"When They Came to Take Our Resources"

Mining Conflicts in Peru and Their Complexity

in Social Analysis
Restricted access

This article focuses on the debates over the Río Blanco mining project in Piura in northern Peru. Using Tsing's notion of 'friction', I explore the complexity and global connections in this case and show how the actors engaged universal categories to pursue their agendas. I argue that the campaign against Río Blanco is an example of indigenous mobilization in contemporary Peru because the local protestors invoked the global term 'indigenous', although they mobilized as peasants and as ronderos/as (civil defense patrollers). Their decision to campaign as peasants, however, illustrates the continued relevance of class in a contemporary global context. By using their peasant identity strategically in combination with their regional identity and their identity as marginalized peoples, the local population of Piura gained a more powerful voice.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology