Rocío Silva Santisteban
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú


The recent discourse supporting extractivism in Peru is analysed here as some sort of Gramscian “common sense”. It is characterized as an authoritarian one, focused on an idea of progress relying upon natural resource mining, while denying environmentsociety balance, subordinating rural dwellers, neglecting the importance of biodiversity, and disowning environmental boundaries. It is framed as an inescapable and unquestionable truth. Under its shadow, myths thrive like that one according to which mining is not pollutant or that there are no other choices. Particularly, under analysis are statements setting up the notion that those opposing extractivism are both “against-miners” and terrorist, regardless of all the serious implications such a belief may bring about. The deixis according to which extractivism is assembled and supported is made equivalent to ideas of growth, advance, wealth, order, cunning, while being against extractivism becomes equivalent to agrarianism, backwardness, poverty, and ignorance. Modernity and backwardness are opposed. Their radical statements are seen when local resistance actors are called “dogs”, which puts them on a radical otherness full of despise, disgust and fear.

Keywords: extractivism, Peru, discourse.