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This chapter explores how “development” increasingly means “free trade” and resource extraction via transnational corporations. In Guatemala the 1996 peace accords accompanied new regulations encouraging exploitation of “natural resources,” unleashing a rush for the new El Dorado. In 2005 a Canadian company inaugurated an open-pit gold mine in the indigenous province of San Marcos. In response, when local residents held a consulta, or referendum, in which 98 percent rejected the mine, the province became the epicenter of what is now a national movement to make (mainly) indigenous people count—as in “matter”—through the technique of counting: adding them up. It has become one of the most important social movements of the postwar period.

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