Transactional Colonialism in Wind Energy Investments: Energy Injustices against Vulnerable People in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec

Jacobo Ramirez*, Steffen Böhm*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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Energy production is a source of disputes across the world. Governments and firms argue that investing in wind energy contributes to the sustainable development of energy systems. However, wind farms perpetuate ongoing injustices and instigate new injustices. Vulnerable groups such as excluded and marginalised indigenous people can trace the injustices in low-carbon investments to a historical continuity of oppression and repression by internal and external elite groups. Based on a qualitative longitudinal study in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico, we expand our understanding of the energy justice framework in two ways. First, we show that cognitive justice is a vital dimension for understanding different ways of life, traditions and customs. Second, we propose the new concept of ‘transactional colonialism’, which emphasises the role of economic transactions between firms and economically motivated members of indigenous communities with the support of elite actors. This article provides new insights into the conflicting dynamics of wind energy investments in the Global South.
TidsskriftEnergy Research and Social Science
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2021


  • Transactional colonialism
  • Energy justice
  • Cognitive justice
  • Indigenous people
  • Wind energy
  • Mexico