ICCAL desde abajo: ¿democracia popular o protección internacional de la inversión? (ICCAL from Below: Popular Democracy or International Investment Protection?)

This paper seeks to understand whether the international investment regime (IIR) has become an obstacle to the democratic principle enshrined in Latin America’s Ius Constitutionale Commune (ICCAL). In order to do so, it will shift the focus of analysis from the regulatory conflict between the transnational (IIA) and national (State) scales to the study of bottom-up instances of resistance to the IIR in the region. By shifting the research lens to the bottom (or the local scale), this paper shows that the IIR is opposed by social and popular movements for promoting an extractivist development model in Latin America through the misappropriation of their right to decide upon their own territories. In response, local communities have framed their resistance in democratic terms, demanding the recognition of their constitutional right to participate in all decisions concerning the development and exploitation of their natural resources above the protection of foreign investment.