental effects upon the poor engaged in subsistence agriculture. This opposition has involved protests, community consultations against mining, and networking with the forces of global civil society. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this opposition to mining is a manifestation of the opposition to neoliberalism currently underway in Latin America. 


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