The eco-political earthquake of late extractivism in the isthmus of Tehuantepec (Mexico) from the point of view of the ikoots. That is, to continue to be ikoots between resistance, alienation and abandonment

Cristiano Tallè is engaged in Mexico, in the indigenous ikoots/huave community of San Mateo del Mar (Isthmus of Tehuantepec), from where he has been carrying out research for about 20 years. Within the framework of the PRIN Ecofrizioni dell’Antropocene, his research is aimed at documenting and analysing the discursive modalities and uses of the native language (ombeayiüts) related to the morphology of the lagoon landscape and the atmospheric and aquatic agents that continuously shape and renew it (winds, rains, currents, tides, etc.). These linguistic uses are fundamental to the political subjectivity of the ikoots as a native social group, playing a decisive role both in local practices of appropriation of the environment (fishing on the one hand and cosmo-ritual practices on the other), and in self-representation with respect to the other native groups of the region and the ‘non-native’ mestizo population. Particular attention will be paid to the denomination of the places as a crucial strategy of socialization of the territory in an ‘ancestral’ perspective, from which a specific native positioning with respect to the lagoon environment in question can be deduced. Against the background of this documentation of the native ‘environmental discourse’, we will analyze the processes of resistance on the one hand and socio-territorial disintegration on the other hand triggered by macro-economic interests related to the intended energy and industrial exploitation of the region (refining of oil and hydrocarbons, wind energy production, mining extractivism, etc..). The consequences of this dynamic of ‘dispossession’ will be observed on two different levels: on the one hand, a marked contraction of freedom of movement and of the fishing grounds; on the other, the occurrence of a series of legal actions that are redrawing the legal and agricultural boundaries ‘on paper’. We will also try to analyze the social and environmental effects of the disastrous earthquake of September 2017 (8th Richter) in relation to this process of territorial alienation: on a moral level, the geological event has been read as a violent reaction of the earth to the growing conflict of its inhabitants ikoots that calls for reconciliation with it and the search for renewed community solidarity; on a political level, the management of the emergency first and then reconstruction, seems to have accelerated the disintegration of some customary forms of political-territorial solidarity.

2019-10-13T17:12:32+00:00