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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: June 2020

4 - Neocolonialism and the Tension between International Investment Law and Indigenous Peoples: The Latin American Experience

from Part I - Indigenous Peoples and International Trade and Investment


Chapter 4 looks at how Latin America has experienced both the negative effects of the international investment law system and tensions when trying to protect Indigenous peoples’ rights while simultaneously trying to attract foreign investment. Enrique Prieto-Ríos and Daniel Rivas-Ramírez present some prominent investment arbitration cases involving Latin American countries and the rights of Indigenous peoples. They conclude that Indigenous peoples in Latin America are invisible to investment arbitration tribunals because international investment arbitration is a self-contained system that does not look beyond international economic law to Indigenous rights or, more generally, human rights. Current negotiations among Canada, New Zealand and the Pacific Alliance offer an opportunity to consider including a chapter for Indigenous people. The addition of New Zealand and Canada as associate members means that they will have to address the rights of Indigenous peoples in some manner for domestic political reasons.