Struggling over Serra do Curral ‘New Extractivism’ Conflicts and Civil Society

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Ricardo Carneiro
Flávia de Paula Duque Brasil
Bruno Dias Magalhães
Clara de Oliveira Lazzarotti Diniz


The Serra do Curral is a mountain range that extends to the municipalities of Belo Horizonte, Sabará and Nova Lima, in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. It is already deteriorated by a long history of mineral extraction not followed by any environmental restoration. Since the 1960’s, Serra do Curral has been an object of many civil society collective actions calling for its preservation. In 2022, the authorization of new mining operation provoked a strong civil society reaction. A coalition of environmental and social activists, alongside new political actors convened in defence of Serra do Curral now demand the immediate revocation of the licence. The present article analyses the current conflict, identifying the main actors, their collective action repertoires, and how those actions play out as the conflict unfolds. The research is conducted through documental inquiry, media coverage analysis and on-site direct observation. Looking into the political struggle around new-extractivism conflicts, we argue, can provide important data and insights about resistance and the developing of alternatives.

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Articles (refereed)