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
NameCuenca - inhabitants against an industrial polygon, Ecuador
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 CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)200
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1985
Relevant government actorsMunicipality of Cuenca, The city Council of Azuay, Supreme Court of Justice, Instituto Ecuatoriano de reforma Agraria y Colonizacin-IERAC
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTierra Viva (Azuay)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Communities watch committees to safeguard their landholdings.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The municipality of Cuenca was forced to change the Industrial Park location.
Sources and Materials

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
ContributorSara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014