Projeto de Tese de Doutoramento

BETWEEN LEGAL PLURALISM AND LEGAL SIMULATION Human rights of indigenous peoples and water extractive megaprojects

Programa de Doutoramento: Human Rights in Contemporary Societies

This PhD Project will research about the uses of human rights in conflicts caused by the installation of water extractive megaprojects -aqueducts, hydroelectric dams or water reservoirs- in the territory of indigenous peoples, where two opposing views are faced. On the one hand, the affected indigenous population, organized through civil associations and social movements, defends the model of legal pluralism and its right to territory, autonomy and self-development, affirming that "water is life" while the installation of extractive megaprojects contributes to the dispossession of their territories. On the other hand, States and various transnational companies and organizations propose that megaprojects will support the economic development of indigenous territories thanks to the jobs created. They thus promote a series of consultations and alliances with certain indigenous sectors that simulate a respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples. Given this panorama, a continuous social struggle in defense of the territories is needed, supported by research that reveals the spurious uses of the human rights of indigenous peoples that legitimize the dispossession of water and the violations of the rights of autonomy, territory and self-development. Although will approach a global perspective of this problem that affects the entire global South, will illustrate it with the in-depth study of the paradigmatic case of the "Independence Aqueduct" in the territory of the Yaqui Tribe in Sonora, Mexico.