Peruvian Justice Minister Juan Jiménez’s appearance before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights last week marked the latest challenge to President Ollanta Humala’s strategy of marrying mining-based growth with social development. Jiménez faced the commission Saturday to dispute a law proposed last year by local organizations concerned about environmental impacts from the $4.8 billion Conga gold and copper mine. Later this week, the country’s Constitutional Tribunal will also consider the constitutionality of a decision by the president of Cajamarca province, where the Conga mine is located, to declare the project “unviable.” Local communities argue that the mine will empty several […]

If you’re looking for a good example of an oxymoron, or at the very least of a counterintuitive situation, nothing works better than the famed “resource curse.” The idea that great natural wealth might in fact contribute to keeping a country poor has captured the public imagination precisely because it helps explain a phenomenon that is one of the great paradoxes of our time: Countries blessed with fabulous riches are often also cursed, perhaps inevitably, with grinding poverty. But the phenomenon with the catchy title deserves a closer, critical look, because recent evidence suggests that the potion for breaking the […]

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In January, Bulgaria banned hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, after nationwide protests against the natural gas extraction method. In an email interview, Tomasz Daborowski, an analyst in the Central European department at the Center for Eastern Studies in Warsaw, discussed Bulgaria’s energy security. WPR: What is the current size and scope of Bulgaria’s energy sector, and what are its estimated reserves? Tomasz Daborowski: The energy sector in Bulgaria is relatively small in global terms but quite considerable compared to other Bulgarian industries and to other energy sectors in Southeastern Europe. The power sector is the most important: The country has one […]