Death threats, lawfare and resistance: Fighting fracking in the Global South, with Esteban Servat

Esteban Servat is an Argentinian scientist and anti-fracking activist with a roller-coaster of a story that every activist should hear.

In 2018 in rural Argentina, Esteban went head-to-head with his government and the world’s most powerful energy companies. The issue: drilling for oil in the planet’s second largest shale gas basin, and averting environmental catastrophe for the region and the hundreds of thousands of people who live there.

With a leaked report, a Facebook page and a lot of guts, Esteban mobilised tens of thousands of people in the biggest anti-fracking protest yet witnessed. The government tried to prosecute him. And when that didn’t work, things got dangerous…

In this interview with Mehran Khalili for our activism series Frontline, Esteban takes us through what he did, how power reacted, tactics that worked and those that didn’t. And he tells us where the new struggle for environmental justice is at: with the Debt For Climate campaign (

It’s a fascinating story, and a treasure trove for activists looking to shed light on secrets that power would rather keep hidden.

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