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Cuenca - inhabitants against an industrial polygon, Ecuador


In the mid 1980s, the municipality of Cuenca decided to encourage the citys industrial development. The municipality then elaborated the Cuenca Industrial Park project and it decided that it would be located in the parish of the San Andres de Chiquintad, traditionally an area of small agricultural producers. Due to peasants opposition who did not accept being displaced, Cuenca municipality decided to declare the rural pieces of land (predios) of that parish as of public use. That way, it could expropriate their properties. This measure triggered strong protests and actions from the inhabitants of this rural area

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cuenca - inhabitants against an industrial polygon, Ecuador
State or province:Azuay
Location of conflict:Cuenca
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:200
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1985
Relevant government actors:Municipality of Cuenca, The city Council of Azuay, Supreme Court of Justice, Instituto Ecuatoriano de reforma Agraria y Colonizacin-IERAC
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Tierra Viva (Azuay)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Communities watch committees to safeguard their landholdings.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The municipality of Cuenca was forced to change the Industrial Park location.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Varea, Anamara, Carmen Barrera, Ana mara Maldonado, Lourdes Endara, Byron real, Victoria Reyes, Guillermo Robalino. 1997. Desarrollo Eco-ilogico. Conflictos socioambientales desde la selva hasta el mar. CEDEP/Abya-Yala

Meta information
Contributor:Sara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014
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