Green Colonialism and Decolonial Feminism: A Study of Wayúu Women’s Resistance in La Guajira

Jacobo Ramirez, Claudia Patricia Velez-Zapata, Rajiv Maher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This qualitative study scrutinises how green energy investment affects Indigenous Wayúu people in Colombia’s La Guajira region. Employing coloniality of power and decolonial feminism frameworks, we delve into Wayúu women’s struggles and resilience in defending territories against large-scale wind energy projects. Our findings suggest that governments and businesses are ‘tuned in’ to the economic benefits of these projects, yet ‘tuned out’ from Indigenous peoples’ ontologies, concerns, needs and cosmovisions. This dynamic prompts questions about the unintended consequences of organisations’ engagement with Indigenous peoples through corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. Despite good intentions, CSR practices that are ‘tuned out’ from Indigenous peoples’ cosmovisions may inadvertently reinforce power imbalances and further marginalise Indigenous communities. Our study highlights the need to honour Indigenous territories and protect Indigenous women’s rights in long-term investments. Clean energy focus can mask green colonialism, which Wayúu women actively safeguard, upholding Indigenous worldviews via feminist decoloniality. We advocate for businesses to incorporate diverse perspectives beyond the dominant western worldview into their climate change mitigation actions and CSR strategies, and for public policies to balance decarbonisation efforts with Indigenous rights to contribute to sustainable and equitable energy transitions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Relations
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 18 August 2023

Cite this