Oil’s Internal Colonialism: Mexican Petroleum in Tabasco 1973-2008


Event details


Date & time

Thursday 15 July 2010


Seminar Room B, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Dr Rodolfo Uribe Iniesta


Jacqueline de Chazal

This seminar will analyse the experience of the 35-year oil boom in Tabasco in the Gulf of Mexico. In particular it will focus on the contradictions created by the temporal nature of oil exploration and the local regional needs. It stresses the importance of understanding the long-standing socio-cultural context of the region as well as the political motivation to negotiate ecological, economic and social impacts of the activity by local governments and civil society. This situation is complicated by the fact that the oil venture is a federal government run company having a nationalistic ideology and economic focus but is to all intents and purposes considered a colonial enterprise fixed on redefining the quality of life in monetary terms without reference to ecological values and cultural assets.


Rodolfo is a Mexican researcher who has studied oil industry peasant relations in the southern plains of the Gulf of Mexico and mediated in its conflicts for the last 25 years. He was director of the indigenous radio station The Chontales Voice in Tabasco in 1989 and a visiting researcher at the University of Salamanca in Spain in 1995.

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