In this article, we argue that relationships between key actors in extractive industries - in our case, mining cooperatives and the state in Bolivia - develop not only on the basis of calculated interest-perceptions and advocacy of rationally understood concerns and goals in policy negotiations, but also on the basis of histories and memories. These influence attitudes and negotiation or confrontation strategies on both sides. The relationship between, on the one hand, individual mining cooperatives and a national federation of cooperative mining organizations, and on the other hand, the Bolivian state, demonstrates that it is crucially important to take into account the specific historical, regional and intra-organizational aspects and memories. More specifically, we show that there is a contrast between the strategy of the national mining cooperatives federation FENCOMIN and a local mining cooperative (ASOBAL), and that to understand this contrast we need to introduce a historical and cultural dimension. After sketching more general conceptual and regional matters, we move on to the current position of cooperative mining in the country and the strategies deployed by FENCOMIN, and subsequently address the situation of a case-study cooperative called ASOBAL. We connect stands and negotiation strategies to issues of identity, memory and place.