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Revista Derecho del Estado

versión impresa ISSN 0122-9893

Resumen

BONILLA-MALDONADO, Daniel. Environmental Radical Constitutionalism and Cultural Diversity in Latin America: the Rights of Nature and Buen Vivir in Ecuador and Bolivia. Rev. Derecho Estado [online]. 2019, n.42, pp.3-23. ISSN 0122-9893.  http://dx.doi.org/10.18601/01229893.n42.01.

The Ecuadorian and Bolivian multicultural and environmental constitutions are structured around the following three elements: the principles of plurinationality and interculturality; the rights of nature; and the principle of buen vivir. These three elements are innovatively articulated and creatively linked in these two political charters. No other modern constitution has included and connected this set of principles and rights and has given such an important place to indigenous groups’ epistemologies. These rights and principles constitute an imaginative contribution to the global discussion on cultural diversity, human rights, and the environment. They question the dominant political economy of legal knowledge that a priori considers the global south as a poor context for the creation of valuable legal products. The contributions of the Ecuadorian and Bolivian constitutions, however, are not completely original, as some of their creators and promoters have stated. These innovations are variations constructed within the grammar of modern constitutionalism, e.g., reinterpretations of the concepts of nation, people, and culture. Some others, though, can be understood as starting from but going beyond the grammar of modern constitutionalism, e.g., the principle of buen vivir. This article describes and analyzes the three components of the Bolivian and Ecuadorian multicultural and environmental constitutions. First, it analyzes the idea that indigenous communities should be recognized as nations and the idea that the polity should be constructed through the interaction among its various cultural communities. The article then explores the andean indigenous communities’ traditional ways of thinking about nature and its connections to the modern concept of rights. More precisely, it explores the idea that nature is a subject of rights. Finally, the article examines the way in which the principle of buen vivir conceives the relationship between human beings and nature.

Palabras clave : radical latin american constitutionalism; constitutional law in Ecuador and Bolivia; rights of nature; principle of buen vivir; environmental law in latin america; rights of indigenous peoples.

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