International Development, Community, and Environment

Document Type

Article

Abstract

In 2008, the Department of Tarija became the epicenter of national political struggles over political autonomy for lowland regions at odds with the Morales administration. In September, following a series of regional referenda on autonomy and a national recall election, citizen committees in Tarija mobilized urban-based sectors and organized a general strike against the central government. It is unhelpful to understand the strike as simply an act of political sabotage orchestrated by racist regional elites. The factors driving protest and interest in autonomy are varied and deeply related to patterns of hydrocarbons extraction in the department that have allowed for the mobilization of grievances and the cultivation of resource regionalism at departmental and intradepartmental scales. Alongside class and ethnicity, identities of place and region can be equally important in processes of mobilization, and the resonance of these spatialized identities is particularly important in resource-extraction peripheries. © 2010 Latin American Perspectives.

Available download is the accepted version for publication.

Publication Title

Latin American Perspectives

Publication Date

7-1-2010

Volume

37

Issue

4

First Page

140

Last Page

160

ISSN

0094-582X

DOI

10.1177/0094582X10372503

Keywords

Bolivia, extractive industry, gas, regionalism, social protest, Tarija

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