The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras

Citation:

Mollett, Sharlene. 2018. “The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras.” In Land Rights, Biodiversity Conservation and Justice. Routledge.

Author: Sharlene Mollett

Abstract:

This chapter aims to rethink the relationship between “parks and people” by making visible mundane and spectacular forms of violence inside the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. In spite of landmark territorial legislation awarded to Miskito Territorial Councils beginning in 2013, the Miskito peoples continue to face impending colono land invasions inside ancestral customary territories. Drawing from ongoing research in Honduras, this chapter blends ethnographic data collection with news media, archival documents, development reports and secondary literatures to examine the violent challenges to Miskito territorial autonomy. Such violence extends beyond the Reserve and is emplaced on the bodies of land and territorial defenders mobilized against a growing extractivist Honduran state. With a focus on a coloniality of power and postcolonial intersectional thinking, this chapter maintains that biodiversity conservation and extractive development are linked, imbued with past logics of race and gender employed in the dehumanization of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in the present. Thus, in Honduras, I argue, contemporary Indigenous struggles over land and territory are simultaneously historical contests that work to disrupt state and elite practices of Indigenous peoples’ dehumanization, in the name of modernity and development.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Indigenous, Intersectionality, Land Tenure, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2018

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