The advances in extractive technologies in the 21st century has led to the creation of a new powerful global actor, the Multinational. These multinationals have no allegiance to a state, as earlier forms of capitalism did, rather they are ventures in the industries of agribusiness and mining that operate in countries throughout Latin America. These global actors are able to effectively dominate economies through the reprimarization of the countries that host them. Countries like Argentina have welcomed multinationals like Monsanto and Patagonia Gold into their territories, which has proven to be a detriment to the communities and environments in which they take place. These industries promise the creation of jobs, development of economies, and state revenue through taxes and royalties. Upon further inspection of these promises, it is revealed that these goals are misleading and these extractive operations are only able to succeed by preying on the preexisting social, political, and economic inequalities of communities in Argentina. I offer a vignette of socio-environmental conflicts that take place in rural, urban, and Indigenous communities. By analyzing these conflicts across space, identity reconfiguration and articulation such as that of the Mapuche in Río Negro is visibilized. As Mapuche and non-Mapuche community members come together to contest their positions within this extractive paradigm, the persisting logic and legacy of colonialism is revealed.
Gomez-Pereira, Jonathan, "The Altar of National Prosperity: Extractivism and Sacrifice Zones in Argentine Patagonia" (2020). Anthropology Department Honors Papers. 18.
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The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.