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Professor Cristóbal Carmona
Universidad Diego Portales

This investigation seeks to explore, in a preliminary way, the tensions that exist between two fundamental principles of indigenous peoples’ rights, namely, on the one hand, the protection of cultural identity and, on the other, the respect for their autonomy as peoples. The thesis that will be advanced is that, while much of the legal discourse of indigenous peoples’ rights have been constructed from the paradigm of the protection of cultural identity, the aforementioned respect for the autonomy or self-determination of these peoples also has the status of a fundamental right, one that, on many occasions, can collide with former. In this context, it will be argued that the right of indigenous peoples to benefit from the utilities derived from the exploitation of natural resources -as a legal space where the commensurability of commodities, the alleged incommensurability of culture, and money as a universally commensurable measure of value, intersect-, crudely stages the limits and possibilities of each of these normative principles. To demonstrate this, first, the presentation will critically address the normative foundations and consequences of “benefit-sharing”, as constructed in the case-law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; then, it will turn to analyze the agreements that have been taken place in the last few years in Chile, between indigenous communities and proponents of extractive or energy projects, in the context of investment initiatives in indigenous territory. It concludes by examining the potential instrumentalization of these tensions by state or economic actors,

Bachelor of Legal and Social Sciences, Universidad de Chile; Lawyer. Master in Philosophical Studies (Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile) and Master in Human Rights and Democratization (UNSAM, Argentina). Doctoral student in Law (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile). He has worked as a lawyer for indigenous communities, as the person in charge of the Environmental and Natural Resources Department of CONADI (the government office responsible for the development and protection of indigenous communities); and as an ILO consultant on indigenous peoples territorial rights. He has researched and published extensively on indigenous peoples rights in international law and its implementation in Chile, especially on environmental issues. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of Indigenous Law, Environmental Law and Public International Law in different Chilean universities and is currently an Assistant Researcher at the Universidad Diego Portales School of Law, where he also teaches the course “Indigenous Peoples Rights”.

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