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Alejandro González Cavazos

This chapter analyses the implementation process of an ex ante community-based human rights impact assessment (HRIA) carried out in Mexico regarding a proposed gold-silver mine. The HRIA was conducted by a grassroots organization of community members affected by the mining exploration, accompanied by three civil society organizations. The chapter identifies good practices and areas of improvement for future assessments. It analyses if the HRIA followed a human-rights-based approach and fulfilled the essential elements of good practice. The discussion of the chapter focuses on the period from the beginning of the assessment (September 2014) to the presentation of the main findings in a final report (April 2016). The analysis highlights community participation and empowerment during the process, in particular noting the usefulness of innovative participatory approaches such as power mapping and collective social mapping. The chapter concludes by identifying improvement areas and giving recommendations to address them.

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Alejandro González and Esteban Pérez-Caldentey

Hyman Minsky's financial instability hypothesis (FIH) argues that as part of the normal functioning of capitalist economies robust financial structures tend to evolve into highly leveraged fragile financial structures. The paradox of debt challenges the very foundation of Minsky's FIH as it maintains that the upward and downward phases of business cycles need not be characterized by processes of respective leveraging and deleveraging. Using a panel of firm-level data and seemingly unrelated regressions we analyse the relationship between debt and investment for 12 Latin American countries for the years 2005 (expansion) and 2009 (contraction). We reject the paradox of debt in favor of the FIH, regardless of our model specification or the choice of external financing. The FIH seems to intensify in expansions with respect to recessions, and its intensification during expansions is explained by a larger fraction of firms acquiring debt and new investment projects, rather than from further leveraging for those firms already engaged in fixed investment.