"I am too poor to fear death." Indigenous Miners and the Defense of Natural Resources in the Andes

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Since 1545, the indigenous communities working to extract Bolivia’s natural resources have provided immense wealth to first the Spanish and now multinational mining corporations. Throughout its history as a nation, Bolivians have tried to take control of this resource wealth, but found mining to be a risky foundation on which to build national prosperity. Moreover, mines are simply dangerous places both for workers and the communities that live around them. Dr. McGrath traces several moments in the 20th century when indigenous communities and workers confronted international mining companies and the Bolivian state alike in order to try to control their livelihoods and protect their families and what these can teach us about social movements today. Understanding why these workers and neighbors fought to mine can help us think about the emergence of indigenous and environmentalist social movements throughout the Andes.

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