Publications

Photo: Libreria Merlín, Centro de Bogotá (2018)

Selected Publications

See my profile in Academia for a full list of publications since 2009. For manuscripts in preparation, see my CV.

Forthcoming in early 2024. Saberes, tecnologías y derechos en América Latina: perspectivas desde los estudios de ciencia, tecnologia y sociedad. Bogota: Universidad de Los Andes Press.

My first edited volume compiles works at the intersection of legal studies and science and technology studies in Latin America. I wrote the introduction and co-authored two chapters.

2023. "Creating Collaborative Learning Spaces for Critical Environmental Social Scientists" (with A. Castillo, M. Villalpando, and A. Caicedo). Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies 2022-2023. pp 36-40.

This article discusses the event series 'Latin American Natures in Times of Crises' that I co-organized with a group of researchers in 2022-2023. Funded through a one-year grant from Berkeley's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the US Department of Education, the three events in the series addressed the tensions and forces that shape environmental conflicts in Latin America and the Caribbean, and their intersections with class, race, and gender.

2023. “Teaching Perspective: Negotiating Climate Change in the UN System” (with K. O'Neill). In S. Jinnah, J. Dubreuil, J. Greene, & S. Foster (eds). Teaching Environmental Justice: Practices to Engage Students and Build Community. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 81-102.

This book chapter reflects on the challenges of designing and implementing a class project to teach ethics and justice in international climate negotiations in a virtual asynchronous learning environment. 

2023.Amalgamated Histories: Tracing quicksilver’s legacy through environmental and political bodies in Andean and Amazonian gold mining(full text here) (with J. Diaz & R. Goldstein). Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Chemistry and Alchemy, 70(1), 1-24.

Drawing from archival, ethnographic, and scientific research and historical findings on Spanish colonial and Indigenous metallurgical knowledge, this article makes a case for bringing history back to the forefront of debates surrounding mercury pollution and small-scale gold mining by revisiting the history of the development and spread of mercury amalgamation in South American gold mining.  We focus on the Colombian Andes and the Peruvian Amazon, where mercury pollution from small-scale gold mining is often highlighted. 

2023. “Mercurio.” In D. Ojeda & D. Ruiz (eds.). Belicopedia. Bogotá: Universidad de Los Andes Press.

This book chapter conceptualizes mercury as a non-human actor in the Colombian armed conflict and discusses the substance's persistent and intergenerational toxic trail across marginalized bodies and landscapes. The volume is an encyclopedia of animals, plants, and infrastructures in Colombia's armed conflict.

2022. "CTS en América Latina, un mundo en muchos mundos(with J. Barandiarán). Trilogía: Ciencia, Tenología y Sociedad, 14(28), 1-15.

Through an interview, Javiera Barandiarán and I reflect on the diversity of epistemologies around the studies of science, technology, and society in Latin America. The interview discusses the unique characteristics of the sociological and historical study of science in the region, including a colonial past, tensions and alliances with governments, and an ever-present extractivism. This interview highlights the characteristics of the STS field in the context of the social, political, and technological challenges shared by several Latin American countries. 

2022. “Toxicity, Violence, and the Legacies of Mercury and Gold Mining in Colombia.” Platypus, the official blog of the Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing.

This blog post is an abridged version in English of my chapter in Ojeda & Ruiz (2023). The post conceptualizes mercury as a non-human actor in the Colombian armed conflict and discusses the substance's persistent and intergenerational toxic trail across marginalized bodies and landscapes.

2019. “An Empirical Study of EIA Litigation Involving Energy Facilities in Chile and Colombia” (with J. Barandiarán). Environmental Impact Assessment Review 79, 1-10.

This journal paper compares the politics of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in Chile and Colombia and empirically counters the assumption that courts and environmental litigation thwarted energy development in the region in the last two decades.

2019. La minería de oro en la selva. Territorios, conflictos y autonomías locales en Amazonia y Pacífico 1975-2015 (with A. Castillo). Bogotá: School of Social Sciences, University of Los Andes Press.

This book reconstructs the environmental history of independent gold mining in Colombian rainforests in the last five decades. Through archival work, oral histories, and interviews, the book dissects the genealogies and remnants of the 1980s gold rushes in Chocó and the Vaupés-Amazonas region and situates them in broader agrarian, mining, and territorial politics.

2018. Territorios en transformación, derechos en movimiento: cambio ambiental y movilidad humana en Colombia (with B. Sánchez). Bogotá: Law School, University of Los Andes Press. [full text here]

This book proposes four categories (migration, forced displacement, involuntary confinement, and planned relocations) to conceptualize and regulate environmentally-induced human mobility in Colombia, a highly vulnerable country to environmental disasters and the effects of climate change. The book provides guidelines for designing a public policy on the matter, drawing on relevant international environmental law and international human rights law instruments.

2015. "Foreign Investment, Oil, and Human Security: The Case of Pacific Rubiales Energy Corporation in Puerto Gaitan, Colombia" (with B. Sánchez, M. Velásquez & A. Muñoz). In J. Rochlin (ed). Human Security and Canadian Investments in the Oil Sector in Colombia. London: Routledge Advances in International Security. pp 35-73.

This chapter analyzes the conflict between workers, unions, community members, and Pacific Rubiales Energy Corporation at the Campo Rubiales oil field in Meta, Colombia, in the early 2010s. Drawing on the said case, the chapter critically assesses the limits of human rights law and corporate social responsibility instruments to address labor and human rights conflicts in extractive landscapes shaped by Canadian investments.