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Borders Which Unite and Disunite: Mobilities and Development of New Territorialities on the Chile - Argentina Frontier

Cristina Hevilla, Perla Zusman


Upon the establishment of National States in the Southern Cone, borders started to be considered as differentiation settings and, according to circumstances, international cooperation areas. Integration processes and neo-liberal policies implemented in the region in the 1990's, however, nurtured discourses encouraging the constitution of a common territory and the end of National State borders. These discourses and their associated rules paved the way for the creation of a new territory on a binational area. Thus, the Veladero and Pascua-Lama mining complexes (Iglesia, San Juan, Argentina - Regions III and IV, Chile) became geographical settings where only one transnational mining company may "use, influence upon, control people, phenomena, and relationships" (Sack 1986). While production and reproduction areas can be defined almost freely by transnational capital, the traditionally transhumant inhabitants of the Andes have seen their border mobility restricted by a set of sanitary rules hampering the performance of their activity, e.g. the placement of a portion of their handmade production on non-local markets. What strategies, then, have been devised by these transhumant social groups in order to continue to carry out their family economic activity, which is actually a legacy from their ancestors?

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229