Abstract: In July 2013, a consulta popular (referendum) was organised by municipal authorities in Tolima, Colombia, to judge public opinion on the establishment of activities by an international mining conglomerate ie the Colosa (the Giant) gold mine. In this article study is made of the referendum, and emphasis given to its linkages with wider regional, national and Latin American efforts to anticipate damage and derail projects for resource extraction. Recognising the techniques and networks, and similar expressions of identity and territoriality, expressed in other campaigns against extraction, resource sovereignty is suggested as an approach to interpret the motivations for and dynamics of recent popular consultations.
The article is part of a Special Edition produced by the Noragric-led project 'Extracting Justice? Exploring the role of free, prior and informed consent, consultations and compensation payments related to socio-environmental conflicts in Latin America'. This Special Edition will be printed in May 2017.
The full article may be accessed via NMBU, or for external readers, the author has a limited number of copies for circulation (see McNeish's biography for contact details).