Social conflict and infrastructure projects in Mexico

10 Oct 2019

This paper addresses some of the most critical concerns around social conflicts related to infrastructure projects, drivers and the ultimate nature of these conflicts. Alluding to the historic lack of proper regulatory frameworks, lack of rule of law and overall, the multidimensional aspect of social conflict, going above conventional project decision-making. Private companies are not independent or disconnected entities within the contexts in which they operate. On the contrary, these are social actors within the territories of the communities. This condition generates unquestionable responsibilities such as the protection of the environment, the observation of basic human rights, as well as the consideration of the equitable distribution of benefits of the productive activities carried out on territories they are temporally using. Mexico's Ministry of the Interior's Report of 2017 conducted by the Commission for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico reported 335 conflicts derived from a series of infrastructure projects and private investment developments. The social, political, economic and in many times, environmental conundrum placed by every single one of these conflicts, suggests the need for a new approach on addressing social conflicts within the context of infrastructure development in countries with complex cultural dynamics. Overall, the aim of this research is to depict social conflict within emerging economies perspective, where private infrastructure projects are no longer to neglect the observance or capacity of human and indigenous rights, and the participation of key actors on all levels such as government, private sector and civil society.