The Trinity of Buen Vivir in Ecuador

The Trinity of Buen Vivir in Ecuador

By ANTONIO LUIS HIDALGO-CAPITÁN & ANA PATRICIA CUBILLO-GUEVARA

Buen Vivir, as an alternative concept to development (Acosta 2012, Cubillo-Guevara & Hidalgo-Capitán 2015a), emerged in Ecuador at the beginning of the 1990s, with the contribution of some Amazonian Kichwa intellectuals, under the name of sumak kawsay (Viteri et al. 1992, Viteri 1993, Viteri 2000, Cubillo-Guevara & Hidalgo-Capitán 2015b); however, it did not gain relevance until the 2008 Ecuadorian Constitutions included it as a principle (Vanhulst and Beling 2016).

This concept has been defined as a way of life in harmony with oneself (identity), with society (equity) and with nature (sustainability) (Cubillo-Guevara, Hidalgo-Capitán & García-Álvarez 2016). This definition was commonly accepted by the majority of intellectuals and politicians who used the term since the drafting of the 2008 Constitution; but here the consensus ended, since this way of living in harmony took on very different meanings according to the ideological position of each intellectual and politician who used the concept. Thus, there have been at least three ways of understanding Buen Vivir in Ecuador: one indigenist, another socialist and another ecologist / post-developmentalist (Le-Quang & Vercoutère 2013, Cubillo-Guevara, Hidalgo-Capitán & Domínguez-Gómez 2014, Vanhulst 2015).

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International Investment Law, Development and Sovereignty: No Harm?

International Investment Law, Development and Sovereignty: No Harm?

By Nicolas Perrone

Since the 1990s, foreign investment has been presented as a strong means for development. Foreign investment serves to climb the value ladder, bridge the investment gap, and maintain a ‘maxim effective utilization of economic resources.’ Yet, attracting and enabling foreign investment is not an easy task for governments. In a context of fierce competition for capital, this requires an active state promoting policies that match the needs of foreign investors. As a result, the control and steering of foreign investment of the 1960s and 1970s was quickly replaced with a model in which governments must facilitate foreign investor initiatives and reap the benefits of multinational corporate activity. This short essay aims to illustrate this more general debate by looking at the awards in the case Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) II v Ecuador, where the tribunal imposed one of the highest awards against a host state.

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Analyzing the Spill-over Matrix of Extractivism: From Para-legality, Separation and Violence to Integral Health in the Ecuadorian Íntag

Analyzing the Spill-over Matrix of Extractivism: From Para-legality, Separation and Violence to Integral Health in the Ecuadorian Íntag

By Johannes Waldmüller

On 3rd March 2015, Eduardo Gudynas held a talk at FLACSO, Ecuador, titled “Los efectos derrame de los extractivismos: energía, consumo, territorio y resistencias” (“Spill-over effects of extractivisms: energy, consumption, territory and resistances”) at a one-day conference on energy matrices in Latin America and possible shifts. In his presentation, which I was kindly granted access to report and comment on, he deduced in detail the effects on several sectors of societies of persistent, and partly reinforced, heavy dependence on natural resources, as in countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico and, of course, Venezuela (whose oil exports account for 96% of its export earnings, thus virtually exporting nothing else). It should be stressed that these mechanisms reside not only in the foundations of climate change, but also inherently in global capitalism and warfare – altering them would be equal to improving the current state of the planet.

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Women in Defense of Mother Earth

Women in Defense of Mother Earth

By Areli Valencia

"Women in Defense of Mother Earth" is a documentary film about the life of a group of peasant women fighting against two mining projects known as Rio Blanco and Quimsacocha (Loma Larga) in Cuenca, Azuay,  Ecuador. Driven by the defense of their livelihoods, sources of subsistence and the ability to choose their own pathways to development, they communally decided to organize themselves as the "Women Defenders of Mother Earth Front", one of the most important women anti-mining  organizations in Ecuador. In a world where the lack of female leadership is omnipresent, the struggle of the "Women Defenders of Mother Earth Front" not only stimulates discussion on the impacts of extractive led-development in the lives of women; but also, helps to make visible the important role of women as agents of social change.

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