CLAG 2024 Conference Program

PROGRAM – Conference of Latin American Geography 2024

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

May 22-26, 2024

This preliminary program is subject to change, please check back before the conference begins.

Download PDF Version

expand all | collapse all

Tuesday May 21

where: La Verguenza (bar) – web page | map
Come by to see old friends and make a few new ones.

Wednesday May 22

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Register for the conference, get your name tag and swag.

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Light breakfast provided.

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Dra. Angélica Varela Llavona, Chancellor, University of Puerto Rico at Rio PiedrasDra. Milagros Mendéz Castillo, Dean of Social Sciences, University of Puerto RicoKristen Conway-Gomez, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CLAG Executive DirectorDavid Salisbury, University of Richmond, CLAG Chair

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Colonialism, Hurricanes and Disaster Capitalism: The Case of Puerto RicoDr. José Hernández AyalaDirector, Climate Research CenterSonoma State University

Chair: Mary Finley-Brook – University of RichmondDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session A: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: ICP Salón piso 1

Transnational corporations (TNCs) leverage control of the electrical grid in Puerto Rico to earn windfall profits and delay climate action. New Fortress Energy (NFE), a liquified natural gas (LNG) conglomerate based out of New York, is the parent company of the island’s new utility Genera PR. NFE created Genera PR in 2023 in the wake of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s bankruptcy. NFE reinforces dependency on imports bringing LNG from a floating facility located offshore from Mexico. NFE’s imports exhibit similarities to AES Corporation’s previous coal imports. A Fortune 500 company headquartered in Virginia, AES has been a key supplier on the Puerto Rican grid for decades with a large coal-fired power plant in Guayama. The corporation never adequately addressed the public health crisis or contamination of groundwater and land in the area from their fugitive coal ash. After creating a sacrifice zone around their plant due to irresponsible coal ash management, AES announced phaseout of coal in Guayama by 2025. With one industrial solar farm established and two more in the planning phase, AES now alleges commitment to clean energy in Puerto Rico as it grabs sparse agricultural lands. Both AES and NFE exemplify predatory energy transition as they aim to consolidate clean energy investments. This paper forms part of a multi-year research project documenting AES and NFE’s energy operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Keywords: energy geographies, political ecology, environmental racism, green colonialism, Puerto Rico

In the Northern Perúvian Amazon, oil extraction has transformed the lives and territories of Kukama Indigenous women. The proximate cause is linked to pollution, but the broader and underlying causes are related to systemic racism and cultural exclusion, together with the neocolonial dynamics of extractive capitalism. Indigenous women face distinct challenges. They are disproportionately responsible for caring for those in the household. They are uniquely affected by the differentiated impacts of prolonged exposure to pollution on their bodies and the rivers and forests they rely upon. That is, any situation that places the household, their bodies, and livelihoods at risk is borne by women in ways distinct from men and, thus, worthy of particular attention. Drawing on 18 months of decolonial ethnographic work in partnership with the Kukama Indigenous organization Huaynakana Kamatahuara Kana, based along the Maranon River, this paper examines how Indigenous women’s livelihoods, homes, and bodies have been transformed by oil extraction and how this experience is distinct from that of men. To do so, I look at the intersection between social reproduction and livelihoods transformation and how these have changed throughout five decades of resource extraction in the Amazon. I build upon feminist political ecology from a decolonial feminist Indigenous lens, arguing that it is essential to pay special attention to the lived context and lived experience through the lenses of identity and difference from a decolonial feminist perspective. I examine how the material lived and embodied everyday practices are not limited to the household but are embedded in the body and community levels, thus transforming livelihoods and increasing burdens of social reproduction.
Keywords: Amazon, decolonial feminist political ecology, resource extraction, Indigenous geographies, gender & environment, Perú, Latin America

Colombia has stood out as a leader in the transition towards the production and supply of more sustainable electrical energy in the last two presidential terms. This, to a large extent, through the execution of solar and wind energy projects. However, in this process of technological advancement at the national level and the global promotion of alternative energies in the fight against climate change, the complexity of the power dynamics in these types of projects is often overlooked. Based on in-depth interviews and participant observation between 2022 and 2023, in this presentation I examine the challenges and advantages faced by alternative energy projects, with a focus on solar energy. I analyze areas affected by the armed conflict and large-scale mining activities such as the department of Cesar. This territory illustrates how “clean” energy projects can perpetuate processes of unequal accumulation of nature and people. For example, with the expansion of the frontier of resource extraction such as fracking projects, or the labor exploitation that occurred in solar energy projects as part of the reparation process in the peace process. At the same time, residents of Cesar have managed to influence (just) energy transition projects so that they adjust to the demands of justice and community participation. The experience of this department has essential learnings for a just energy transition projects that are being carried out in Colombia and in the world.

Chair: Adriana Zuniga-Teran – University of ArizonaDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session A: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

Climate change poses emerging threats to people and the environment, particularly in arid regions. However, some groups are more vulnerable than others, depending on their levels of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity, which are determined by climatic and non-climatic factors. In water-scarce environments, water policies become key non-climatic factors that affect vulnerability yet enable modifications if their impacts unintentionally exacerbate vulnerability. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the impacts of water policies on vulnerability, particularly for disadvantaged groups. In this paper, we analyze four cases in the arid Americas that illustrate an array of challenges at different scales and across the rural-urban continuum: (1) irrigated oases in Mendoza, Argentina, where groundwater and surface water management are disconnected; (2) rural communities in central Sonora, Mexico, where local water rights have been transferred to large scale mining; (3) peri-urban marginalized neighborhoods in Hermosillo, Mexico, where competition for water is driving changes in land use; and (4) underserved communities in Tucson, Arizona, USA who are left behind in a rainwater harvesting movement. Our analysis shows that water policies in arid regions interact with land and neoliberal policies between sectors across different scales, exacerbating vulnerabilities disproportionately in less privileged groups and enhancing disparities. Here, we offer recommendations for more inclusive policymaking processes that can build capacity, protect the livelihoods of disadvantaged groups, and reduce their vulnerability to climate change.

Previous research on nature-based solutions has found their transformative possibilities may depend on participation and site-specificity (Wolff et al). In Bogotá, Colombia, residents of the communities San Cristóbal, Usme, and Ciudad Bolívar have long faced and resisted displacement due to the local government’s designation of their land as “high risk”. Within this urban landscape, many watercourses make their way from the Sumapaz páramo (highland savannah) via quebradas (streams) through communities and their gardens (huertas) into major rivers. These bodies have woven complex socio-ecological relationships throughout space and time (Ríos En Bogotá, 2023). We sought to discern historical, existing, and desired future relationships to water in these three communities. Using a photovoice approach, community members with connections to local activism, environmental work, and artistic projects expressed the multitudes of what water meant to them, such as one participant’s quote: “es lo que viene desde arriba” (it’s what comes from above). By focusing on youth voices, we invoke and invest in an “imaginary of care”, and by incorporating community gardens and their stewards into our study, we learned how interconnected communal foodways, local organizing, and artistic expression are in these communities.

Collaborative spaces, where multiple stakeholders such as the public sector and civil society work together to co-construct governance strategies, are important for liveable and resilient future urban and rural spaces. Every stakeholder group has its capacities and limitations, and via working together they can bridge gaps, overcome siloed approaches, and successfully tackle limitations. In this paper, collaboration is shown to be a challenging but viable form of transformational socio-ecological struggle critical for achieving democratic water governance and addressing environmental water crises. The focus is on the experiences and narrations of the state and civil society actors involved in the PTAR Titicaca project between 2014 and 2019, as they endeavor to jointly implement sewage water treatment plants to mitigate water pollution in Lake Titicaca in Puno, Perú. These findings are discussed in terms of barriers to collaboration but also in terms of the transformative effect collaboration struggles can have on state-civil society relations and advancing democratic water governance.

Chair: Rebecca L Clouser – Rose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session A: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

In the decades since the 1996-signing of the peace accords, which ostensibly ended the genocidal 36-year civil war in Guatemala, memory activists and survivors have tenaciously battled state-sponsored amnesia. Through counter-memorials and memory campaigns they have contested the silences at the core of dominant representations of the violence. One of the more recent phenomena which has emerged from these efforts is the practice of producing maps of remembrance in the country. These spatial representations of the violence offer unique ways to interrogate the intersections of map-making, violence, memory, and place. Drawing together scholarship from critical cartographies and memory studies, this paper explores three such mapping projects in Guatemala to highlight the ways in which map production and consumption function at multiple levels in relation to memory. Ultimately, this paper aims to broaden our understanding of the possibilities and constraints inherent in mapping memories of violence.
Keywords: memory, mapping, place, violence, Guatemala

The period of 1950-1952 marks an important yet puzzling date in Puerto Rican political history. By virtue of Public Law #600 (1950), U.S. Congress enabled Puerto Ricans to enact their own Constitution subject to Congressional approval (Gelpí 2017, p.122). The approval was conditioned to the addition of Section 3 of Article VII amendment procedure establishing “that no future amendment to the 1952 Constitution may ever run afoul of the strictures of U.S. Public Law 600, U.S. Public Law 447, the 1950 Federal Relations Act, and the U.S. Constitution.” (Cox Alomar 2022, p.194). In 1953 the United Nations removed Puerto Rico from the list of colonies based on the theory of the Compact of 1952. The theory of the compact, as explained by Professor Kristina Ponsa-Kraus, establishes the framers’ belief that “the island had ceased to be a U.S. territory, become a separate sovereign, and entered into a mutually binding bilateral compact with the United States.” However, the theory has found its dead end on a line of recent cases that have reached the Supreme Court of the United States and with the imposition of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act of 2016 (PROMESA) passed by Congress reaffirming Puerto Rico’s territorial and colonial status. Under this guise, it is relevant to bring to the attention a comprehensive study of Peoples Tribunals of Puerto Rico on the issue of self-determination framed within literatures of decolonial theory, constituent power and self-determination. This approach to analyzing the People’s Tribunals of Puerto Rico opens the possibility to study the dynamics of popular mobilization that decenters from, yet mimics, a formal tribunal procedure in the wake of Puerto Rico’s inaccessibility to raise its colonial dimension in domestic forums and international courts. In other words, it seeks to challenge dominant narratives exclusive to political actors with access to congressional hearings, and domestic and international fora. Moreover, the People’s Tribunal seeks to inform the discussion of the political relationship as a mechanism for vindicating Puerto Rican democracy and sovereignty. (Fernos 2008). Furthermore, as expressed by Gustavo Casalduc, this type of collective trial has much legitimacy since the Sovereign of the Caribbean country is the People of Puerto Rico. Given the reality that Puerto Ricans have never exercised a process of self-determination, this study of people’s tribunals presents an opportunity to ask how participants conceptualize notions of self-determination and anticolonialism as part of their activism. To what extent? How do they view their work? What are they hoping to achieve? Who is their audience? What is the sociopolitical significance and contribution of these tribunals? How do peoples tribunals differentiate from other mechanism? This case adds to a trend of legal scholars and a variety of social scientists, such as Simmons, Merry, and Sikkink, that “look beyond legal text and their interpretation, and beyond official legal and political institutions and elite actors to examine instead -or in addition- the activities of those whose rights are at stake, who mobilize to assert and claim their rights.” (Burca 2022, p.2).

Countries of the Global South are plagued by the residues of Western expansionism; this is particularly notable in the Caribbean, where historically imposed constructs of race and ethnicity continue to hinder aspects of day-to-day life. From the individual level to legal institutions, European colonization designed the inept legal, sociopolitical and economic structures that limit this region’s capacity to maintain sustainable socioeconomic growth today. Rather than seeking to focus on the economic “development” of the Caribbean islands, it is imperative that social and political studies commit to fully understanding and actively decolonizing the macroeconomic structures that prevent these nations from serving their people. This commitment must also include the acknowledgment that these colonial systems perpetuate the Caribbean’s present-day vulnerability to the global warming crisis; coastal erosion, extreme storms, and increased flooding continue to threaten these governments’ stability and operational function.The island nation of Haiti was once considered the “jewel” of French and Spanish colonial empires, and since its liberation in the 19th century has known significant national debt, internal corruption and widespread insecurity. My presentation will examine the ways in which its current macroeconomic incapacities and extreme susceptibility to rising global temperatures serve as the long-term consequences of French colonization. With this contextualization, I will categorize and propose a typology for practical steps toward effective and long-lasting reparations. This action plan will be based on the ten-point framework outlined by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and other non-governmental, grassroots, academic and transnational approaches.

Organizer(s)CLAGAAG LASGAAG LatinX Specialty GroupAAG Caribbean Specialty GroupGraduate School Representatives

Chair: CLAGDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session A: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Panel Description: This panel will discuss mentoring in the context of geographical research in Latin America.

Panelists William E Doolittle – Aqueduct Geographer, LLC Mayra A Román Rivera – University of Tennessee – Knoxville José M Longo Mulet – University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras Guillermo Douglass-Jaimes – Pomona College Madelaine C. Cahuas – University of Minnesota Inés Miyares – Hunter College

where: Cuartel de Ballajá
Light lunch provided with concurrent poster session.

Organizer(s)Cynthia Pope – Central Connecticut State University Sarah Blue – Texas State University

Chair: Cynthia Pope – Central Connecticut State UniversityDiscussant: Sarah Blue – Texas State UniversityDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session B: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: ICP Salón piso 1

Has Cuba gone back in time to 1962? It is the cold war revisited. A heavily embargoed Cuba is turning to Moscow for financial assistance and partnership in a time of global political instability. In 2020 Cuba was a global health power. Ready and prepared to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, anywhere and anytime. A year later the economic solidarity from medical internationalism did not come through as expected, and the country spun out into economic chaos because of some poor economic decisions that were only amplified by the interminable U.S. blockade. In 2022 over 250,000 Cubans left the country. In 2023 Cuba entered into a series of revived economic agreements with Russia that have fallen short. What’s worse is that now Cubans are targets to be conscripted mercenaries in Russia.
This paper chronicles the descent of Cuba as a global health power into a proxy partner with Russia. In 2024 Cuba has 31,300 fewer health workers than it did at the beginning of 2023 including 12,000 doctors. I suggest that Cuba’s descent came not from an ideological affinity with the Russian government, but from economic shortcomings from its medical internationalism in the early stages of the pandemic, combined with poor economic decisions made with in the country itself in 2020. The impacts of will run deep and go far beyond measurable health outcomes. Some of the fundamental promises of the revolution are being put to the test.
Robert Huish
Dalhousie University


Cuba has the densest railway system in Latin America, and one with numerous lines. One line is nearly obscure, and unknown to both many Cubans and nearly all international tourists including Americans. It is the Hershey Railroad, constructed in the early 20th century to transport sugar from the chocolate company’s plantations near Matanzas to Havana Harbor. Since the Revolution the railroad has been converted to a passenger line that runs thrice daily. In the 1990s the train was replaced by a streetcar used in Barcelona, Spain for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. This presentation discusses the Hershey Railroad and the author’s experience driving this train.
Keywords: Cuba, transportation, railroads, sugar, Hershey

Cuba is a country whose leaders often look outward in military, health, diplomatic, and military sectors. Indeed, the movement of people on a temporary or permanent basis has led some, such as author Osvaldo Luis Pardo, to label it a “diasporic nation.” In order to navigate the intricacies of this particular diaspora, geographers conducting research in and outside of the country’s border often have to navigate changing and increasingly bureaucratic conditions. While challenges are particularly salient for U.S. scholars given the diplomatic and economic barriers, fieldwork can pose challenges for scholars from around the world. This presentation argues that, despite the difficulty of fieldwork, it is ultimately a worthwhile endeavor that can lead to an enriched understanding of a unique country and its role in a changing global political landscape. These field experiences introduce important perspectives to the classroom and can serve as a starting point for discussing the utility of a global geographic perspective for students on campus and within study abroad settings.

Cuba’s ongoing economic crisis has been compared to the 1990s Special Period in its severity and has provoked a higher level of out-migration than at any time since the Cuban Revolution. The paper explores the Cuban government’s response to the crisis through the lens of monetary policy. The dual currency system, implemented during the “special period” and terminated in 2021, was deeply intertwined in Cuba’s complicated relationship to the U.S. dollar and brought both advantages and serious disadvantages. This paper explores how the long-anticipated end of this system has contributed to inflation and limited the government’s ability to respond to the current crisis. The findings highlight the difficulty of managing a stable monetary policy in the face of a largely hostile international capitalist environment.
Keywords: monetary policy, socialism, Cuba, Latin America.

Organizer(s) Rafael R. Díaz Torres – University of Puerto Rico at Humacao

Chair: Rafael R. Díaz Torres – University of Puerto Rico at HumacaoDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session B: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

Baseball has been the national pastime in the United States since the industrial revolution. The game was introduced in the Caribbean islands with the sugar cane industry and became a symbol of the American presence and interests in the Spanish-speaking Antilles in the late XIX Century. Playing baseball on the sugar-cane plantations, military facilities, school yards, protestant churches and governmental installations became part of the modernization discourse in the islands. The games against Americans players symbolized local empowerment and national pride. In the XX Century the game became an attractive industry and professional leagues flourished in the Caribbean Basin. In the Antilles, American baseball became béisbol nacional; a symbol of identity and resistance.
Demographics changes in major urban areas in the United States is transforming the professional baseball industry. The growth of Spanish-speaking fans in stadiums (as consumers) and the increase of Latin peloteros on the game fields (as a source) is redefining the game as a spectacle. From a corporate perspective, the Caribbean plays an important role in transforming the game into an international event.
This paper focusses on the interconnected role of major Caribbean cities under MLB’s global scope. The Word Baseball Classics (WBC) and the relocation of Miami (FL) as the major market for Caribbean Series (Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation) reveal the influence of MLB on Latin America béisbol. MLB is using the nationalistic sense of the game and the historical political fragmentation within the region to promote of the game and integrate Hispanic followers in its major baseball markets in North America. This expansion is not a modernistic perspective. It was formulated by Alfred Rawlings in the 1880’s as a vehicle to promote baseball as a goodwill game worldwide. MLB’s perspective of baseball as a global event is redefining spatial roles as tertiary overseas markets and major production centers of labor force. Under this economic geography, Santo Domingo, San Juan, Willemstad, Caracas, Cartagena, and La Habana and peripherical cities such as Managua, Panama City, México City and Miami play interconnected roles that make feasible professional baseball and compete with FIFA (soccer), FIBA (basketball) and IOC (Olympic games) as a global pastime.
Key words: Baseball, Caribbean, Globalization

This paper focuses on the field of sports geography in the context of Puerto Rico and its women’s basketball National Team. Information is provided about the moments of both struggles and accomplishments in which Puerto Rican basketball players from different periods were involved. A special emphasis is given to the activism of women athletes in the context of a colonized territory. This paper also analyzes the claims that both female basketball players and sports feminism activists have made in support of gender equity in Puerto Rican sports. Public support for women basketball players is presented through two cases in which feminist activists have advocated for the development of new Puerto Rican sports geographies that integrate the voices, experiences and identities of women athletes. In both cases, visual art in urban contexts is used with the goal of strengthening the visibility of women’s athletes and their contributions to Puerto Rican sports.
Keywords: Puerto Rico, basketball, women’s sports, sports geography, feminism, feminist geographies

In the past years, sports organizations that advocate for the mental health wellness of athletes use the term of safe space as a proposal to improve the experiences of those who participate in sports and recreational events. The promotion of safe spaces in sports requires a change of culture and perspectives within the federations and clubs that organize athletic events. It also requires new approaches to the design of sports spaces in which different bodies and identities can feel welcomed and safe. This research presents the case of a group of female athletes and former female athletes who became research allies of a group of undergraduate students from the University of Puerto Rico and Humacao. Through the use of Participatory Research Methods, both university researchers and athletes studied the ways in which the lack of safe spaces limits the development of women’s sports in Puerto Rico. The integration of Participatory Research Methods into the research project allowed both the researchers and athletes to design strategies to combat sexism and promote safe spaces in sports.
Keywords: women’s sports, Puerto Rico, University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, safe spaces, Participatory Research Methods

As of recently, basketball has turned into the national pastime of Puerto Rico and its diaspora. Behind that surge, its professional basketball league, the “Baloncesto Superior Nacional” (BSN), is the most well-known basketball league in Latin America, and every season brings new prospects and former NBA players to participate in the summer league. Hoops Horizon (HH) is a product designed to integrate basketball into Puerto Rico’s urban history utilizing a G.I.S. application based on interactive cartography, to later be used by high school students in courses of the history and geography of the island. Since sports are customarily seen as a discipline external to the academic realm, linking it to Puerto Rico’s urban history will put its striking interrelatedness in perspective. Being the first to do so, HH aims to create a new teaching dynamic in the classroom, using topics that resonate with all types of students, while also providing a mechanism to incorporate technology into classes. This makes the inclusion of other sports outside of Puerto Rico possible, and eventually the introduction of sports geography into the traditional education of social studies. Let’s hoop!
Key words: basketball, urban history, Puerto Rico, BSN

Históricamente, el deporte es una de las actividades e instituciones sociales en la cual se manifiesta claramente la desigualdad por razón de género. La mayoría de las federaciones y organizaciones deportivas son dominadas por hombres que no siempre tienen un compromiso con integrar prácticas que redunden en mejores beneficios para las mujeres deportistas. La gobernanza del deporte le otorga primacía a lo masculino, provocando así que las mujeres sean tratadas como actrices secundarias en las actividades atléticas. En el contexto de Puerto Rico, aunque en los últimos años ha habido avances que han aportado a otorgar mayor representación y apoyo a algunas mujeres deportistas, la brecha de inequidad con respecto a los hombres continúa vigente. Esta investigación utiliza le metodología Investigación Acción Participativa para auscultar junto a una comunidad de atletas y exatletas mujeres comprometidas con mayor equidad deportiva, cuáles son los obstáculos que impiden un mejor trato hacia el deporte femenino en Puerto Rico. Se utiliza un acercamiento transdisciplinario en el cual áreas académicas como la Sociología, la Psicología, los Estudios Mediáticos, la Geografía y los Estudios de Género aportan a entender el problema y proveer posibles estrategias de acción dirigidas a mejorar la situación de las mujeres deportistas en Puerto Rico.
Palabras claves: deporte y género, Investigación Acción Participativa, deporte femenino, Puerto Rico, transdisciplinariedad

Organizer(s) Andrea Marston – Rutgers University Matthew Himley – Illinois State University Aaron Malone – Colorado School of Mines

Chair: Matthew Himley – Illinois State UniversityDiscussant: Aaron Malone – Colorado School of MinesDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session B: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

The resource access imperative attracts global capital to remote places in which it finds the necessary minerals for perpetuate capital accumulation. However, the spatial attraction that resources deposits impose to global capital contrasts with processes spatial repulsions taking place in the places of extraction. Along with the different forms of capital that flows away from the places of extraction and the depletion of natural resources, the mobilization of labor in large-scale mining is a critical characteristic of contemporary large-scale mining. The core of the modern mining industry’s capital-labor relationship revolves around the systematic mobilization of workers, who commute from distant urban centers to extraction sites, operating within a shift-work framework termed long-distance commuting (LDC). While the existing literature explains LDC as a strategic industry decision aimed at accessing remote, high-quality resource deposits at reduced production expenses, this article challenges such narrow interpretations of LDC by embedding it within a broader context of socio-ecological interactions that drive worker mobilization and shape labor geographies.
To achieve this, this study situates LDC at the crossroads of production, social reproduction, and ecology spheres, offering a comprehensive analysis of large-scale mining’s labor regime. The production sphere holds pivotal significance in comprehending the particular infrastructural and work shift mechanisms that uphold LDC. Meanwhile, the social reproduction sphere exerts influence over workers’ choices, whether to maintain ties in their hometowns or undertake extensive journeys to mining encampments. Concurrently, the ecological sphere assumes a critical role in shaping production sites and defining the physical landscapes of living spaces within extractive regions, frequently plagued by elevated pollution stemming from mining activities. Consequently, ecology not only determines the placement of mining camps but also undermines the appeal of the extractive region.
Through qualitative examination of two distinct interview groups, including industry and union key informants, as well as mining workers from the Antofagasta region—an area contributing 12% of global copper production—this article uncovers the contemporary strategies employed by large-scale mining to address copper’s material aspects. Those strategies reconfigure the geography of labor markets, while inadvertently eroding the conditions for social reproduction within the extractive regions. For this reason, this article propose the analogy of the mineral vortex to show the contradictory spatial relationships taking place at the places of extraction between, in which global capital is attracted to resource deposits, but the mode of organizing production undermines social reproduction and repulse workers from extractive regions.

In 2021, gold surpassed natural gas and became Bolivia’s largest export by value. Ninety-five percent of Bolivian gold is extracted by collectives of small-scale miners known as mining cooperatives, an increasing number of which operate in the Amazonian lowlands. Bolivia is not alone: a new global gold rush is underway, driven by astronomical gold prices and led by artisanal and small-scale miners. In this paper, I explore some of the financial drivers of this gold rush, focusing on global geopolitics and increased gold buying by central banks in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). I argue that contemporary shifts within the global monetary system – which was “de-materialized” over the course of the twentieth century – are materialized in the Amazonian gold rush. I draw on interviews, participatory mapping exercises, and document analysis to demonstrate how the road that links gold as a geological substance to gold as a price-indexed commodity is paved with mercury and fire.

Over the last several decades financial relationships between conservation and extraction have become conspicuously close. Both sectors unabashedly publicized these business deals as a form of greening extraction and marketizing conservation. This essay uses a case study in Perú to propose a tentative theory of how this seemingly incompatible but very profitable union unfolds on the ground. The development of fictitious commodities in nature for each sector is examined and the labor theory of value is combined with the labor of persuasive work to expose a fundamental shared need in both sectors: in Perú’s contemporary political and economic context extractive and conservation actors increasingly must persuade landowners—usually indigenous communities—to allow for specific forms of capital to flow through their territory. In some cases this need to secure the “social license” is shared across sectors and the labor to secure the license can be undertaken together.

The expansion of the extractive frontier to secure enough lithium for the energy transition is rooted in speculation. As a result, impoverished frontline communities and fragile ecosystems where these resources exist are at great risk of bearing unnecessary impacts. However, the urgency to provide minerals for the energy transition has started a process of institutional development where State agencies, corporations, and civil society need to sit together to design regulatory policies for the future of lithium. My qualitative comparative case study focuses two community coalitions as they dispute with Governments the potential outcomes of lithium extraction in Puno (Perú) and Imperial County (California). My dissertation unravels how Latinx and indigenous organizations resist what I call “speculative extractivism,” a phenomenon affecting the institutions behind the mineral foundations of the energy transition. Speculative extractivism is a set of strategies used by mining promoters during consultations to institutionalize a definition of resource-based development that benefits their accumulation of profit during the pre-extraction phase. Despite corporate power and influence, local communities are crucial in enabling or preventing speculative extractivism through social license processes. Through interviews and observations, I focus on the licensing processes of two large-scale lithium mines. The goal is to investigate how racial and social inequality influences the mechanics of speculative extractivism across different contexts and how communities build resistance against unsustainable extractivist practices.
Keywords: lithium, energy transition, Perú, California, comparative case study.

Organizer(s) David S. Salisbury – University of Richmond Delaney Demaret – University of Richmond Christian Abizaid – University of Toronto

Chair: David S. Salisbury – University of RichmondDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session B: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Indigenous territories may be the most effective territorial deterrent to Amazonian deforestation, forest degradation, and resource overexploitation yet are constantly under pressure by global demand, regional extractive companies, and local necessities, among other initiatives and needs. Indigenous people in the remote Amazon borderlands still protect large swaths of forest, crucial headwaters, and ecological diversity but are increasingly coerced by outsiders to make short term actions with long term consequences. This paper analyzes the participatory mapping of climate change and other threats to Indigenous territories by communities and their allies as a potentially empowering process that facilitates a broad understanding of the pressures on and possible repercussions of land use decisions in landscapes critically important for the sustainability of ecological and cultural diversity, carbon stocks, and local economies. Local maps of territory, landscapes, and livelihoods may provide the best entry point to grapple with global sustainability and act for positive change in a threatened Amazonia.
Key words: Amazonia, mapping, Indigenous peoples, conservation, climate change, Perú, Brazil, borders

A number of Indigenous peoples continue to practice traditional patterns of renewable resource use in the Ecuadorian Amazon, even after half a century of extreme development pressure brought by the agricultural frontier and drilling for fossil fuel. This paper presents results of a study linking the productivity of the Indigenous resource base to the degree of encroachment on Indigenous lands associated with this development. In particular, we assess and characterize a population of 181 household economies found in four Indigenous territories representing three nationalities, the Cofan, the Siona, and the Siekopai. To this end, we use descriptive statistics derived from a social science survey, administered in 2023 by our Indigenous research partners. To expand our understanding of the impact of household production on the resource base, we also draw from a survey focused on hunting, administered to a reduced sample of individuals who hunt on a regular basis. In assessing the impact of development on territorial environments, we develop ecological measures of isolation, a condition of the landscape indicating the ability of an Indigenous territory to communicate with the original forest ecosystem. We do this with a GIS application in which we use remotely sensed data to assess the lands that envelop each of the individual Indigenous territories. The paper reports on the correlation observed between the household economies in the sample territories, and the extent to which development has “isolated” each of them from the Amazonian forest.

Poverty assessments among rural households in Amazonia are hampered by significant logistical challenges and a surprisingly limited understanding of how local people make a living in the rain forest. This paper reports on the findings of a survey of nearly 4000 Indigenous and folk households in 235 communities across four major river basins in the Perúvian Amazon. Household incomes are estimated with particular attention to the role of environmental resources in income formation and used to develop a typology of rural livelihoods. A wide range of community and household characteristics are tested using regression analyses to capture the factors that influence the choices of livelihood strategies. Multiple monetary and non-monetary welfare measures are then employed to assess the factors that influence the outcomes of livelihood choices in terms of poverty and the environment. Particular attention is given to the social and spatial distribution of poverty and inequality. Our findings indicate that current estimates based on Perúvian national household surveys underestimate the depth and breadth of rural poverty in Amazonia. We discuss the implications of our findings for research to support poverty alleviation efforts in the region.
Keywords: Perú; Indigenous peoples; ribereños; household welfare; inequality

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Coffee and snacks 🙂Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences at the Universidad de Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.

Organizer(s) Mariela Méndez – University of Richmond Alicia Díaz – University of Richmond Mary Finley-Brook – University of Richmond Patricia Herrera – University of Richmond

Chair: Mariela Méndez – University of RichmondDiscussant: Ruth Santiago – Community and Environmental LawyerDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session C: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: ICP Salón piso 1

Panel Description: “Feminist Decolonial Resistance: Climate Justice for Puerto Rico” builds upon and expands work carried out for the past year by faculty in the Departments of Latin American, Latino & Iberian Studies, Geography, the Environment & Sustainability, and Theatre & Dance at The University of Richmond. In the Spring of 2023, four classes engaged in research around the environmental and financial crisis in Puerto Rico and staged a theatrical procession to both raise awareness and mobilize collective resistance. Anti-colonial pedagogy in prestigious universities reveals alarming contradictions when academic institutions do not assume responsibility for the social and ecological costs of consumption in the face of our shared climate crisis. Patterns of coloniality narrow our vision to create an environmentally just future. University of Richmond’s partnership with AES Corporation and the environmental and human rights violations caused by their coal-fired power plant in Puerto Rico provides us with a template both to discuss decolonizing, climate justice activist practices in Puerto Rico and beyond and to imagine worlds otherwise.

PanelistsMary Finley-Brook – University of RichmondMariela Méndez – University of RichmondAlicia Díaz – University of RichmondPatricia Herrera – University of Richmond

Organizer(s) Madelaine C. Cahuas – University of Minnesota

Chair: Adam Bledsoe – University of MinnesotaDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session C: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

What does it mean or look like to engage in research that is ethical, responsive and accountable to marginalized communities that we also belong to as Latinx geographers? In this paper, I grapple with this question as a racialized Latina feminist geographer who has been immersed in community-engaged research with a collective of Black/Afro-Latinx, Indigenous, queer and non-binary Latinx community organizers, activists and artists in Tkaronto (Toronto, Canada). Although there is no simple or single answer to this question, I have gleaned critical insights by weaving together methodological lessons from Feminist Geography, and anti-colonial Black, Indigenous and Chicana/Latina feminisms across Abya Yala. I focus specifically on the possibilities of testimonio, a self-reflexive, oral and written account that is told for the purposes of social change stemming from Indigenous and social justice movements across Latin America (Latina Feminist Group 2001; Supa Huaman 2008). Drawing on examples from my research with Latinx community workers and Kichwa digital artist, Samay Arcentales Cajas, I demonstrate how testimonio works to subvert dominant knowledge systems, promote healing and incite meaningful action. I end by considering how testimonio can map an alternative Latinx geographies. One that is rooted in a relational labor of love across borders. A feminist, anti-colonial geography that offers lessons on how we may build more socially just and liberatory worlds.

The contested term “Latinx” creates challenges in representing Latinx geographies within Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This research explores how to map and interpret these contested spaces, both officially designated and those identified by Latinx communities. By employing a multi-scalar analysis of 2020 USA census data on Hispanic identification, race, national origin, language use, and spatial distribution within and across the multi-scalar imaginations of Los Angeles. This study investigates how these depictions shift across scales and how Just! GIS can be utilized within a Latinx Geographies framework, ultimately revealing how spatial representations convey and potentially reinforce contestation within Latinx communities.

Drawing on interviews, testimonios, and trans-border ethnography from transborder community between Mexico and what we know as the US, and inspired by the concepts of communality as per Zapotec Indigenous scholar Jaime Martínez Luna–where the land, work and celebrations are by and for the community– in this paper I elaborate how a version (a layer) of Latinx geographies is influenced by trans-border communality methods. I analyze how such communal forms of life travel with displaced Indigenous and Indigenous descent communities to the US; then are adapted and re-adapted in the context of the US. In turn, such methods enable the making of livable life – of Latinx places of belonging, peace, and tranquility – amidst state-sponsored violence.

Latinx Geographies is a nascent subfield and academic focus with a myriad of perspectives, methods and methodologies and entry points, being borne out of, in part, of the Latinx Geographies Specialty Group (LxGSG) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG).
Latinx Geographies tries to account for the heterogeneity of Latinx being by remaining expansive rather than narrow. This paper examines the genealogies of Latinx geographies, tracing some of its roots to Chicanx and student of color movements during the late 1960s and 1970s. Specifically, I look back to the 1968 East Los Angeles Walkouts and analyze how Chicanx high school and university students, teachers, community members, and faculty organized against racist and unjust learning conditions for Chicanx youth. I fuse insights from geography and ethnic studies to account for the coalescing of Latinx Geographies in both fields.
As the historical movement fought for self-determination, Latinx Geographies in the now espouses epistemological and ontological self-determination. To honor this rich activist history, I argue that Latinx geographies must continue to be a site of struggle.

Organizer(s) Andrea Marston – Rutgers University Matthew Himley – Illinois State University Aaron Malone – Colorado School of Mines

Chair: Aaron Malone – Colorado School of MinesDiscussant: Andrea Marston – Rutgers UniversityDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session C: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

Numerous extractive industries operate throughout the country of Guatemala. Many of these industries have been linked to negative human and environmental health impacts, especially in indigenous and high-poverty communities. The industries’ operation within or near a community can result in a combination of human, environmental, political, social, and economic impacts. Those impacts then interact with other pre-existing health risks in the area and can worsen overall health through the formation of a syndemic, or synergistic epidemic. Co-occurring biological and social conditions that make up the syndemic interact to produce worse health outcomes than any condition would likely generate on its own. The syndemics that originate in extractivism can be studied and visualized through participatory mapping. Facilitating mapping among people with expert in situ knowledge of the landscape and their communities allows us to map the various interacting health threats and outcomes, including disease, contamination, environmental degradation, social conditions, and more. This research expands the findings of a targeted study in eastern Guatemala to other regions of the country in which syndemics are likely present alongside extractive activities. In particular, we found a perceived increase in disease, social tensions, and violence, along with a decrease in crop yields, water quantity, and water quality through a collaborative study with the Ch’orti’ in Olopa using participatory mapping. Understanding the syndemic effects allows communities to effectively assess and improve health in the regions impacted by extractive industries.
Key words: mining, extractivism, Guatemala, syndemic, participatory mapping

The municipalities of Tula de Allende, A-talaquia and Atotonilco, located in the south of the state of Hidalgo, and Apaxco, located in Estado de México, are part of the Toltec Region, a region that, since pre-Hispanic -mes, provided materials of construc-on of several human se7lements. With the arrival of the colony, this territorial voca-on was established and consolidated, becoming industrialized by the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Throughout the last century and in the first decades of the present, extraction levels increased exponen-ally, in addi-on to other activities typical of the capitalist economy that have le[ a considerable ecological footprint. Thus, cement, lime and asphalt plants converge with industrial zones, contaminated bodies of water, and acitvities linked to energy produc-on such as a refinery and thermoelectric plant. This environmental context has led to the Toltec Region being decreed as Environmental Hell, Sacrifice Zone or –as a research team has proposed calling them– Health and Environmental Emergency Region. Although the majority of the popula-on that lives in these municipali-es is not informed or is unaware of the problem, and although both the companies and the governments involved make numerous efforts to hide the serious health and environmental situa-on that prevails; an organized group of inhabitants and collectives such as the Movimiento Pro Salud Apaxco Atotonilco, the Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral Apaztle, the Frente de Comunidades en Contra de la Incineración, and the Frente de la Región Tolteca, led by academics and ac-vists convened by federal Research and Advocacy Projects have promoted the organiza-on of Mural Journeys as a strategy to make the environmental situa-on of the region visible.
In this sense, this paper proposes the concept of Landscapes of Disappearance as a strategy of sovereign power deployed by the State and companies that seek to distance themselves from their responsibilities regarding the environmental situation, while the organized population challenges said opacity through different strategies of visibility. In that sense, we propose to think of these strategies as scenic devices of memory, spatial policies, or ac-vated spaces, that seek to influence the forms of subjectivation and oppose the extractivist logic that prevails.

Between 2009 and 2018, the Chilean copper mining industry increased its use of desalinated seawater more than ten-fold. However, this did not replace the industry’s use of continental water supplies, which grew by 9 percent over the same period. These observations led to the assertion that desalination would not resolve hydrosocial conflict with mining communities in Chile unless its use resulted in a withdrawal from freshwater supplies, and may actually lead to new conflicts in coastal communities that host desalination operations (see Odell, 2021). Yet between 2018 and 2021, these dynamics suddenly shifted, with desalination use by the copper mining industry increasing 68 percent and continental water use decreasing by 11 percent. This paper seeks to understand what factors led to this shift, and what are its impacts on community relations over water in mining regions. I examine this question through interviews and document analysis in three case study sites: the Escondida Mine, Los Pelambres Mine, and the Andina and Los Bronces Mines, all of which have demonstrated evolving uses of desalination since 2018. Results indicate that interacting environmental and social factors, including an unprecedented mega-drought, changes to the Water Code, major social unrest and an attempted constitutional reform process, and projected increased demand for copper for the clean energy transition, have combined to affect the observed changes in water use. The replacement of some continental water supplies with seawater represents an important adaptation to climate change that may benefit both coastal and highland communities facing water scarcity. However, it risks exacerbating sacrifice zone dynamics in industrialized coastal communities. The study holds important implications for other mining regions in Latin America and around the globe that are exposed to the impacts of climate change while producing the metals used to construct global clean energy infrastructure.

From the successful campaign to stop Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama mine to recent protests against a proposed expansion of Codelco’s Andina mine, protecting glaciers from mining has emerged as a highly effective discourse for mobilizing anti-extractivist activism across the Andes. Yet concern about the proximity of glaciers to mining activities is not new. This paper reviews historical and disciplinary trends in peer-reviewed research at the intersection of mining and glaciers. We find 93 relevant articles, published between 1875 and 2023, and identify four areas of research inquiry. Since 2000, social and natural science research has investigated the catalysts, and impacts, of movements to protect glaciers from mining. The 1990s, meanwhile, saw a surge in the use of glaciers as archives to reconstruct historical mining activities. Yet for a century before this conservation-centered scholarship emerged, engineers were researching how to excavate glaciers and fortify mines against glacial ice. Convening these disparate bodies of scholarship, we suggest, reveals three key insights for the contemporary study of glacier protection and anti-extraction activism. First, much glacier knowledge has been produced through mining itself, both shaping and limiting hegemonic understandings of glaciers’ character and value. Second, debates over glacier protection are fundamentally conflicts over scientific truth, concerning not only the extent of glacial risk but also what glaciers are, their worth, and who has the authority to decide. Finally, today’s widespread concern about protecting glaciers was not inevitable but rather a strategic effort by activists, who in the face of increasingly multi-scalar environmental challenges mobilized glaciers as scale-jumping objects that might convene broader support for mining-related organizing. Ultimately, mapping this scholarship helps illuminate why glacier protection movements may succeed or stagnate, as well as a set of key questions for future geographical research on the convergence of glaciers and mining.

Organizer(s) David S. Salisbury – University of Richmond Delaney Demaret – University of Richmond Christian Abizaid – University of Toronto

Chair: Christian Abizaid – University of TorontoDate and Time: Wednesday May 22 – Concurrent Session C: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

River instability poses significant challenges for settlement in riverine Amazonia. This is especially true in western Amazonia, where rivers are known to rapidly migrate laterally over extensive areas within their floodplains. Climate forecasts for the region suggest that river dynamics are likely to intensify due to changes in the hydrological regime and related sediment transport, yet few studies have sought to understand just how river channel dynamics may affect settlement and displacement. This paper reports on the findings of a study of 804 indigenous and folk communities across three major river basins in the Perúvian Amazon. We combine data from a community field survey conducted in the mid-2010s with satellite imagery from PLANET to assess community at risk of being affected by riverbank erosion and sedimentation at the time of data collection. We then overlay the location of communities in the mid-2010s over the course of the river in 2022 to quantify the risk of community displacement and identify the communities that have been displaced due to river channel dynamics. OLS regressions are used to assess the likelihood of community displacement since the time of the community survey. We also locate the new sites of communities displaced and identify the main site characteristics to better understand decisions about where to relocate. Our findings will contribute to enhance our understanding of settlement and displacement patterns in Amazonia and to support riverine communities in the face of climate-driven environmental hazards.
Keywords: river dynamics; riverine settlement, community displacement; relocation; indigenous peoples; ribereños; Amazon; Perú.

The significance of Amazonia to the global environment lies in its rich biodiversity and vast carbon reservoirs. Over the decades since the mid-20th century, countries within the Amazon basin, notably Brazil, Ecuador, Perú, and Bolivia, have initiated various infrastructure projects to exploit its resources and facilitate human settlement. Consequently, extensive swathes of the forest have been cleared for agricultural purposes, while urban centers within the basin have burgeoned, accommodating a population surpassing 20 million people. This developmental trajectory has unmistakably altered the region’s ecological landscape and imperiled the cultural heritage of its Indigenous inhabitants. Despite prevailing threats, many Indigenous communities have demonstrated resilience, safeguarding their traditions and ancestral territories. However, recent years have witnessed heightened development pressures, spurred by a collective infrastructure initiative among South American nations. This endeavor seeks to transform the Amazon into a pivotal transportation nexus, a primary source of hydropower, and a favored destination for industrial ventures. This paper scrutinizes the potential ramifications of ongoing and proposed infrastructure projects and resource extraction activities on the ancestral lands of the Seikopai, Siona, and Cofán nations in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Its objective is to furnish these communities with pertinent insights, enabling them to anticipate forthcoming threats and strategize accordingly.
Keywords: Amazon, Infrastructure; Indigenous Land Rights and Sovereignty; Development and Conservation

The climate crisis continues to challenge sustainable development and governance globally and locally. In the Amazon rainforest, titled Indigenous lands have proved to be the most effective territorial deterrent to deforestation. Local Indigenous leaders are uniquely positioned to respond to threats against their territory, but also increasingly vulnerable as extractive pressure and violence expand into their homelands. Rapid development of extractive infrastructure undermines leaders’ abilities to foster community development while maintaining the health and integrity of their land. The empirical, institutional, and symbolic distance of the state also perpetuates the burdens and subsequent risks of climate-based governance in remote communities of the Perúvian Amazon. Through a mixed-method and multi-scalar analysis of land use change, political ecology, and environmental and cultural governance, this paper considers how extractive violence and local solidarity interact in remote, poorly understood, yet ecologically and culturally critical landscapes. The authors will investigate dynamic ecologies in Ucayali, Perú and Acre, Brazil to better understand the relationship between the establishment of forestry concessions, the expansion of logging and connectivity roads, and the struggle of Indigenous peoples to assert control over their homelands, forests, and rivers.
Key words: Forestry, Amazonia, Logging, Roads, Indigenous peoples, Perú, Brazil

This paper examines the intricate challenges surrounding land tenure faced by Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Ecuador, exploring the critical role of legal empowerment strategies in addressing historical and current injustices. A country recognized as a multiethnic plurinational state with global attention for its tremendous biodiversity, Ecuador has led Latinoamérica and the world with the Constitutional declaration of the Rights of Nature along with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This study evaluates existing legal frameworks and their perceived effectiveness in safeguarding ancestral lands. Emphasizing the need for inclusive governance, the paper proposes community legal empowerment strategies that empower Indigenous and Afro-descendant nations to assert their rights. By drawing on the case of the NGO ‘ECOLEX’ in Ecuador, the research shows impacts of Community Paralegals for strengthening land tenure security. In addition to reviewing curricular materials, nineteen interviews were conducted across points within the Ecuadorian Amazonia, Sierra, and Costa.
This particular set of interviews, key themes emerged including intercultural and transnational solidarity; environmental protection and restoration; and leadership empowerment–and women’s empowerment specifically. This analysis also includes perceived challenges of the structure of this particular Community Paralegal program, such as the need for new cohorts and updated training from past cohorts; stronger external validation; and fair compensation for labor once graduated from the program. Ultimately, the paper contributes to the ongoing discourse on social justice and Indigenous rights, advocating for a transformative approach to legal empowerment that recognizes the cultural significance of ancestral lands and bolsters the autonomy of marginalized communities.
KEYWORDS: land tenure, Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendant peoples, community paralegals, legal empowerment, Ecuador

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
La Tuna de la Universidad de Puerto Rico : La Tuna de la Universidad de Puerto Rico se fundó 1961 por la profesora Norma Urrutia de Campo, por lo que es considerada la tuna mixta más antigua del continente americano con actividad continuada y la primera tuna de Puerto Rico (website).Historic reenactment of the Cuartel del Ballajá : Recreadores de Historia de Puerto Rico (facebook).

where: La Factoría – map | webpage
Join us for drinks and a CLAG slideshow. First drink is free!!

Thursday May 23

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Register for the conference, get your name tag and swag.

Light breakfast provided.

Organizer(s) Brad D Jokisch – Ohio University Lindsey Carte – Arizona State University

Chair: Diego Pons – University of DenverDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: ICP Salón piso 1

The immigration system has in many ways merged with the criminal justice system, creating what migration scholars have called a “crimmigration” system that has disproportionately punitive consequences for undocumented Latino immigrants in the US. The criminalization of undocumented migrants perpetuates social inequalities and undermines the principles of justice and fairness. This research gives an overview of demographic and legal status data from US cities that have received migrants under Biden’s policies of admitting hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers at the US’ southern border. Under the Biden Administration, approximately 2.3 million recent arrivals have liminal status with no clear path for U.S. residency and with no indication of their future status (MPI 2023). Due to their temporary and uncertain legal status, a large and growing migrant population has been admitted to the US into a state of limbo and unknowing. How do current US laws and differing policies lead to the geographically uneven reception and vulnerability of these recent immigrants? This paper provides insight into how the merging of immigration and criminal law ensnares and makes vulnerable hundreds of thousands of recently arrived in the US, many of whom are seeking asylum.

As rising numbers of refugee-migrants arrive seeking refuge at the US-Mexico border, they encounter shifting policies and the discretion of Border Patrol and ICE officials that result in a host of distinct statuses for different groups of refugee-migrants. This paper seeks to understand the Biden Administration’s utilization of existing mechanisms, such as parole, to manage the arrival of large numbers of potential asylum seekers at its southern border. While the Biden years have resulted in the admission of large numbers of migrants to the US (especially compared to the Trump years and COVID-19 era of Title 42), they are often admitted with a temporary and liminal legal status. The paper draws on empirical data from surveys and interviews conducted from January 2023 – May 2024 to understand the discretionary and uneven categorization of different groups of refugee-migrants, by nationality, timing, and characteristics of arrival (e.g., in family units, as a single adult or unaccompanied minor) and how their precarious legal statuses present a looming unresolved dilemma for future policymakers and the migrants themselves.

Since 2019 family emigration from numerous countries in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased dramatically. (family migration is defined as a minor encountered while traveling with a parent or guardian) Despite the dangers and expenses incurred, family arrivals increased from 167,000 in 2018 to nearly 1 million in 2023, accounting for almost one-third of all arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of these families have turned themselves into USCBP border officials and have or will request asylum. This phenomenon is commonly attributed to U.S. border policies that “encourage” emigration and facilitate asylum applications, or by the growth of failed states in the region, including Haiti, Venezuela, Ecuador, and countries of Northern Central America. This paper examines the development of family emigration in the highlands of southern Ecuador. It presents findings from more than 30 qualitative interviews with family members of migrants in rural Azuay and Cañar Provinces. The paper examines migrants’ motives, networks, and how their decision-making interacts with U.S. border and immigration policies. Migrants have developed sophisticated strategies to use U.S. border and immigration policies to address ongoing crises such as family separation, fear of violence (including domestic violence), and to avoid a bleak socioeconomic future.

Human mobility cannot be explained by simple linear models. In fact, the complexity of human mobility in terms of volume, geography, and origins continues to increase. Multiple factors intervene in migration processes, which are intertwined with migration policies and conditions of vulnerability. However, the politicization of current narratives must be recognized, and the influence it may have on paradigms that question the evidence in favor of one theory over another one assessed. In Guatemala, existing theories seem to explain only partially the complexity of processes associated with human mobility in the last decade and call into question their overall application when used individually. Here we present a logical framework that integrates multiple theories aimed at better understanding the complexities that take relevance in the decision-making processes and the multiple possible responses – including mobility – in Guatemala.
Key words: Human mobility, Guatemala, Theories of Migration, Vulnerability

Chair: Matthew C LaFevor – University of AlabamaDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

The Chaco Salteño of Argentina is a global hotspot of land conflict and climate change pressures that, together, threaten the livelihoods of local inhabitants. Our research sought to understand how smallholder criollo pastoralists in the Chaco region of northwestern Argentina, many of whom lack formal title to the lands they utilize, adapt and anticipate to shocks and stressors that threaten the resilience and persistence of their livelihood activities. Using a qualitative approach, we analyzed the mechanisms controlling access to resources with potential to build resiliency in the face of climate, political, and other socio-economic disturbances and consider adaptive responses in terms of both the ecological and institutional contexts within which these pastoralists operate. Land tenure and participation in local producers’ organizations were identified as two primary mechanisms for securing resource access in the context of varied socio-environmental shocks and stressors. We found that not only do these adaptive mechanisms vary greatly in their attainability by producers, but also in terms of their efficiency, reliability, and longevity of benefits. Findings from this study contribute to efforts to advance sustainable development initiatives by contextualizing the importance of varied strategies in supporting resilient rural livelihoods.
Keywords: adaptation, agrarian associations, agriculture frontier, Argentina forestry, peasant agriculture, silvopastoral systems, state capacity, agroforestry

What drives land degradation? How do people cope with its impacts and consequences across regional, sub-national and local scales? What responses are resilient for both humans and nature? To address these questions, this project, in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, integrates household surveys and community-level interviews with drone-derived imagery nested within “bright spots” and “hot spots” modeled from globally available data. The aim is to identify emerging “bright spots” of improving ecological condition and human resilience and emerging “hot spots” of land degradation and human vulnerability to reveal factors associated with human and ecological resilience. To our knowledge, this project is the first to identify emerging land regeneration “bright spots” adjacent to land degradation “hot spots” in a forest frontier. It is also the first to examine how ”bright spot” household and community responses of ecological resilience and reforestation compare with responses of “hot spot” neighbors with similar ecological and socio-economic conditions. The research has important implications for challenging theories on deforestation and land transitions as well as human adaptive responses. Results may identify potential behaviors and practices that can be replicated to improve household and ecological resilience in tropical forest frontiers globally. The project can also help improve understanding of interactions among social and biophysical system components that can help inform UN member nation monitoring and evaluation towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UNCCD Strategic Objectives for desertification, land degradation, and drought.

The expansion of commodity agriculture into forests continues to represent a major driver of Earth system destabilization and a direct threat to millions of forest-dwelling people. Understanding the expansion dynamics of agricultural frontiers into the world’s forests is thus a matter of urgency. Yet the picture formed to date is incomplete, with existing large-scale monitoring approaches not factoring in the shifts in land access and resource ownership that lay the groundwork for the conversion of forest to agriculture. Here we analyze these overlooked yet critical early stages of agricultural frontier development as they occur in the Gran Chaco, a global hotspot of deforestation. By detecting and then analyzing the spatial and temporal distribution of land claiming indictors across the region, we demonstrate that the footprint of commodity frontiers in the Gran Chaco goes well beyond the limits of deforestation fronts. Across the Chaco, we found claiming activity to be concentrated around areas seeing active deforestation for agriculture, highlighting the prerequisite role that the securing of land control has in propelling a continuous agricultural expansion process. Alarmingly, we also found a suspended state of land claiming across much of the Argentine Chaco, and clusters of emergent claiming, indicative of a recent and growing interest in land, in parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. There was a clear spatial overlap between smallholder homestead disappearance and land claiming activity in the Chaco, which highlights the need for attention on the social impacts of speculatory agricultural activity in forested areas. Along with revealing these early signatures underlying frontier dynamics in the Chaco, our approach offers a modulable (transposable) template for the mapping of land control change indicators – providing concrete tools for policy and early intervention associated to large-scale deforestation across global commodity frontier contexts.

This paper examines changes in the abundance, richness, and evenness of crop species cultivated in Mexico from 1980 to 2020. Utilizing production data from Mexico’s Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera, it employs statistical diversity indexes to track production changes in over 300 crop species at municipality, state, and national levels. The study addresses two main questions. First, what are the spatial and temporal trends in crop diversity changes for both rainfed and irrigated crops? Second, what are the drivers of those trends? Findings show a general increase in crop species diversity over the study period, but especially in dry northern regions after implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. This increase was punctuated by a spike in irrigated crop diversity in regions now experiencing severe water scarcity. The lion’s share of crop production diversity went toward the export of fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs, and ornamental crops to the United States. The paper highlights that while crop diversification can lead to numerous forms of sustainability, not all diversification processes derive from agroecologically based, sustainable forms of intensification.

Organizer(s) Matt Himley – Illinois State University

Chair: Matt Himley – Illinois State UniversityDiscussant: Andrea Marston – Rutgers UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

Panel Description: Participants in this book review panel will engage in a discussion on Andrea Marston’s Subterranean Matters: Cooperative Mining and Resource Nationalism in Plurinational Bolivia (Duke University Press, 2024), including by identifying and elaborating on the book’s key themes; shedding light on its contributions to the study of Latin American geography, and reflecting on its significance for their own scholarship.

PanelistsGisselle Vila Benites – Clark UniversityGabriela Valdivia – University of North Carolina at Chapel HillZoe Pearson – University of WyomingAaron Malone – Colorado School of MinesAdrienne Johnson – University of San FranciscoJoel Correia – Colorado State University

Chair: Mayra A Román Rivera – University of Tennessee – KnoxvilleDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Las dunas costeras son montículos de arena transportada por el viento tierra adentro y depositada detrás de la playa. Son importantes para proteger los asentamientos costeros contra la erosión y las inundaciones además de que son hábitat de especies costeras. En Puerto Rico, existen dunas activas y en formación en la mayoría de la costa norte. Sin embargo, en los diferentes medios de comunicación de mayor alcance, se insiste en el deterioro generalizado o en la ausencia de las dunas en Puerto Rico. La información confiable y/o actualizada sobre las dunas de Puerto Rico en las plataformas de búsqueda populares es sumamente limitada. Con motivo de ampliar el conocimiento público sobre las dunas de Puerto Rico, desarrollamos una página web en el formato de Story Map con información geográfica, sencilla, atractiva y relevante sobre qué son las dunas, por qué son importantes, cuáles son sus criterios de formación y d ٴónde están en Puerto Rico. La expectativa es que el público en general con interés en el tema pueda utilizar la página como herramienta para aprender sobre las dunas costeras en contexto local, reconocer su presencia y desmentir su ausencia en el paisaje costero puertorriqueño. Este proyecto está en desarrollo y esta página es la primera de varias que aspiramos a preparar para proveer más detalles sobre el tema de las dunas costeras de Puerto Rico.

While the effects of tropical systems on Caribbean coasts have been extensively studied, the reality is that Caribbean beaches are also affected by winter surges mostly produced by remnants frontal systems as they leave the east coast of the United States. This study used buoy data from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to quantify the wave energy produced by these winter events. We have also measured beach change after these events. The results of this study are aimed to improve coastal management in Caribbean Islands as well as helping increase public awareness regarding the possible dangers of visiting beaches during the winter season which is the high tourist season for both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

We present a multiproxy analysis of a sediment core from Freshwater Pond, Barbuda, one of just a few inland paleoenvironmental records from the Lesser Antilles. Our results shed light on the relative contributions of climate variability and Pre- and Post-Columbian human activities to vegetation and fire dynamics on Barbuda. We analyzed micro- and macroscopic charcoal fragments, pollen grains and spores, and stable isotope data from the lake sediments, informing our interpretations with ongoing collaborative archaeological and historical perspectives. The presence of large charcoal with pollen of useful and disturbance plant taxa in the sediment record suggests that Pre-Columbian subsistence activities occurred near the pond between ~150 BCE and ~1250 CE. Our record extends anthropogenic fires back into the early Ceramic (500 BCE–1500 CE) and possibly late Archaic Ages (3000–500 BCE), adding evidence to the timing of arrival of the earliest inhabitants. Island-wide biomass burning inferred from microscopic charcoal fragments showed heightened fire activity between ~540 and ~1610 CE followed by a period of quiescence that reflected the transition from Pre- to Post-Columbian land-use practices associated with European colonization of the region. The British established a permanent settlement on Barbuda in the 1660s, but unlike neighboring Antigua, Barbuda’s unsuitability for large-scale agriculture likely constrained post-colonial land use to timber harvesting, small-scale farming, and livestock rearing—activities that left no detectable charcoal footprints. The lack of any clear correspondence between the reconstructed histories of fire and effective moisture (from stable isotope analysis) at Freshwater Pond supports the idea that late-Holocene fire activity on Barbuda was driven primarily by human activity.
Keywords: fire history, climate history, pollen analysis, paleoecology, paleoenvironments, indigenous burning, archaeology, sediment core, Caribbean, island, Barbuda

Biogeography is a discipline in charge of studying patterns and spatial distribution of Earth’s flora and fauna. In geography, researchers have agreed that the discipline still needs a stronger representation. Considering the minimal focus on physical geography in many educational systems, the inclusion of biogeography in curriculum as a unique subdiscipline is lacking. Prior research on schools in Puerto Rico demonstrate this lack as biogeography is not taught in high school geography classes. The lack of geography standards in the island also adds to the discipline’s invisibility. This study explored the status of biogeography in education, specifically at the K–12 level, in Puerto Rico. Evaluating educational standards and course offerings at various schools revealed that biogeography was missing. This study provides recommendations on incorporating biogeography in education through various topics/lessons in island biogeography and suggests a curriculum that can easily be adapted to various standards to meet specific
educational aims and goals.

Organizer(s) Brad D Jokisch – Ohio University Lindsey Carte – Arizona State University

Chair: Lindsey Carte – Arizona State UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: ICP Salón piso 1

Based on over twenty-four months of physical presence in the land of lakes and volcanos since March of 2020 through the writing of this abstract, we tell several stories about the waves of international migration through and from the land of lakes and volcanos. We recount the stories of political exiles, economic migrants, and parole applications from the country, as well as stories of Cubans, Venezuelans, and Senegalese who take advantage of the country as a staging post for their journey north. We discuss how these migrations have impacted government and private economies. We do not mention the name of the country so that we can continue research there.
Keywords: Migration, remittances, Central America, Africa, South America, migration taxes.

Migration is a crucial livelihood strategy for rural Guatemalan families; about 1.4 million of Guatemala’s 18 million inhabitants are transnational migrants (UN DESA, 2020). Land access, which directly affects rural livelihoods, is an unaddressed ‘root cause of migration’, and rural Guatemalans often migrate to sustain subsistence production and to acquire new landholdings through remittances (Carte et. al 2018; Garni 2013; Moran-Taylor & Taylor 2010). Thus, out-migration in the context of agrarian change can represent changing relationships with the land rather than a departure from it (Radel et. al 2019). Land access is also highly racialized and gendered (INE 2019; Baumeister 2003). With migrant families increasingly mortgaging landholdings to access loans for transnational migration (Johnson 2021), how do (extended) family units in rural Guatemala calculate who will migrate, and when? In a context where only 8.5% of women ages 15-49 own land themselves (The World Bank, 2015), how are vulnerabilities to debt, and social changes associated with migration distributed across gender? Family-level decisions are likely influenced by a complex combination of age, gender, landholdings, land use, and household liquidity. I will present preliminary dissertation fieldwork data from interviews with Maya K’iche’ families in Zacualpa, El Quiché and Santa María Chiquimula, Totonicapán, from an ongoing collaboration with the Red Jesuita con Migrantes (RJM). I will present the strategies of several families with a focus on gendered vulnerability, as well as dissertation fieldwork plans for family-level ethnographies of migration and land tenure.
Keywords: Imigration, land tenure, gendered vulnerability, feminist political ecology, Guatemala

Drawing on research conducted in June 2019, this article explores the narratives produced by eight Colombian women to examine how their experiences of displacement and violence are embodied and emplaced, creating a sense of both continued pain and agency. These narratives were produced through the process of body mapping conducted as a part of an eight-day workshop in which research participants engaged in multiple arts-based methodologies. We employ the concepts of territorio cuerpo-tierra (territory body-land), desterritorialización (deterritorialization), and reterritorialización (re-territorialization),as developed by decolonial and communitarian feminists in Latin America, to argue that research participants experience displacement aspervasive violencethat involves a rupture in the connection to home and land and that continues as an embodied experience. The results show how a sense of deterritorialization continues in the women’s subsequent experiences while simultaneously triggering women’s agency for recreating their social fabric and providing hope, strength, and positivity for moving forward and healing their body/territory.
Keywords: territorio cuerpo-tierra, deterritorialization, embodiment, displacement, reterritorialization, body mapping, forced migration, female agency

Contextualized in a longer history of forced (im)mobility of racialized people across national borders, this project de-links spaces of (im)mobility from fixed coordinates in linear space and time to interrogate the intersecting, simultaneous, multiple, and even multi-generational, ways in which (im)mobilized people are dispossessed of “the resource of life—time.” (Gilmore 2017, 227) Through a social reproduction and mobilities lens, it explores how globalization has made an (im)mobile international labor force in this region and how international, long-distance migration in the Americas also makes globalized markets (Katz 2001). The temporal expanse of (im)mobility produces migrants and migrations as increasingly profitable, and generates surplus valuable in novel ways. In the global labor logistics sector, specifically, ever more stringent border policies and policing have led to the fragmentation and segmentation of migration routes. In turn, more “moments where value is appropriated, produced, distributed, and realized” coalesce along the supply chain (Danyluk 2018, 631). In the neoliberal context of scarcity, frictions, interruptions and pauses, rather than speed and efficiency are the core modalities of labor logistics. (Im)mobility is, of course, an inherent contestation, and contemporary Mexico is a key terrain in a global struggle against (im)mobility and oppression. A main focus of this project is to gather sources and resources into a non-traditional archive which documents how (im)mobility produces value (Tadiar 2022, Azuley 2019). In writing about this research and archive, I intend to contribute to academic and public conversations on abolition a future beyond borders and capitalism.
Keywords: mobility, migration, border, migration policy, asylum, Mexico, Latin America, containment, confinement, detention, abolition, migration economies, dispossession, waiting

Chair: Eric Carter – Macalester CollegeDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

This study explores how the youth of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico (Ambos Nogales) relate to the border and to what degree the border is perceived as a resource and a risk for their educational and health trajectories. It also describes how and to what extent access to these resources is challenged by border crossings, drug trafficking and violence. Information is reported from 5 focus groups and 18 in-depth interviews with 6 categories of high school students from Ambos Nogales. Participants in Mexico were (1) students who migrated from other Mexican states, (2) students native to the Nogales area, (3) returnees from the United States, and (4) transborder students. Participants in Arizona were (5) Mexican American and (6) Mexican immigrant students. For all these students of Ambos Nogales, the border is a resource because it gives them the possibility of participating in alternative retailing, educational experiences, and unique economic opportunities in the region. On the other hand, the border is also a risky space, since they face insecurity, stigmatization, discrimination, and the risk of being recruited by drug traffickers. In their narratives, the students describe that the re-bordering process, understood as constant difficulties in crossing the border, anti-Mexican sentiments and the stigmatization of border communities affects them. For instance, trans-border students must continually redefine their strategies to crossing the border to attend school in the US. Similarly, the anti-immigrant environment impacts the way Mexican American and Mexican immigrants residing in Arizona are perceived and treated at crossing points and in other non-border communities. Students from Ambos Nogales agreed that failing school might lead some adolescents to participate in illicit activities such as drug trafficking. Students of Ambos Nogales also stated that re-bordering ideologies, promote intolerance and discrimination against Mexican Americans and Mexicans, affecting their mental health and life trajectories. These findings have direct implications for prevention intervention research on the border region.

Social infrastructure is a “connective tissue, often unpredictable, anchoring urban life in popular neighbourhoods across the urban world” (McFarlane and Silver, 2017), helping marginalized groups facilitate access to social, emotional, and material resources. This paper analyzes how social infrastructure facilitates access to healthcare and promotion of public health in low-income neighborhoods of a major city in Northwest Argentina, in a context of ongoing political and economic crisis in the post-pandemic period. Specifically, we explore how people use social capital to access key neighborhood institutions, the primary health care (PHC) clinic and the communal kitchen. In 2023 we carried out a qualitative study, conducting focus groups with residents of six neighborhoods of the San Miguel de Tucumán metro area that represent different socioeconomic strata. Discourse analysis shows differentiated strategies for accessing PHC clinics and sustaining communal kitchens. As PHC clinics are state-run, community members expect to receive health services as a right, yet they often mobilize social networks (bonding social capital) for sharing information (about medications, quality of care, or where to find specialized medical services). In contrast, communal kitchens are a collective effort in which the state plays a relatively minor role. Local women (usually) volunteer their labor and pool resources to provide meals for community families. Still, they negotiate constantly with partisan political operatives for additional resources. Better understanding of the workings of social infrastructure and its intersection with everyday politics may help guide policies to improve access to basic necessities in low-income urban communities.
Keywords: public health, social infrastructure, social capital, urban, Argentina

El consumo de sustancias es un hecho que ha sido monitoreado por diversos investigadores, quienes indican que las poblaciones más afectadas son las comunidades educativas. Dada su complejidad, resulta fundamental conocer los tipos de drogas o sustancias presentes entre los estudiantes universitarios, ya que conocerlas proporciona información respecto a la historia de consumo y la relación de los estudiantes con su entorno universitario. La investigación tiene como objetivo identificar la correlación del uso de drogas o sustancias en el rendimiento académico y el estado emocional. Su propósito es explorar el consumo de drogas o sustancias en la Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Río Piedras (UPRRP). Se tomarán como muestras estudiantes de 18 años en adelante, que cursan su segundo año en adelante en la UPRRP. Se les proporcionará un cuestionario en línea, compuesto por las herramientas validadas ASSIST y Escala de Bienestar Psicológico. De este modo, documentar los tipos de drogas o sustancias que están presentes en la universidad, el porcentaje de estudiantes que consumen drogas, las experiencias y las diferentes perspectivas que los estudiantes han enfrentado respecto al uso de drogas o sustancias durante su estancia en la universidad. Como resultado, se publicará y realizará un plan de contingencia para concientizar y minimizar el uso de sustancias o drogas en la University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.
Keywords: sustancias, consumo, estado emocional, rendimiento académico, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Este análisis aborda el trastorno de la pedofilia desde una perspectiva del construccionismo social, utilizando la desconstrucción de estereotipos a través del TED Talk “Let’s be mature about pedophilia” de Madeleine van der Bruggen y la lectura “Pedophilia and DSM-5: The importance of clearly defining the Nature of a Pedophilic Disorder” de Fred S. Berlín. Se presenta el origen del trastorno de la pedofilia como una problemática en la censura de los sentimientos de estas personas y cómo podemos evitar que actúen según sus instintos y causen daño a los niños, lo cual demuestra entonces la problemática como resultado de un trastorno. Se resalta la importancia de reconsiderar el lenguaje y las narrativas sociales, alejándose de etiquetas estigmatizantes. Además, se destaca la importancia de comprender el trastorno de la pedofilia como respuestas a eventos traumáticos, mediante un enfoque más humano y menos patologizante. Se menciona la aglomeración de personas con trastorno de pedofilia en la región sur de Puerto Rico y se explora el por qué se concentran allí. También se cuestiona el impacto de los avances tecnológicos como herramientas que pueden facilitar el acercamiento de estas personas a los niños o al contenido de abuso sexual infantil, planteando así la discusión sobre la línea entre lo “normal” y lo “anormal”. Se enfatiza la necesidad de un cambio en la conceptualización de la pedofilia, abogando por un enfoque que considere los factores subyacentes y promueva una educación sexual y de género más adecuada en Puerto Rico. Además, se sugieren acciones concretas como el desarrollo de programas de apoyo y la eliminación de estigmas a través de la educación, con el fin de lograr una sociedad que comprenda profundamente a quienes viven con el trastorno de la pedofilia y protejan a los niños en el futuro.
Keywords: Trastorno por Pedofilia, abuso sexual de menores, desconstruccion del discurso, estigmas, censura, Puerto Rico

Organizer(s) Eugenio Arima – University of Texas at Austin F García-Oliva – UNAM-Morélia A González-Rodríguez – UNAM-Morélia A Denvir – WRI-USA M.C Latorre-Cárdenas – UNAM-Morélia K.R Young – Univ. Texas at Austin R.M Torres – Univ. Texas at Austin

Chair: Eugenio Arima – University of Texas at AustinDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

In the past few decades, Mexico has experienced increased violence perpetrated by organized crime groups involved in illicit drug production and trafficking. Although systematic data on violence collected by government agencies exist, they are typically at the municipal level, hindering the understanding of more nuanced spatial patterns of violence risk. Similarly, direct collection of such data is impractical and dangerous to the observer. Here, data from 119 interviews conducted in June 2023 in Jalisco and Michoacán states, México, are spatially interpolated to create maps of violence risk. We discuss how these risk maps vary according to some demographic information and knowledge of the landscape. We overlap the risk map with avocado orchards to estimate how much of the territory is controlled by organized crime groups. We end the paper by discussing the shortcomings of our method and survey, and by highlighting extensions to the model that could be easily incorporated into future analyses.
Keywords: illicit economies, violence, export commodities

Supply chains link food commodities from their places of production to consumers, thus interconnecting supply with demand. We are examining the social and environmental costs of avocado production in Michoacán and Jalisco. Those are the only Mexican states permitted to export avocados to the United States, thus linking the value of avocados in U.S. supermarkets and restaurants with the lands where avocados can be produced and to the people involved in doing the growing and shipping of the fruits. Most avocados come from lands once covered with native forests, especially oak-pine forests located from 1400 to 2400 m, but with the deforestation front continuing to expand to include other elevations and forest types. The Avocado Belt is in a privileged biogeographical zone, with biotic elements from tropical lineages mixed with North American entities. The forest loss has occurred with habitat degradation due to edge effects acting on forest-orchard boundaries, with resulting fragmentation reducing forest connectivity. Besides implications for forest conservation, our research has also revealed ecological processes of concern within the orchards, principally due to fertilizer and water usage, with effects amplified as orchards expand. Some additional quandaries are the result of U.S. agricultural inspection criteria. Orchard-centric sustainability criteria could act to mitigate these effects, by reducing overfertilization, managing water demands, and prioritizing agroecological diversity. Forest-centric sustainability criteria could pursue zero new deforestation and reduce effects of forest degradation. Consumer interest in both kinds of sustainability targets could be leveraged to reduce environmental costs, while also considering the human dimensions of avocado social-ecological linkages.
Keywords: biodiversity, deforestation, food commodity, Mexico, social-ecological system, sustainability

En Colombia la Pudrición del Cogollo-PC fue declarada recientemente como una enfermedad de interés nacional gracias al lobby de la influyente Federación Nacional de Cultivadores de palma de aceite. La PC se ha expresado en forma epidémica en varios países de América Latina en los que predomina este monocultivo, por lo que es identificada como uno de los retos para la permanencia de la palma de aceite a nivel mundial, en particular para la industria en Malasia e Indonesia, los principales países productores. A pesar del tono apocalíptico con el que se suele presentar la PC en los medios, las crisis generadas por esta patología vegetal no han derivado en el colapso de las plantaciones. En esta ponencia exploro las incertidumbres y los efectos que tiene esta enfermedad en Colombia, a partir de la experiencia del Magdalena Medio, la segunda región con mayor producción de aceite en este país. Argumento que el análisis de la PC aporta en la comprensión de la forma en que articulan ciencia y tecnología para asegurar la prolongación de la palma y la violencia con la que se impone su producción a gran escala.
Palabras claves: Pudrición del cogollo, palma de aceite, violencia, monocultivos, Colombia.

It is now a relatively well-known fact that the agricultural commodity frontier has been advancing at a dramatic pace in the dry woodlands of the Gran Chaco, with serious consequences for people and for ecosystems. While there has been increasing (albeit arguably still insufficient) attention to the impacts of this frontier on Indigenous communities, surprising little work has looked at the life trajectories of Criollos, a somewhat ambiguous category used in the North of Argentina to refer to non-Indigenous, mestizo smallholders. Criollos have a complex positionality in the Chaco: until the mid-20th century, they were agents of Argentine settler colonialism, advancing into Indigenous lands with their livestock and with support of the State. Yet today their dispersed population, which extends into the borderlands of Bolivia and Paraguay with Argentina, finds itself on the wrong side of a new frontier, largely neglected by local governments, and facing dispossession and violence from outside investors. In this talk, I will use interviews conducted over the last five years in Paraguay’s Pilcomayo River basin, on the border with Argentina, to discuss the ways in which Criollo smallholders have coped with and responded to the fast expansion of the agricultural commodity frontier at a time when there is ‘nowhere else left to settle’. In particular, I will explore the role of social relations in mediating the effect of increasing land scarcity, and in the successes and failures of different Criollo households in maintaining traditional livestock-based livelihoods in this changing context.

Chair: Timothy B Norris – University of MiamiDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:15 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Little research has focused on geography as a context for AI deployment and policy. Further, even within current contexts for investigations, there is a distinct bias for scrutinizing technology and impacts within an urban context. This ignores the people and communities in non-urban spaces that, too, are and will be impacted by the creation and use of artificial intelligence. This project examines the implementation of AI and algorithmic technologies in those areas designated as rural and/or frontier. While innovation in AI technologies and the implications of unfettered data collection, use, and sharing is being explored, often in an expressly urban context, the ramifications for rural spaces has not explicitly been examined, except in the case of predictions for the deployment of agricultural tools and the economy. Studies exist that focus on the impact of AI on agriculture, the majority centering on yields and productivity. This is, undoubtedly, important research. But rural does not mean agriculture, although that can be an important aspect of rurality. Further, a dearth of research exists critiquing policy for rural AI. This research considers the impact artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision systems are having in often neglected geographic areas in Latin America.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, rural, frontier, conservation, environment, agriculture, policy

A century ago, Ch’orti’ Maya artisanal production used to be part of a self-sufficient economy. The manufacturing of handmade goods took place in rural aldeas, and regional specialization used to follow the availability of raw materials, such as tule, maguey, reed, palm, jícara tree, morro tree, and clay. Inhabited by ladinos (non-indigenous urban dwellers), the town of Jocotán hosted a dynamic weekly marketplace and Ch’orti’ Maya producers used to have a preferential location at the plaza. Today, most Ch’orti’ Maya artisans rely on suppliers for obtaining organic and synthetic materials rather than making their own plant-based fibers. At the marketplace, hammock producers and petate weavers have been relegated to selling their products in a peripheral location by the terminal while basket-makers have become street vendors. In this presentation, I use academic literature on uneven regional development and the right to the city to discuss how ladinos and indígenas use space to articulate ethnic differences in the Ch’orti’ Maya area. Due to deep-seated patterns of residential segregation between ladinos and indígenas, the urban-rural dichotomy has historically defined ethnic identities. In their quest for a feasible livelihood in the informal economy, Ch’orti’ Maya artisans have challenged ladino expectations to construe the plaza as a place of ‘progress.’ Although they have carved a location of themselves in the public space, rural aldeas remain devoid of investment in infrastructure.
Keywords: Uneven regional development, right to the city, petty commodity production, Ch’orti’ Maya area

More than 240,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps in more than 140 countries since the foundation of the organization in 1961. Much of the literature focuses on administrative history, politics and prominent figures rather than on the volunteers themselves and their personal experiences. Most of the studies do not take into account that the Peace Corps literally is a story-telling factory that reveals narratives and perceptions of and prejudice against Latin American cultures and countries. The aim of this paper is to get closer to the core of the Corps by analyzing personal narratives of volunteers from the 1960s that are shared in various formats, from personal letters, newsletters and diaries to memoirs and works of fiction. These subjective accounts provide not only insights into specific worldviews and geographical imagination (how Americans see others), but also draw a picture of how Americans are seen by Latin American cultures.
Keywords: Peace Corps volunteers, narrative geography, geographical imagination, culture shock, Latin America

The Handbook of Latin American Studies was initiated in 1936 as a collaboration between the SSRC, ACLS, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for World Peace. It provides summaries of publications, mostly produced within local regions in local languages (Spanish and Portuguese) although writings in English and French are also included. Published by the Library of Congress, it has been acquired by academic libraries and scholars, and hopefully helped many to learn about obscure sources. Contributors have included academics in all disciplines including Geography (starting in Volume 2) but have been almost entirely from the USA. I have been a contributing editor since Volume 67 (published in 2012). In this talk I reflect a bit about the experience of reviewing local sources over the last decade with some highlights and concerns about the experience and the Handbook’s uncertain future.

where: Cuartel de Ballajá
Light lunch provided with concurrent poster session.

Organizer(s) Roxana Escobar Ñañez – University of Toronto

Chair: Madeleine Carhuas – University of MinnesotaDiscussant: Madeleine Carhuas – University of MinnesotaDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session C: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: ICP Salón piso 1

The case of the López sisters—two Afro-mestizas who own and run a peña criolla—a venue centered around criollo music—in Lima, Perú, since 1974, allows me to analyze criollo music as a space-making practice to center Afro-mestiza women within Lima’s cultural productions. Afro-Perúvian women’s studies have primarily focused on their places and histories within the Perúvian slavery system and their participation in the Perúvian cultural landscape as singers, dancers, and cooks. Other studies have focused on their social and economic disadvantage in Perúvian society. Nevertheless, few studies have focused on their two-sided position as business owners and performers of their peñas. By focusing on the venue and the performance, we can see the constitutive role of Afroperuanas women in the criollo circuit. In this presentation, I aim to shed light on the different ways music is an available space in which blackness can be read as an integral and meaningful part of the landscape. As a theory and methodology, performance geographies seek to understand how black diasporic histories and geographies can be challenging to track on a map. With my essay, rather than just identifying black suffering and its relationship to place, I look to expand a conversation of black performance practices as integral to producing a black sense of place.

In this paper, I think through the possibilities and limitations of recovery in relation to archival research on the lives and fugitivities of enslaved Afro-descendant women in nineteenth-century Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. I draw on Black Feminist methodologies and work through questions of representation and critical fabulation in relation to the voices, perspectives, and experiences of enslaved women by reading “against the grain” police correspondence, arrest records, and fugitive notices in the Arquivo Público do Estado da Bahia and the Biblioteca Nacional Digital Brasil. Through these records, I contend that enslaved women leveraged their fungibility as domestic servants and market women to hide out and forge freedom within the terrain of their enslavement in the city, attempting thereby to expand geographical scholarship on marronage in more feminist and hemispheric directions.

Las mujeres del territorio de Abya Yala nos organizamos desde el apoyo mutuo para abrir caminos de liberación en nuestra vida cotidiana y en el espacio que habitamos. Vivimos y sentimos las opresiones sobre nuestro cuerpo y territorio. Ante la opresión tejemos redes en las que encontrarnos, cuestionamos el orden establecido y creamos posibilidades para vivir dignamente. Por ello realicé una cartografía donde se localizan 5 experiencias de grupos de mujeres, en Latinoamérica, Centroamérica y el Caribe, que se organizan para crear alternativas económicas que les brinden autonomía desde la solidaridad. Mujeres que han decidido aliarse para generar su independencia económica, como una forma de resistir al capitalismo, al colonialismo y a la violencia patriarcal. Es la transgresión del sistema de muerte para vivir en un cuerpo-territorio para la vida. Construyendo una nueva economía, la cual puede ser nombrada como alternativa, popular, solidaria y campesina.
Estas historias de mujeres, plasmadas en una cartografía, implican la rexistencia. Porque existimos desde nuestra autonomía y creatividad, y resistimos desde nuestra audacia y solidaridad.
Presentar esta cartografia se convierte en una estrategia para compartir saberes, disputar la memoria, ver las resistencias presentes y abrir horizontes de futuro. Para combatir el individualismo, la fragmentación social. Para reconocer el tejido de las mujeres de Abya Yala, organizadas a partir de territorios concretos, desde sus saberes cotidianos, populares, y comunitarios que transforman sus vidas. Es un desafío a las historias dominantes, patriarcarles y capitalistas, interpretando el territorio como una novedad sobre la cual decirlo todo.

This project explores the ontological negotiations that take place within the context of infrastructure development in the Perúvian Amazon. It approaches the minutes of a Previous Consultation process carried out in 2015, drawing on pluriversal politics as orientation for a non-extractive research design. This methodological intervention dwells in the equivocations of this process, with the aim of decentering Western knowledge and proposing representational alternatives that (re)center human-nonhuman relations instead of mistranslating them in political economic terms.

Organizer(s) Lucas J. Belury – University of Arizona

Chair: Nicholas L. Padilla – Western Michigan UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session C: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

Projected precipitation decreases due to anthropogenic climate change will have serious consequences for the millions of households in Central America that rely on rainfed agriculture. While a signal of anthropogenic climate change is not yet clear in regional precipitation data, many farmers throughout Central America have reported recent changes in rainfall. We use a combination of satellite-based climate data and over 700 household surveys from two departments in Guatemala to better understand farmers’ observations of wet season climate. Farmers’ perceptions of rainfall trends vary widely and we identify factors that may contribute to this lack of consensus. Because climate perceptions are often linked to adaptation decisions, we also assess how farmers’ observations and household characteristics influence agricultural practices. Our findings suggest that regional differences, including off-farm income sources, mediate farmers’ modification to their agricultural practices, irrespective of whether a trend in rainfall is perceived or not. However, minor adjustments to agricultural practices are significantly associated with perceived rainfall changes where there is greater dependence on income derived from smallholder agriculture. Reconciling household- and community-level perceptions with observed and anticipated climate variability and change is therefore critical in these regions to ensure appropriate adaptation interventions and strategies.
Keywords: Climate variability and change, Farmer perceptions, Guatemala, Adaptation, Smallholder agriculture

In this research paper we examine the shifting perceptions of climate change among Amerindian communities in the Guyanese Rupununi. This paper is based on qualitative research conducted in six Amerindian villages, and the research was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty from Texas and Guyana. We examine how Amerindian people experience the impacts of climate change and explore what this means for indigenous ecological knowledge. This paper pays particular attention to differences and similarities between age cohorts for a generational perspective on the changes wrought by shifting climates, as well as how this influences the threat perception of indigenous farmers towards climate change driven extremes. Finally, we examine how perceptions of climate change within the Rupununi are impacting indigenous ecological knowledge reproduction.

Forest carbon projects require careful design tailored to the involved local communities to ensure the delivery of positive livelihood and biophysical outcomes. However, little attention has been paid to the potential adverse effects that changing local livelihoods can induce for such a project over time, namely by altering the policy’s initial fit and compromising its socio-economic outcomes. This presentation shows the results of a study conducted with an Emberá indigenous community of Eastern Panama that has been engaged in conservation and carbon offset reforestation projects for over three decades. Based on a collection of individual and communal oral history interviews, we aim to better understand how a 15-year community-level reforestation project has interacted with and impacted local livelihoods over time, with special attention to how these interactions may have caused unanticipated outcomes. We find that misfits have arisen from features of the project originally ideated through early community consultations, namely the benefit-sharing mechanism and the adoption of agroforestry as a reforestation option. As the project unfolded and community consultations became scarcer, these aspects have failed to respond to participants’ needs and created unanticipated trade-offs between carbon sequestration and livelihoods. We link the emergence of these misfits to various changes within the social-ecological context triggered by internal and external drivers such as climate and environmental change, inflation, market pressures, community fragmentation, cultural shifts, and the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that maintaining community consultations and flexible adaptive governance throughout a forest carbon project’s lifetime are critical to safeguarding the representation of local communities in project design and, as a result, mitigating the risks of policy misfits over time.
Keywords: Forest carbon offset projects, Livelihoods, Conservation, Adaptive governance, Payments for ecosystem services, Panama

Within the last decade, the Blue Economy has become an important sector for sustainable development initiatives and funding. Correspondingly, Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries are increasingly looking to the Blue Economy for opportunities to service national debt and build sovereign wealth by exploiting their vast oceanic resources. Barbados, Belize, and Ecuador have all recently entered debt-for-nature swaps, in which they have refinanced sizable portions of their national debts in exchange for increased commitments to marine conservation. While some conservationists laud these debt-for-nature swaps for increasing the availability of funds for conservation, several Caribbean scholars criticize the swaps as not only being distractions from initiatives which actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also perpetuations of the extractivist logic of the plantation. This paper critically examines the increased interest in ocean-based debt-for-nature swaps in the Caribbean, attempting to grapple with the social, economic and ecological implications of the increased financialization of climate change mitigation.
Key terms: debt, conservation, climate change, Caribbean, blue economy, political ecology, economic geography

Racialized flood vulnerability is a rapidly worsening crisis as demonstrated by flood events from Hurricanes Katrina to Maria. These events have demonstrated that natural disasters are exacerbated by structural racism manifesting as exposure, biased mitigation investment, and inequitable recovery efforts. The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of South Texas exemplifies this racialized flood injustice. This four-county region at the southern tip of the Texas-Mexico border contains thousands of colonias – peri-urban, informal, and highly flood vulnerable communities. These flood events exacerbate the high poverty rates and poor public health outcomes of RGV colonias, causing a host of health issues including damaged and destroyed property, contaminated drinking water and mosquito-infestation (Belury 2023). Scholars have rightfully contested floods as ‘natural’ disasters and contextualized flood risk as a manifestation of the legacy of racism and colonialism (Bonilla 2020). The ongoing flood vulnerability in the RGV is a direct result of environmental racism, and includes unequal funding for flood mitigation infrastructure, xenophobic flood recovery support, economic exclusion, and discrimination from FEMA on post-flood aid (Rivera 2022).
This presentation will demonstrate that within the absence of the state, despite the impact of deepened flood vulnerable for colonia residents, there is a powerful form of resilience/resistance that emerges. In the context of post-Maria Puerto Rico this is referred to as Autogestión, meaning self-government (Roque et al. 2021), while similar acts of resilience in the Mexican and US-Mexican border communities may be referred to as Rasquache. This presentation examines flood vulnerability in the RGV by examining resilience/resistance by placing Rasquache and Autogestión in dialogue with one another as distinctive but powerful forms of resilience/resistance as a contestation of structural violence.

Organizer(s) Andrea Marston – Rutgers University Matthew Himley – Illinois State University Aaron Malone – Colorado School of Mines

Chair: Andrea Marston – Rutgers UniversityDiscussant: Matthew Himley – Illinois State UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session C: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

Mining formalization, or the recognition of mining rights, was initially conceived as a development policy fix aimed at poverty alleviation in the Global South. Geographers and natural resource governance scholars have uncovered that formalization is plagued with contradictions that further marginalize the people it should support. However, the formalization fix is often addressed as a single episode event, losing perspective over its long-term prevalence albeit defects. At the same time, formalization research needs to engage more with vertical territory-making, connecting mining rights and development policy with ordering subsoil space.
Instead of asking why formalization fails, I propose an alternative stance to examine what work formalization does through its consecutive failures. Introducing the analytic of “formalization rhythms,” I connect formalization with the politics of time through which the state advances subsoil legibility. I bring these lenses to the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Colombia and Perú, working with timelines developed in individual and group interviews with small-scale miners (2019-2020), USGS annual reports (1963-2015), and historical overview of mining legislation. Formalization, while targeting smaller producers, is functional for the standardization of subsoil grids through the introduction of interruptions (between older and newer grids), stalling (incomplete grid implementation), and procession (the succession of older grids without meaningful updates).
Colombia and Perú present different rhythm combinations, suggesting case (and place) specific formalization pathways. In the first case, the state-owned coal industry spearheaded the process, assisting miners in improving their operations, without meaningful transformations of the mining cadaster until early into the XXI century. When ASM shifted to gold, this experience imprinted a formalization orientation towards creating space for ASM within larger-scale concessions. In contrast, mining rights for smaller gold producers in Perú have been suspended or left stalling to modernize the mining cadaster. In the absence of overlaps with industry partners, formalization served to suspend mining rights to organize space anew for more preferable extraction scales. In both cases, formalization unleashes forms of subject disciplining around managing time in natural resource extraction, turning local actors into “patients of the state” through rhythms of waiting and hurriedness.

En la última década se ha intensificado el debate público del uso del litio como mineral estratégico para implementar un modelo de desarrollo que se dice sustentable y que nos puede encaminar a una transición energética que permita el menor uso de fuentes de energía fósil. En este sentido, tanto el cobre como el litio y las llamadas tierras raras, se consideran minerales estratégicos para las economías y centros industriales del capitalismo global; sin embargo, poco se ha revisado en torno a los impactos socioterritoriales y sentires de los pueblos latinoamericanos donde existen extractivismos de litio-agua. Por lo anteriormente dicho, esta ponencia tiene por objetivo exponer las condiciones socioterritoriales en la región semiárida de San Luis Potosí, México, recuperando los testimonios y reflexiones locales en torno a la política de la transición energética, la nacionalización del litio, su uso como fuente “sustentable” y los sentires hídricos de la explotación de salares del altiplano mexicano, al mismo tiempo que recuperamos los saberes y experiencias de las comunidades sudamericanas para realizar una reflexión conjunta sobre la in-sustentabilidad y la vulnerabilidad socioterritorial, compartiendo las alternativas contra extractivistas que se han implementado en México. La presente ponencia resumen avances de los resultados de la investigación posdoctoral, la cual conlleva trabajo de campo y metodologías sociales de la investigación como el testimonio, la historia oral, el mapeo participativo y la cartografía mediante QGIS.

Abstract: Large-scale mining (LSM) has been central to national development projects in many Latin American countries – the ‘extractive imperative’ that many governments embrace and/or face (Arsel et al 2016) – but LSM is widely critiqued for limited or negative local economic impacts in the sites of extraction. Benefits from employment and local spillovers are limited, stratified and temporary, while loss of land or water access and environmental contamination frequently undermine other livelihoods (Brain 2017). Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is also widespread and expanding in the region, but its economic and development impacts are less understood. Environmental harms are well documented, but there is also growing engagement with the sector’s role as a potentially important rural livelihood (e.g. Hilson and Hu 2022). This research centers economic and livelihood questions to analyze whether and how ASM’s impacts mirror or diverge from LSM’s. The study is based on a survey of 157 ASM workers and community members conducted in July 2023 in a single ASM site in Arequipa, Perú. Questions focused on earnings, expenditures, non-mining activities, investments, remittances, and aspirations.

Two types of mining activities contaminate the upper Atrato River in northwestern Colombia. The first is alluvial gold exploitation (AGE), in which small groups of people use machinery, manual labor, and mercury to mine floodplain sediments for gold, but in the process destroy river meanders and devalue the collective territories of Black Communities. The second is copper concentrate mining (CCM), which is led by a transnational Canadian company and exports seven tons of copper for every 230 tons of rock that it packs up as tailings near the river. In 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court recognized the Atrato River as a “subject with rights” and pushed state institutions to scrutinize how AGE and CCM threaten local communities’ territorial rights. Drawing on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork shadowing river stewards living by AGE and CCM sites, my paper analyzes how techno-scientific efforts aimed at studying mining-induced river-degradation actually help the state reconfigure extractivism in Colombia. First, I flesh out how toxicologists, hydrologists, and epidemiologists have measured mercury and other heavy metals along Chocoan Rivers. I emphasize that their engagement with local communities reproduces environmental injustice and fits with the government’s goal to bring the monopoly over the trade of gold back to the state. Second, I explain how community-based environmental justice activism achieved a public hearing to review CCM’s impact, but environmental oversight agencies protected the corporate actor from rigorous scrutiny. Third, I trace how governmental agencies exploit the unpaid labor of river stewards and promote copper as key resource to advance “the energy transition.” Although AGE and CCM differentially valorize their target minerals, my paper shows that governmental efforts to protect the rights of the river from these two types of mining do not substantively challenge the valorization process behind extractivism. Instead, these efforts enable the state to take over mining endeavors back from (small and large) private parties. My work contributes to ongoing debates on how nature’s rights and the river-as-subject sustain and expand extractivism in Latin America.
Keywords: alluvial gold exploitation, copper concentrate mining, river-as-subject, extractivism

Organizer(s) David S. Salisbury – University of Richmond Delaney Demaret – University of Richmond Christian Abizaid – University of Toronto

Chair: Joel E. Correia – Colorado State UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session C: 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Indigenous territories (IT) are vital to global sustainability goals, yet the expansion of extractive development increasingly threatens Indigenous well-being and territorial integrity. Growth-oriented development advocates long framed IT as marginal lands and underutilized spaces, converting them to sites of dispossession and colonial appropriation. This dynamic is evident in South America’s Amazon Basin, a region with the greatest biodiversity necessary to meet global climate change mitigation targets. However, IT are now widely recognized in scientific studies and popular discourse as necessary to meet challenges of global biodiversity and climate change crises. This paper thus asks, how does Indigenous-led conservation reshape debates about the role and design of protected areas in the Amazon? This paper draws from a multi-year study of IT that investigates strategies used to ensure ecological well-being in the face of change. Our findings show that Indigenous peoples sustain the biological diversity that characterizes many Amazonian PA through locally adapted institutions based on knowledge, innovation, and practices they collectively hold. The paper advances a novel theorization of biocultural geographies based on collaborative research and writing with members of the Cofán, Siona, and Siekopai Nations. We wed geospatial analysis of ecosystem fragmentation, ecological assays that measure species richness and occupancy, and social science surveys that detail Indigenous land-use management strategies to show that IT are highly heterogenous yet efficacious places that protect biocultural diversity.
Keywords: Indigenous territories, protected areas, biocultural conservation, social-ecological systems, Amazonia

Indigenous peoples (IPs) of Amazonia have made significant inroads since the early 1990s in securing their territorial rights, and Indigenous territories (ITs) have been found to effectively preserve forest cover. As rights are secure, many communities are facing the challenge of how best to manage their lands. A particular concern identified in recent studies is the prospect of growing land scarcity within Indigenous territories (ITs). In this paper I present a case study analysis of a Kichwa community along the Napo River in the Perúvian Amazon based on ethnographic and multivariate statistical analyses. I identify the processes that lead to land scarcity in ITs, and how land scarcity transforms indigenous household land use and land access. I find that land scarcity arises not only because of growing demand for land but from encroachment, fissioning, and competing claims by the State and non-State actors with ITs. Such scarcity leads to more contentious land access, land use intensification, and the transformation of local land access norms. Local transformation of governance practices and land use risk jeopardizing the processes that sustain the reproduction of forest landscapes in Indigenous territories.
Keywords: Perú, land scarcity, tenure, land use change, intensification

In the Perúvian Amazon, the rapid expansion of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) threatens biodiversity and the land security of the rural poor, Indigenous communities in particular. To promote more sustainable and equitable oil palm development requires understanding the factors shaping deforestation, including land titling and formalization. In Ucayali, 74.2% of oil palm is cultivated on titled land versus only 30.6% for all agriculture in the department, a sign that land title is key to this capital-intensive agriculture. Yet, it is unclear if titling precedes or follows land clearing and how trends vary between large and small operations. This research uses fixed-effect regression modeling and forest cover and cadaster datasets from government sources to assess the effect of titling on deforestation, controlling for proximity to roads and mills. Specifically, I focus on the deforestation sequence over the previous ten years for 920 parcels (~16,205 ha, total) planted in oil palm by year 2021. I also compare titling and deforestation trends between smallholder and industrial producers and test for land concentration during the study decade. I draw on 18 key informant interviews to explain the socioeconomic pressures underlying patterns of oil palm expansion, and to identify current policy measures to constrain deforestation. While land tenure insecurity is generally associated with deforestation in the Amazon, this study examines how titling efforts shape deforestation associated with capital-intensive commodities. Understanding these dynamics is critical as governments, including Perú, pursue land formalization to comply with the European Union Deforestation-free Regulation.
Keywords: oil palm, deforestation, land use change, land tenure, Amazon

Web maps and dashboard online platforms (i.e. COVID-19 dashboards) are an increasingly popular choice to share scientific research with the public. The Amazon Borderland Spatial Analysis Team (ABSAT) from the University of Richmond conducted research for a NASA SERVIR Amazonia project to analyze the relationships between forest degradation, deforestation, temperature change, evapotranspiration change, road building, and logging in the Amazon borderlands of Perú and Brazil. Indigenous and local NGO and government agency collaborators served as both research collaborators and end users of these dynamic platforms. The culmination of the project involved the creation of several web-based products including an ESRI Experience that showcased thematic datasets and maps with interactive widgets via digital resources to increase the understanding of decision makers and land managers of the relationships between land cover and climate change. This paper analyzes the maintenance phase of these online applications including version control and management, and the use of product analytics to better understand how to increase stakeholder impact.
Keywords: GIS, web, Amazonia, Borderlands, Indigenous, Deforestation, Forest Degradation, Climate Change

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Coffee and snacks 🙂Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences at the Universidad de Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.

Organizer(s) Brad D Jokisch – Ohio University Lindsey Carte – Arizona State University

Chair: Brad Jokisch – Ohio University Date and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session D: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: ICP Salón piso 1

Significant changes in US immigration/asylum policy, coupled with increasing flows and drivers of forcibly displaced people, has led to a transformation and expansion of the human smuggling/trafficking economy in the Americas. Since 2016, US asylum policy has shifted from a system based primarily on detention and deportation to one that includes policies of exclusion and expulsion, aiming to prevent migrants and asylum seekers from entering the US. Examples include the Safe Third Country agreements, the Migrant Protection Protocols program, Title 42, and migrant processing centers. These policies have engendered new patterns of hypermobility and immobility for migrants/asylum seekers, which has fueled the growth and evolution of the smuggling/trafficking economy in the Americas. This presentation draws upon nearly 100 in-depth interview to describe a typology describing these changes in the smuggling/trafficking economy. These include: 1) the inclusion of new actors into smuggling networks, 2) the diversification of smuggling routes, 3) the expansion of trafficking activities, and 4) dramatic increases in individual costs and the total value of the smuggling/trafficking economy. Collectively, these policies and the resulting hypermobility and immobility that result, are empowering and transforming organized crime across the region.
Keywords: migration, asylum, smuggling, trafficking, organized crime

In the last several years, Haitian and Venezuelan migrants have increasingly chosen Chile as a destination. Oftentimes, however, Chile is chosen after a previous journey to another country in the region; is a long-term stop on the way to another country; or recently, a place to return after a deportation or a failed journey to Mexico and the United States. In this paper we present research based on fifty in-depth qualitative interviews with migrants at different stages of their migration trajectory. Some interviewees were planning to leave Chile, or had returned to a sending country, while others were in transit to or were already in a new destination. Our results highlight the complex and unique circumstances facing migrants today in a new context of extended mobility in the Americas where the traditional migration phases are questioned and in which such trajectories impact migrant’s lives.

For over a century, New York City has been a major hub in the Latin American migration system. Published in 2004, “Changing Latinization of New York City” (Miyares 2004) examined the dynamic geographies of New York’s Latino communities, from its Caribbean roots to the growing diversity and newly emerging landscapes evident at the time. This paper revisits those places and presents the changes that have developed over the past two decades as then new Mexican communities have matured, and as previously more established groups have suburbanized or moved to new areas of the city. This paper also examines the initial impacts of recent migrants from Venezuela who have sought refuge in New York, many of whom have chosen to stay once they received temporary protected status.

Puerto Rico to United States migration flows have been researched throughout the last century. An important characteristic of this migration has been the role of the government in promoting it. Though it has had different forms depending on the historical and socio-economic context, governmental policies have been in place to either help or encourage many Puerto Ricans to migrate to a variety of destinations within the US. This paper will identify the regulations and policies regarding migration that were in place at the time of Hurricane María’s path over Puerto Rico and offer a comparison between those policies and the ones that were in place during previous decades. Attention will be placed in towards the middle 20th century in which a large number of people were migrating from Puerto Rico to the US. Currently existing regulations, such as Laws 20 and 22 (currently Law 60) are aimed at attracting migrants from the US indicating a change in migration policy. Even with these regulations in place, Puerto Rico to US migration flows have not decreased. Furthermore, the role of federally sponsored relief funds available to victims of climate and other kind of disasters may have actually altered some of these migration flows. These changes will be explored as well as the effects on the demographic composition of Puerto Rico.

Chair: Fiona J Gladstone – Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session D: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

A substantial emerging literature defines commoning as the collective process that leads to the creation of the commons. We suggest a definition of commoning as joint striving based on reciprocity and open engagement to achieve shared purpose, embedded in the creation and sustaining of commons. Yet there is a need for more careful empirical and comparative research to examine the relationship between anomalous commoning activity and everyday commons institutions. This is due, in part, to the very different disciplinary traditions these concepts span. On the one hand, commons research has largely focused on local resource-users and the everyday mechanisms that drive their behavior to conserve or not conserve resources. On the other hand, commoning research has generally focused on the anomalous circumstances that create shared purpose and the emergence of “alternative” or “community” focused economic and political relationships, often in urban settings and under crises of capitalism. Both of these research traditions tend to exclude key questions about how emergent or anomalous politics comes to infuse and shape everyday practice through commons institutions. Our ensuing analysis compares the emergence of two fishing and two forest commons in Mexico and India, respectively, to underscore twin features of the relationship between commoning and commons. We show how it is not just commoners, but also public and private agents that play crucial roles in the creation of commons. Additionally, we highlight how features of the commoning process shape both the structure and outcomes of commons institutions that emerge, i.e., both the institutional architecture and the distribution of benefits through institutions. We end our contribution with a call for closer engagement between researchers working on the commons and those concerned with the emancipatory politics of commoning.

A 70-year-old “quiet revolution” has shifted indigenous-state relations in Central America, resulting in the reorganization of indigenous lands into new geopolitical units we call “indigenous territorial jurisdictions” (ITJs). These novel tenure systems have precisely delimited external boundaries that enclose indigenous settlements and their resource use areas within seemingly “homogenous” polygons titled to local indigenous federations. Yet tenure security is often exchanged for environmental service contracts like forest conservation, which impose a new bundle of restrictions on indigenous communities’ land use. Furthermore, the internal dynamics of indigenous land tenure practices are often hidden beneath an ITJ’s external boundaries, creating uncertainty among environmental policymakers for whether ITJs protect forests in the long-term. Geographers have contributed valuable case studies across Latin America documenting whether titling indigenous territories is an effective approach to avoiding deforestation, but few have examined this interplay at a regional scale. This empirical study compares and contrasts publicly available GIS and remote sensing data to assess the impact of ITJs in curbing deforestation across Central America, where ITJs cover 20 percent of the isthmus and at least 25 percent of its remaining forests.
Keywords: Central America, indigenous, territory, forest conservation, GIS, remote sensing

Panamá se distingue por su alta biodiversidad por ser el hogar de aproximadamente el 3,4% de las especies de anfibios del mundo, el 2,3% de sus especies de reptiles, el 9% de las especies de aves conocidas, y el 4,8% de las especies de mamíferos. Se han identificado un total de 220 especies de peces de agua dulce y 1,157 especies de peces marinos. También se encuentra entre los primeros 25 países del mundo en términos de diversidad de especies de plantas y flores contando con el 3,3% de la diversidad mundial (datos del Ministerio de Ambiente, 2023). Esta biodiversidad está íntimamente ligada con su ubicación geográfica particular entre Centroamérica y Sudamérica, bañada por el Mar Caribe y por el Océano Pacífico. Esta misma situación también implica problemas ambientales relacionados con los impactos del cambio climático, como la subida del nivel del mar debido al calentamiento global. La combinación del crecimiento demográfico y la destrucción de los arrecifes de coral para crear barreras naturales contra el ascenso de las corrientes exacerba el ascenso de las aguas. La comarca indígena de Kuna Yala es una de las regiones más afectadas de los impactos del calentamiento global en el país en forma de ascenso del nivel del mar y mayor frecuencia de tormentas y huracanes combinados con el hacinamiento, falta de servicios básicos y el manejo ineficiente de residuos y desechos. Desde hace varias décadas, las autoridades comarcales han basado en la cooperación internacional para apoyar sus acciones relacionadas con la protección de su patrimonio biocultural. Esta estrategia ha tenido varias formas: participación en las organizaciones indígenas transnacionales desde los años 40, en particular en el Instituto Interamericano Indígena y la cooperación con los agentes internacionales que trabajaban en el desarrollo a partir del decenio de 1980. A través del tiempo, la cooperación se ha hecho más compleja y diversa tanto en términos cuantitativos (número de agentes implicados) como cualitativos (interrelación de los retos relacionados con el cambio climático y la degradación medioambiental). En este contexto, la investigadora propone una comunicación sobre dos de los desafíos más importantes entrelazados en el contexto centroamericano: el desafío ambiental y la gobernanza indígena. Mas precisamente, su participación se basa en un estudio de los impactos de la cooperación internacional en la gestión de los desafíos ambientales de la comarca indígena de Kuna Yala. Su estrategia de recolección de datos consiste en: una investigación documental sobre las actividades de conservación ambiental y la cooperación internacional en el seno de la comarca; la revisión de los proyectos o iniciativas ejecutados en la comarca entre 1927 y 2024, surgidos de la cooperación internacional con el objetivo de observar el tipo de proyectos ejecutados en materia ambiental. En la investigación, se han podido identificar 224 proyectos en cooperación internacional entre 1927 y 2024 a partir de los estudios realizados sobre la conservación ambiental y de los sitios web y redes sociales de las instituciones kunas: Congreso General Kuna, Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo de Kuna Yala, ONG kunas y las principales OI y ONGI que trabajan en desarrollo. Se trata de un corpus científico muy relevante para evaluar los impactos de la cooperación internacional cada vez mas compleja y diversa en materia de gobernanza ambiental indígena.

For more than three decades political ecologists have worked to think through, struggle against, and move beyond the living legacies of colonial conservation, capitalist state-led protected areas management and growth-based conservation strategies. Ecotourism, while fraught in so many ways, including for its potential to reinforce colonial relationships as well as its precariousness as a livelihood strategy, remains an important part of many conservation projects. This is important as global tourism and interest in ‘local cultures’ continues to grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As geographers teaching about Latin America and the Caribbean, and often encouraging our students to travel to the region, we have a special responsibility and opportunity to offer guidance in how to approach travel to the region, and ecotourism projects in particular. In this paper, I draw on my experiences as an eco-tourist and political ecologist in northern Central America, in two communities in Guatemala and Belize. I compare the trajectories of the two communities’ eco-tourism projects in the context of their conservation efforts and their struggles for economic well-being, and my own experiences as an advocate and participant in conservation activities. I use this analysis as a foundation for discussing a preliminary set of recommendations for undergraduates considering long-term engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Keywords: Political ecology, ecotourism, Central America, Guatemala, Belize

Chair: W. George Lovell – Queens UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session D: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

Housed in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, the “Mapas y Planos de Guatemala” comprise an attractive array of maps, painted in distinctive watercolour form, prepared in the wake of the “visita” (tour of inspection) undertaken between 1768 and 1770 by Archbishop Pedro Cortés y Larraz (1712-1787) of his far-flung Central American diocese, which stretched from Chiapas in present-day Mexico to El Salvador. The 113 maps that complement Cortés y Larraz’s written account of his pastoral inspection, the “Descripción geográfico-moral de la diócesis de Goathemala,” offer bird’s-eye views of parish settlements in Guatemala and the diverse landscapes that surround them. A felicitous find in New York’s Hispanic Society of America unearthed 68 pen and ink drawings that turn out to be the drafts upon which the watercolour maps that Cortés y Larraz commissioned are based. This discovery has enabled identification to be made of the artist, hitherto unknown, who travelled alongside the archbishop, one Bernardo Ramírez, whose en route notes and rough sketches he later worked into alluring paintings.

Este artículo hace referencia a la dinámica de la configuración histórica y geográfica del territorio hondureño ha venido evolucionando política-administrativamente desde el periodo colonial, pero sobre todo post la independencia de Centroamérica, debido a que la conformación del Estado- Nación trajo cambios fundamentales en la estructura estatal a causa de ser declarado libre, soberano e independiente y por los intereses geopolíticos, sociales, económicos, culturales, que genera el espacio geográfico como estrategia de poder. Dichos cambios estructurales a nivel territorial originados por influencia política e histórica han repercutido en el crecimiento económico y desarrollo del país en el ámbito, local, regional y nacional, y por consiguiente se ha reconfigurado el territorio y modificado el mapa de Honduras.
Palabras claves: configuración, ocupación, territorio, colonial, post independencia, Estado-Nación, geopolítico, espacio geográfico.

Los Discípulos de Cristo son una denominación protestante nacida en los Estados Unidos en el siglo XIX. En sus albores fue conocido como el movimiento Stone-Campell en honor a sus fundadores provenientes de Escocia. Su meta era fundar una denominación cristiana que no promoviera la división con otros grupos protestantes. Esta meta se convirtió en la inspiración de su lema principal “En lo esencial unidad”. Luego de la Guerra Hispanoamericana de 1898, diversas denominaciones evangélicas decidieron fundar nuevas congragaciones en Puerto Rico. Una de estas denominaciones fueron los Discípulos de Cristo, que se establecieron en la región norte central de la isla. En las primeras dos décadas del siglo XX, los Discípulos de Cristo en Puerto Rico se dedicaron a levantar Iglesias y obras sociales para la población en necesidad. Su éxito misionero motivo que la denominación expandiera sus misiones a otras naciones de la región del Caribe y Sur América. Esto hizo de Puerto Rico, la base de operaciones ideal para lograr esta visión evangelística que fomento el establecimiento de esta Iglesia Cristiana en América Latina.
Palabras claves: Región del Caribe, Sur América, Geografía de la Religión, Geografía Denominacional, Protestantismo. Geografía Histórica

The turn to industrialization in mid-twentieth century Puerto Rico meant that not all agrarian subjects could be integrated into the new imagined modern state and nation. In the 1950s, thousands of dispossessed workers were forced to migrate abroad. In this presentation I examine how the Puerto Rico Planning Board (PRPB) attempted to manage that migratory flow. Drawing on archival research, I analyze various plans by the PRPB to establish migrant communities in varying destinations, including US farms, the Venezuelan jungle, and Caribbean plantations. I present some of these plans, many of which never materialized, in an effort to uncover the problematic ways in which former PRPB president and economic geographer, Rafael Picó, and members of Puerto Rico’s criollo elite imagined, represented, and constructed Puerto Rico as a white settler nation. The presentation reveals how colonial planning became a technology through which (criollo) whiteness was imagined and inscribed into the landscape. Drawing on migration and whiteness studies in critical human geography, the presentation seeks to contribute to ongoing debates about the socio-spatial effects of racial inequities, by underscoring the intermediary (but prominent) role of colonial elites in exacerbating differences and extending imperial rule.

Organizer(s) David S. Salisbury – University of Richmond Delaney Demaret – University of Richmond Christian Abizaid – University of Toronto

Chair: Andrea Baudoin Farah – Colorado State UniversityDate and Time: Thursday May 23 – Concurrent Session D: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Whether driven by environmental conservation objectives or farmland accumulation goals, land grabbing has involved the dispossession and displacement of rural communities worldwide. These dynamics have framed burgeoning knowledge production and political action in critical agrarian studies for addressing contemporary agrarian and environmental changes in the context of multiple global crises. However, social formations and political conjunctures at the national and regional scales influence specific drivers and outcomes of land grabbing. In this conference paper, we will present more than three years of scholar-activist research alongside campesino (peasant) organizations on how particular land and green-grabbing dynamics have played a pivotal role in land concentration and dispossession in the Colombian Amazon.
The aftermath of the peace negotiation between the Colombian National Government and the leftist guerrilla of FARC-EP led to a surprising increase in deforestation and land accumulation in the region. Our research findings unveil an intricate narrative, suggesting that land appropriation is an integral element of a broader regional political economy, influenced by historical, political, and economic factors. Undoubtedly, the reconfiguration of FARC-EP, which previously encouraged community-based conservation, and the aftermath of the Peace Agreement have triggered substantial changes in the environmental governance dynamics. These transformations have led to recent trends in land appropriation, exacerbating the dispossession of rural communities. Yet, our primary finding suggests that in this region economic speculation on land and other commons, such as water and forests, is a means to capture the value of labor and nature, which is a central element of ‘territorial grabbing’ (similar to control grabbing). This process encompasses both green and land-grabbing dynamics. On the one hand, land grabbing has been a significant force in concentrating land through dynamics such as cattle ranching, coca cultivation, and new colonization of campesino settlers. On the other hand, green grabbing involves the appropriation of land for nature conservation through restrictive environmental policies and commodification mechanisms such as carbon markets and restrictive environmental policies. Green grabbing often results in the violent displacement of rural communities and restrictions on their livelihoods, as happened with the military strategy of ‘Operación Artemisa’. By focusing on the Colombian Northwestern Amazon region, we put forward a political economy analysis of “territorial grabbing” in agrarian frontiers in the ‘aftermath’ of armed conflicts. Hence, we aim to contribute to the critical agrarian studies global research agenda by shedding light on how specific social formations and political conjunctures shape the context-specific dynamics of deforestation and land-green grabbing.
Keywords: Deforestation, land grabbing, green grabbing, peasantry and Colombian Amazon.

Manning, M. M.1, Acevedo, M. A.2, Esbach, M.3, Correia, J.4, Simmons, C. S.5, and Walker, R. T.6
School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Florida
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
Department of Geography, University of Florida
Biocultural heritage, the practices and knowledge connecting human cultures with their environments, is being lost globally. This phenomenon is pronounced in the Ecuadorian Amazon, home to culturally diverse indigenous communities that interact closely with equally diverse fauna. As communities detach from biocultural heritage and environmental degradation increases, shifts from subsistence to commercial hunting arise, increasing pressures on wildlife populations. We examined how commonly harvested animals’ occupancy varied across four indigenous communities in Ecuador–Zábalo, Siekopai, Siona, and Sinangoe–that represent a gradient of detachment from biocultural heritage. Using camera trap data, we analyzed occupancy as a function of anthropogenic and environmental variables. Generally, communities with lower levels of detachment had higher levels of animal occupancy. Still, occupancy varied noticeably among sites and among species, suggesting that the consequences of biocultural heritage detachment are likely complex and nuanced.
Keywords: Biocultural heritage, Ecuadorian Amazon, indigenous communities, species occupancy, hunting pressure, species occupancy, camera traps, human-wildlife interactions.

Since the 1990s, various Latin American countries have acknowledged more inclusive indigenous rights, including the right to territorial autonomy. Indigenous autonomy helps ensure environmental justice by reclaiming indigenous peoples’ environmental decision-making power in their territories. However, being dynamic and relational, autonomy is an always ongoing and incomplete process. In this presentation, I analyze the fluctuations of de jure and de facto indigenous autonomy over three decades in the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) in Bolivia. Drawing on the capability approach, I track the evolution of empirical meanings of indigenous autonomy: territorial defense and consolidation; dignified livelihoods; strength of social fabrics; and uncoerced decision-making (in engaging the state through indigenous marches and prior consultation). Results show fluctuations of autonomy levels over time, mirrored by varying levels of environmental (in)justices; from distributional dimensions related to the costs and benefits of natural resource use and exploitation, procedural issues related to decision-making processes, to recognitional issues related to redefinitions of who indigenous deserving to be part of the Plurinational State project are. This analysis contributes to clarifying the relationships between de jure and de facto indigenous autonomy dimensions and better understanding the implications of such processes for environmental justice in indigenous territories.
Keywords: indigenous autonomy, environmental justice, capability approach, Bolivia, TIPNIS, Latin America

Over 30 years ago, ILO Convention No. 169 was singed, marking a commitment to uphold the human rights, autonomy, and territorial ownership of indigenous and tribal peoples in Latin America. Ecuador and Brazil, signatories to this treaty, underwent constitutional reforms inspired by Multicultural and Plurinational principles, reinforcing indigenous territorial rights. Despite these protections, indigenous territories globally confront threats from neoliberal development. Then, why Indigenous rights in Brazil and Ecuador have been violated? How are these violations justified and what mechanisms are employed? This paper examines the disparities between legal provisions and actual practices in both countries, and compares two cases of incursions onto Indigenous territories in the Amazon, specifically ancestral homelands of Munduruku and Cofan. Recognizing the disparities between de jure and de facto indigenous law is crucial for guiding new directions in South America’s constitutionalism, that can lead to a full realization of said rights. Understanding the contrast between constitutional guarantees and the reality in neoliberal societies is vital for guiding autonomous political mobilization and resistance, essential for preserving the rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil and Ecuador and their crucial role in Amazon rainforest conservation.
Keywords: Indigenous law, indigenous peoples, constitutionalism, effectiveness, resistance.

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Keynote Speaker: Ruth Santiago – Community and Environmental LawyerElectric System Transformation Imperatives to Enact Energy and Climate Justice in Puerto RicoPresentations:Earth JusticeQueremos SolWhite House Environmental Justice Advisory CouncilCLAG Honors and Awards

Friday May 24

where: Arcades del Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
Light breakfast provided.

Chair: Francisco Lara – Arizona State UniversityDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: ICP Salón piso 1

Esta investigación aborda la representación de las periodistas puertorriqueñas negras en los noticieros tradicionales televisivos en Puerto Rico, tomando en consideración tres líneas de pensamiento: la interseccionalidad, la propiedad de medios o “media ownership” y el colorismo. Dado esto, la investigación tiene cinco objetivos principales: (a) explorar las experiencias de las mujeres periodistas puertorriqueñas negras; (b) examinar las implicaciones de su representación mediática; (c) estudiar el trato hacia estas mujeres en el ámbito laboral; (d) investigar el impacto que tiene la industria de los medios de comunicación masiva sobre los estándares de belleza e ideologías raciales que predominan en las representaciones del periodismo televisivo; y (e) discutir el rol de quienes se encargan de tomar las decisiones y escoger los criterios para seleccionar a las mujeres que se contratarán en los medios noticiosos. Se diseminó una convocatoria para invitar a las periodistas puertorriqueñas negras en los noticieros televisivos y en la prensa de comunicación independiente a una entrevista semiestructurada. Para esta, se lograron reclutar cinco participantes, dos de ellas tenían experiencia en televisión y prensa independiente, mientras que las otras dos participantes tenían experiencias solo en televisión y la última participante tenía experiencia en prensa independiente solamente.

This paper highlights some of the experiences – successes and challenges – of snowball sampling in qualitative fieldwork, based on my own recent experience collecting data for my doctoral dissertation in Nicaragua (December 2023 – January 2024). I share the positive and negative results of relying largely on snowball sampling to meet the majority of research participants interviewed, and discuss limitations and ways to improve for future studies. On one hand, snowball sampling has proven to be a great way to connect with locals, familiarize oneself with the field site, and make sure that appropriate people participate in the study. On the other hand, snowball sampling seems to have a limiting impact on the number and demographics of the people one can access. Positionality of the researcher plays a role as well, and certainly makes some populations more accessible and open compared to others. This might lead to an over-representation of one demographic of people, and lead to a harder time working with other groups. Ultimately though, snowball sampling does allow a researcher to focus their energy on a smaller number of individuals, and learn about their lives and experiences in a more personal and in-depth manner.
Keywords: LGBT+, Snowball Sampling, Nicaragua, Machismo, Qualitative Fieldwork

My focus on the gendered spaces of food preparation—which I termed kitchenspace—began as a UT Austin as a geography PhD student in 2000. It was a feminist strategy to recognize women’s knowledge and priorities in three communities in Mexico, including Xochimilco, where preparing food for community celebrations is part of the fabric of everyday life. Published in the first volume of JLAG in 2002 as Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia, it remained one of the journal’s most popular papers by request in 2023. Since then, I have incorporated kitchenspace in my gender research with multi-disciplinary agricultural research-for-development projects funded by USAID’s Feed the Future. In this presentation, I will share how the approach I developed as a student to explore everyday life and nature/society relations in central Mexico has been useful with small-holder farmers in Uganda and Ethiopia. I draw on feminist political ecology as a framework and use ethnographic and participatory research methods including hand-drawn mapping, journaling, and a milk allocation game. Focusing on food and kitchenspace has served to explore issues as diverse as aflatoxins and food safety in Uganda and invasive weeds and integrated pest management in Ethiopia. In this presentation I will share my research from the three countries, including reflections on the process, and key findings such as cultural resistance and adaptation to climate change literally in women’s hands and the importance of food for building and maintaining community social networks.
Keywords: kitchenspace, food preparation, gender, everyday life, field methods, Mexico, East Africa

The Cambridge Dictionary defines transect as “a line or narrow area along or within which measurements are taken.”. Transects are widely used by biologists and ecologists as a tool to measure and document variations in the dispersion of the constitutive elements (animated and unanimated) of habitats and ecosystems. The concept is also widely used in planning and urbanism to describe and prescribe land cover and land use zones ranging from the most natural to the most urbanized environments. This paper applies the concept to the study of border places. In consistency with prevailing ideas in border studies, I define a border transect as a visual schema that describes how the effect and material expressions of bordering vary within and across a border. The transect cuts a cross-section of a border place along an imaginary line originating on the main point of cross-border interaction (la Garita), revealing a spectrum of spatial functions and social practices differentially linked to the border. The concept is applied to the analysis of cities on the US-Mexico border.

Chair: Luis Sánchez Ayala – Universidad de los AndesDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

El crecimiento de la superficie urbanizada en ciudades grandes y medias es considerado en ocasiones un proceso normal resultado de una urbanización no siempre controlada. Este proceso produce intensas transformaciones en los paisajes sobre los que se asienta la ciudad, se originan paisajes urbanos, se modifican sus zonas funcionales. El estudio dinámico de estas transformaciones permite idenficar tendencias y patrones, de tal manera el objevo fue estudiar el crecimiento ocurrido en la superficie urbanizada en Zona Metropolitana de Oaxaca en un período de 16 años con el uso de métodos de análisis espacial, por ello, se evaluaron los cambios de cobertura y uso de suelos, los cambios según las formas de tenencia y de los paisajes urbanos. Los resultados mostraron que el crecimiento de la superficie urbanizada se produce a expensas de la agricultura de temporal, que ocurre con mayor intensidad en propiedad privada y ejidal, y en paisajes de viviendas picas, asentamientos tradicionales y asentamientos irregulares, estos úlmos en parcular en la zona periurbana. Se analizan algunas posibles causas de estos resultados.
Palabras clave: superficie urbanizada, dinámica, paisajes urbanos, Oaxaca, México

The urban growth of Bogotá (the capital of Colombia) was marked by a process of rapid and extensive urbanization that took place throughout the 20th century. During this time, informal settlements began to emerge on the outskirts of the city, where “vacant” lands were not suitable for urbanization. Currently, many of these neighborhoods (considered informal) are subjects of a resettlement plan that would force the communities to leave what they understand as their territory. In response to such state policies, some communities initiated the process of creating what they call an “Ecobarrio” (Eco-neighborhood). We explore how the idea of an Ecobarrio became a strategy of territorial resistance. The concept of Ecobarrio entails a commitment to understand the subjects (the people) as deeply connected with the place in which they live. Through such comprehension of space, the Ecobarrio works as a way of expressing and claiming the rights of people that have been historically marginalized.
Keywords: Territorial resistance, participatory mapping, Ecobarrio, Bogotá

Puerto Rico’s car system is remarkably stable as though it were free from the archipelago’s ongoing socioeconomic crises. The success of automobility is undeniable: overwhelmingly, driving has taken over and subordinated public transit use, walking, and cycling throughout the archipelago. Prior studies on car dependency in Puerto Rico identify two major lock-in mechanisms to the island’s automobility: a chronic underfunding of public transportation coupled by sprawled development. In this paper, I introduce the automotive industry’s critical role in perpetuating car dependence. I draw from Mattioli et al’s (2020) characterization of the car-dependent transport system as shaped by the automotive industry, car infrastructure, urban sprawl’s political economy, public transport provision, and car consumption cultures. Puerto Rico’s political economy of car dependence requires a careful disentangling as it is built from design, regulatory, and funding standards unevenly implemented from yet heavily influenced by the U.S. I demonstrate how car dependence in Puerto Rico is co-constituted between the unmet goals of the colonial state in promoting road building as a development strategy and the profit-driven goals of the automotive industry. Through examining the funding and financing mechanisms of the Puerto Rican car system, indebtedness becomes a primary driving force. Focusing on a twenty-year period since 2004, I examine the coercive nature of indebtedness, mediated by banks and financial institutions, in bringing together the state and the driver, sutured by road building politics and car sales. I argue that road building and the act of driving become entangled through financialization, pointing toward a porous relationship between the colonial state and the private corporation necessary in sustaining automobility. My aim is to point toward a more thorough and rounded analysis of car dependence in Puerto Rico as necessary in disrupting automobility’s lock-in.
Keywords: automobility, public debt, financialization, automotive industry

Los siglos de colonialismo en Puerto Rico han forjado paisajes de modernidad y abandono, donde la infraestructura en ruinas siempre tiene el potencial de ser desarrollada para la acumulación de capital. Este artículo examina el legado de la militarización en Puerto Rico, con un enfoque particular en la base naval Roosevelt Roads en Ceiba. Roosevelt Roads representa una de las manifestaciones del colonialismo y el giro hacia una economia de servicios, donde la tierra se convierte en poder y capital. Integrando perspectivas de geografía militar y ecología política, junto con análisis de publicaciones periodísticas, investigaré el estado de abandono de Roosevelt Roads tras el cierre posterior a la salida de la Marina en Vieques. Además, exploraré los proyectos actuales para revitalizar estos terrenos para el desarrollo de la economía azul. Aunque el enfoque de este artículo es Puerto Rico, la imposición de bases militares por parte de grandes potencias no es un asunto aislado, sino que se extiende a través de todos los territorios caribeños.
Palabras clave: militarización, Roosevelt Roads, desarrollo, colonialismo

Organizer(s) Joel E. Correia – Colorado State University Gabriela Valdivia – University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Aaron Bobrow-Strain – Whitman College Andrea Marston – Rutgers University Matt Himley – Illinois State University Andrea Baudoin-Farah – Colorado State University

Chair: Joel E Correia – Colorado State University Discussant: Joel E. Correia – Colorado State University Date and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

Panel Description: This session convenes experts in political ecology, environmental justice, Indigenous politics, and extractivism to engage and discuss Joel Correia’s book Disrupting the patrón: Indigenous land rights and the fight for environmental justice published by University of California Press in April 2023. Each panelist will share critical feedback followed by an author response and open conversation.

Book abstract: In Paraguay’s Chaco region, cattle ranching drives some of the world’s fastest deforestation and most extreme inequality in land tenure, with grave impacts on Indigenous well-being. Disrupting the Patrón traces Enxet and Sanapaná struggles to reclaim their ancestral lands from the cattle ranches where they labored as peons—a decades-long resistance that led to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and back to the frontlines of Paraguay’s ranching frontier. The Indigenous communities at the heart of this story employ a dialectics of disruption by working with and against the law to unsettle enduring racial geographies and rebuild territorial relations, albeit with uncertain outcomes. Joel E. Correia shows that Enxet and Sanapaná peoples enact environmental justice otherwise: moving beyond juridical solutions to harm by maintaining collective lifeways and resistance amid radical social-ecological change. Correia’s ethnography advances debates about environmental racism, ethics of engaged research, and Indigenous resurgence on Latin America’s settler frontiers.

The book is available open access here:

PanelistsGabriela Valdivia – University of North Carolina Chapel HillAaron Bobrow-Strain – Whitman CollegeAndrea Marston – Rutgers UniversityAndrea Baudoin-Farah – Colorado State UniversityMatt Himley – Illinois State UniversityJoel Correia – Colorado State University

Organizer(s) Zoe Pearson – University of Wyoming Adrienne Johnson – University of San Francisco Case Watkins – James Madison University

Chair: Zoe Pearson – University of WyomingDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session A: 9:00 am – 10:30 amPlace: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Thirty years of emphasis on market interactions as the key to solving sustainability challenges has left scholars and activists wringing their hands. This frustration and sense of urgency has been particularly poignant in issues surrounding food production and land-use change. While creative approaches to promoting sustainable land-uses have abounded, agriculture persists as a major cause of biodiversity loss. Mounting evidence indicates that a business-as-usual approach to encouraging sustainable food production rests on erroneous assumptions about human value systems and their link to food and land, often resulting in perverse and/or inadequate outcomes. The “relational turn” in sustainability science (West et al. 2020) arrives onto this scene, revisiting central questions about how values inform human-environment interactions and how policy can leverage values for more sustainable and equitable solutions. We contribute to this discussion through sharing case-studies of grassroots sustainable agricultural movements in Latin America.
In each, we explore how relational values are linked to transformative action, and how this intersects with or challenges relevant institutions and political structures. Through this analysis, we illustrate the presence of the relational turn within these movements, while questioning whether existing institutions are prepared to embrace a relational approach to policy, as opposed to the utilitarian value framing that has become the status quo. We suggest that the relational turn calls for a more radical transformation of existing institutions than that embraced by most policy makers, and that this central challenge will persist in any attempt to scale up sustainable “local” movements to affect global change.

Private certification standards have long been used to govern the sustainable production of environmental resources. In the agro-industry, certification initiatives such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), often function at a national level with various national laws, rules, and regulations drawn upon to ensure successful implementation of sustainability standards across a country. Furthermore, the certification of individual corporate operations and smallholder plantations has typically been pursued to ensure compliance with national standards. This paper examines the recent rescaling of the RSPO’s certification processes and the reasons behind the initiative’s move towards a ‘jurisdictional approach’ (JA). The purpose behind a JA is to certify entire regions rather than individual actors. Currently, the jurisdictional approach is being piloted in palm-growing regions of Ecuador and Indonesia. To some, ‘downscaling’ certification processes is beneficial for smallholders since many costs are covered by companies and local governments thereby facilitating their compliance with standards. However, others believe that a JA is a reaction to the failure of RSPO certification on a national level and downscaling certification efforts is a way to keep the RSPO relevant and alive.
Drawing on empirical and theoretical insights from both Ecuador and Indonesia, this paper contributes to emerging conversations on jurisdictional political ecology and interrogates the scalar politics and power relations associated with jurisdictional sustainability and palm oil governance.
Keywords: Palm oil, RSPO, environmental governance, jurisdiction, Ecuador, Indonesia

Bamboo has been promoted globally as part of the green economy, and as a nature-based solution to provide climate smart income to those living in conditions of rural poverty. The same argument has been made for Guadua bamboo species in Ecuador for over 20 years. While there are several existing local markets for bamboo, the promises of large-scale economic growth or poverty reduction through the development of new bamboo commodity chains has not manifested in any meaningful way, despite ongoing efforts, desires, discourses, and actions. In this paper we are less concerned with the prospects for ‘development with bamboo’ and more interested in elaborating the various ways in which people in coastal Ecuador currently engage with bamboo—both in light of and despite the ongoing discourses surrounding the promise of bamboo for rural and national development. Human-bamboo relations matter for better understanding and respecting the “social life” of bamboo in this place, particularly given the context of the work done by implicating bamboo in discourses surrounding development.

In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and María caused catastrophic damage to social and ecological landscapes alike, denuding Puerto Rico’s forests to expose poverty and vulnerability—including in the agricultural sector—across the island. Research in neighboring Cuba suggests that agroecology farming practices promote resilience to economic and environmental disturbances, such as hurricanes. This study covers research conducted in both archipelagos to explore hurricane preparation practices of agroecology farms and their immediate survival after the infamous 2017 hurricane season. Findings show striking differences between Cuban and Puerto Rican farm preparedness and recovery, driven by each country’s sociopolitical fabrics. This research demonstrates that Hurricanes Irma and María were not only natural disasters but produced constructed social collapse in Puerto Rico. As import-dependent Puerto Rico continues to develop agroecology practices, builds a local food economy, and promotes food security, findings suggest Cuba offers lessons for survival.
Keywords: Puerto Rico, Cuba, agroecology, hurricanes, resilience, food security, islands.

Organizer(s) Catherine Nolin – University of Northern British Columbia Vaclav Masek – University of Southern California

Chair: Catherine Nolin – University of Northern British ColumbiaDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:30 pm (extended session)Place: ICP Salón piso 1

The Fénix nickel mine in El Estor, on the shores of Lake Izabal, is emblematic of a new extractive frontier in northern Guatemala. To take root, extractive industries both require and come to constitute a new territorial order. The state is often assumed to be the most important actor in such processes of territorialisation, though recent work has highlighted the importance of non-state actors, including capital, and the constitutive role of violence, including “corporate counter-insurgency”, in the production of extractive frontiers. This research draws on emails and internal documents leaked from Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN) servers in 2022 to explore the varied strategies used by extractive capital to produce extractive spaces. Using a framework based on existing studies of territorialisation processes, I explore how CGN and its network of allies – both state and non-state – used markets, regulation, discourse, and violence to assert control over the territorial resources they required, thereby shaping a new, extractive, territorial order. The research shows how CGN deployed multiple territorial strategies simultaneously, taking advantage of Guatemala’s land laws, corrupt governance, and social cleavages to achieve its aims. Understanding these dynamics can contribute to social movements that seek to defend their territories from being incorporated into global circuits of accumulation at the expense of local lives and livelihoods.
Keywords: environmental justice, Indigenous land rights, defence of territory, resource conflicts, political geography

Corruption and kleptocracy has plagued Guatemalan institutions in the post-conflict period. At the same time, international development agencies have poured significant resources into shaping and “strengthening” environmental governance in the country: helping to write laws, enact policies, train public officials, and support the sustainable management of diverse natural resources. This research examines trends in over thirty years of international aid for climate and the environment, exploring the effect these initiatives have had on captured institutions and environmental rule of law. I find that aid helped shape an administrative architecture that is legible to the international community, while doing little to improve enforcement of basic environmental regulations or address serious environmental harms. Ultimately, I suggest, the synergies between international climate and environmental finance and the interests of corrupt actors reinforce the ability of extractive industries—both traditional and newer forms of “green” extractives—to operate with impunity.
Keywords: corruption, impunity, development finance, climate and environmental governance, extractive industries, Guatemala

The last fifteen years in Guatemala have shown an exponen6al increment in social movements from different social sectors and interests. From local and regional protests to na6onal strikes, these movements have shown the fragile legi6macy of the state and its poli6cs, as well as the persistent effects of decades of social exclusion, discrimina6on, and manipula6on. This presenta6on examines two representa6ve social processes of this period that differ in territorial scale and grievances but that show the reproduc6on of structural urban-rural dynamics that difficult the performance of social movements and their ability to gain poli6cal spaces. The data were obtained through a content analysis of mainstream and alterna6ve media outlets of two case studies of resistance against hydroelectric facili6es, and through an ethnographic analysis conducted amidst the protests of 2023. By comparing both experiences, this research underscores the complexity of a postcolonial socio-poli6cal landscape, revealing persistent hurdles yet poin6ng towards avenues of op6mism for a more inclusive and democra6c society. Secondly, by unraveling the intricacies of these dynamics, we gain valuable insights into the evolving nature of ac6vism in Guatemala and its poten6al to reshape the na6on’s poli6cal discourses.

Guided by decolonial geographies (Radcliffe 2022) and methodologies (Tuhiwai Smith 2021), we aim to amplify Indigenous and non-Indigenous community resistance to, and experiences with, transnational mining development in Guatemala. Most often, these operations are initiated or owned by Canadian corporations in an alliance with corrupt Guatemalan leaders and with aid from Canadian government offices; spurring our interest in Canadian accountability abroad while fostering transnational solidarity.
his presentation will provide updates to the co-edited book Testimonio: Mining in the Aftermath of Genocides in Guatemala (Nolin and Russell 2021) from two educational fact-finding delegations to Guatemala (November 2022 and May 2024).
Keywords: structural violence; decolonial geography; Guatemala; resistance; Canadian mining; development

Multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, participant observation, interviews, and archival sources describe the mechanisms driving environmental movements in areas affected by multinational mining concessions. Demanding political representation through distinct repertoires of contention, three organized communities at the edge of the extractive frontier–the Maya Q’eqchi lakeside town of El Estor, Izabal; the Xinka villages surrounding San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa; and the ladino population on San José del Golfo, Guatemala–deploy a series of strategic actions to participate in resource management questions, building civic coalitions that mold the discourse and policy of local and national development issues.

Chair: Nikolai A. Alvarado – University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:30 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá MLA Salón Multi-Uso piso 2

The article draws on the infrastructural turn in urban studies to reflect on the novel forms of migrant politics and citizenship that become established in informal settlements, and which are mediated through the contested materiality of the city. Using the experiences of Nicaraguan migrants in Costa Rica as empirical anchor, the article reveals how alternative forms of governance and vital migrant-state relations emerge at sties of infrastructural transgressions which challenge dominant notions of citizenship, politics, and the state. Dominant debates in migration studies tend to circumscribe the political agency of migrants within broad categories of either contention or imperceptibility, while often abstracting the state as a top-down, homogenous, and primarily antagonistic institutional totality in the lives of migrants. The actually-existing forms of migrant-state relations discussed here rupture this rigid political binary between contention and imperceptibility. Moreover, a focus on struggles around infrastructures in informal settlements help reveal the everyday state and its multiple manifestations in the ordinary. A motley of agents representing multiple institutions of the state provide apertures for migrants to entangle themselves into daily decision-making processes and to craft democratic moments through the ongoing production of urban infrastructure. Such migrant experiences in ordinary cities across the globe, particularly within south-south trajectories, rarely make it into the canon of migration studies.
Keywords: migrant-state relations; urban politics; citizenship, urban informality, infrastructure

Investors and economic development specialists often discuss Mexico and Turkey together, as “MINT countries,” for their potential economic growth and status as so-called rising powers. Scholars of both countries also note authoritarian tendencies in the governance of each country, often focusing on norm-flouting excesses of political leaders and their coalitions. This presentation argues for the need to correct a depoliticizing tendency in discourse on “emerging economies,” and to supplement research on authoritarianism in these contexts, by stitching the theme of violence into studies of urban economic development and highlighting a geographical form by which impunity around that violence is being ensured. With reference to fieldwork and by synthesizing literatures on central Mexico (including Mexico City) and the Aegean region of Turkey (including Izmir), we suggest that impunity around violence that inheres in urban economic development in these countries is contingent upon how spaces of everyday life are being represented or otherwise configured. Our critical landscape studies approach promotes thinking between the two urban regions and national contexts, referring to material transformations and representations of place as technologies of sovereign power that, in each context differently, facilitate disavowals of responsibility for the violence required by urban economic development, including in projects promoted as part of the “Fourth Transformation” in Mexico and “Urban Transformation” in Turkey. We argue that urban economic development in these contexts should be examined for how it takes shape through landscapes that naturalize violence and make it unaccountable.
Keywords: landscape, politics, urban economic development, violence, México, Türkiye

International applications of spatial planning theory often disregard the nuances of ‘place,’ overlooking the significant differences between island and non-island contexts. Yet, in small islands, the challenge of constrained land availability poses a significant obstacle to urban growth. This is evident across many islands, where sprawl is having detrimental consequences for their environmental, social, and economic sustainability. To address this gap in the literature and by drawing on semi-structured interviews with government decision-makers from Aruba and Barbados, my research reveals the key drivers shaping the relationship between urban growth and land scarcity in these two islands. Located in the Southern and Eastern Caribbean, with land areas of 180 km2 and 430 km2, respectively, Aruba and Barbados have two of the highest population densities in the region. Despite differing colonial legacies, spatial planning traditions, and expectations for population growth, policymakers in both islands actively advocate for a shift towards a compact urban growth model because of the pressing issue of land scarcity. The challenges to implementing sustainable urban growth policies in both places reveal the critical need to reconsider colonially inherited land management systems, particularly considering their influence on housing policy. This research contributes to literature in island geographies by underscoring the place-specificity and power dynamics of spatial planning in small islands, thereby shedding light on the contrasting facets of Aruba and Barbados and the diverse urbanization experiences evident in the Caribbean.

Organizer(s) Andrea J. Marston – Rutgers University

Chair: Andrea J. Marston – Rutgers UniversityDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:30 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Protocolar

Panel Description: In partnership with CLAG, the University of Florida Press has launched a new book series, Critical Geographies of Latin America and the Caribbean. This series seeks to explore Latin America and the Caribbean through the multiple lenses of geography: environment, land, people, culture, history, economy, and politics. Conceptualizing the region broadly, and even working to destabilize Latin America as a political category, this series explores how political, economic, social, and ecological structures intersect with race, gender, class, sexuality, and other critical social categories. The confluence of these interactions at various scales will show how the region is defined by ruptures and barriers, but also by rhythms, continuities, and fluidities of time and space that lend to new political possibilities. Series editors Joel Correia, Andrea Marston, Aaron Strain, and Joaquín Villanueva discuss their perspectives, goals, experiences, and recommendations for prospective authors interested in creating new opportunities and new narratives in the study of Latin American and Caribbean geography.

PanelistsJoel Correia – Colorado State UniversityAndrea Marston – Rutgers UniversityAaron Strain – Whitman CollegeJoaquín Villanueva – Gustavus Adolphus CollegeAdam Bledsoe – University of Minnesota

Organizer(s) Zoe Pearson – University of Wyoming Adrienne Johnson – University of San Francisco Case Watkins – James Madison University

Chair: Adrienne Johnson – University of San FranciscoDate and Time: Friday May 24 – Concurrent Session B: 10:45 am – 12:30 pm (extended session)Place: Cuartel de Ballajá OECH Salón Rafael Cordero

Conservation policy which discriminates against the historic population of the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands is questioned using environmental history and political ecology perspectives. Based on fieldwork and on secondary sources, this study analyzes socio-environmental conflict involving riverine peasants threatened by public and private nature reserves along the upper Paraguay River at the junction of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. The nature reserves are articulated in a powerful biocentric conservation network embracing the Pantanal National Park, private reserves and transnational environmental preservation NGOs working in a low-lying swamp area located in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul states. Reserve officials are usually biologists and environmental engineers who hold erroneous views concerning pristine nature without the presence of rural people. Conflict over land ownership rights and restrictions of resource use imposed by the conservation units is shown to threaten the livelihoods of a legally designated traditional population. Against this environmental injustice the riverine peasants mounted a resistance movement and built extra-local alliances with the objective of remaining in place. The conflict with local people gave rise to a class action involving the conservationists and outside investors seeking environmental compensation on one side and a network of peasants, indigenes, NGOs, social scientists and public defenders on the other. Increasing criticism of biocentric conservation and the Great Pantanal Fire of 2020 led to some localized actions to try to conciliate environmental preservation and social inclusion. However, it remains to be seen if the results will be effective in creating economic opportunity and improving local livelihoods.
Keywords: green grabbing, biocentric conservation, environmental injustice, sustainable-use conservation, Pantanal wetlands, Brazil.

Plantations have “colonized” modern productive rural landscapes of the Global South. Among these, oil-palm plantations rank third in area planted with an oil crop. In the Western Hemisphere, Colombia is the largest producer of palm oil, and the Llanos region has the largest cultivated area. The expansion of plantations in Colombia has been mainly studied in relation to land dispossession and peasant displacement (Berman-Arévalo and Ojeda 2020; Serrano 2021). However, an ongoing but understudied process is occurring: rural women have increasingly joined plantations as wage workers, transforming a traditionally male-dominated labor force. Private companies recruit women to perform tasks considered “feminine,” while state policies stresses that wage labor reduces rural gender inequality. Despite their centrality for the plantation, women’s labor and experiences are barely considered in academic literature and public reports on agrarian transformations. Broadly, this paper examines the experiences of women workers to understand the uneven labor geographies of oil-palm plantations in Colombia from a feminist perspective.
Building on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork and following the life of two women workers of Veracruz, a black plantation town in the Llanos, this paper analyses three scales of the plantation geographies: national geographies of extractivism and migration histories; the gendered, racial, and embodied experiences of labor; and the intimate relations and conflicts between productive and reproductive labor. By connecting these scales, I hypothesize that the relationship between waged and unwaged labor is central to the current patterns of labor feminization in oil palm plantations and for the consolidation of the plantation economy itself.

The department of Concepción in Paraguay has been a territory in dispute between the guerrilla EPP (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo) and the paramilitary FTC (Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta) for the better part of a generation. It is also a territory in dispute between two main forms of agricultural production: the agro-export model and the peasant and Indigenous models. Far from distinct disputes, these conflicts are braided together. In this paper, I examine how Paracel, Paraguay’s largest private investment to date, casts a green gloss over territories of agrarian transition in this conflict zone made in part possible by the systematic targeting of campesino and Indigenous communities by the FTC, leaving behind fragmented peasant and Indigenous organizations and communities. It is onto this scene of a largely demobilized population that the pulp mill project Paracel promotes eucalyptus monocultures as a green industrial venture that capitalizes on Concepcion’s particular geographies and labor needs. Meeting the demand of the proposed plant will require over 700 square miles of eucalyptus, around which there are intense debates of its ecological appropriateness to the region as a forestry tree. While Paracel promises social and environmental sustainability, claims wholeheartedly embraced by departmental and national politicians, peasant and Indigenous communities report irregularities with the venture’s claims and irresponsible labor practices that warrant further scrutiny. This paper builds on several months of collaborative research with Paraguayan research center Heñoi to argue that the fractured territorialities of Concepción have paved the way for a greenwashed economy further entrenching socio-economic precaritization.
Keywords: greenwashing, paramilitary, forestry, agrarian transition

Indigenous Shuar songs or ánents are used for invocation in what is now known as the Ecuadorian Amazon. Ánents are considered sacred songs that are passed on orally from generation to generation. They can be also learned through visions or dreams. These songs help communicate with plants to help open their healing properties, create an abundant harvest in Shuar gardens or can be sung to ensure a fruitful hunt in the jungle. This paper will speak to the impacts of colonialism has had on the use of these cultural practices, speak to the need for a larger conversation on the importance of ceremony, and more specifically the practice of singing to communicate with the more than human world. I argue that the practice of ceremonial singing allows us to engage in a relational way of being, transmits knowledge and furthermore fosters communication between the spiritual and more than human world. I propose the question: Should we be singing more to enhance our own personal wellbeing along with the natural worlds? Using a spiritual ecology lens from the South I am hoping to speak to the importance of human beings need to listen, be in relation and communicate with nature through the example of the practice of Shuar ánents. This paper will look at the intersection of knowledge, spirit, place, and relations to Mother Earth. Hopefully contributing to what Cloud & Redvers (2023) call “Heart work” that no longer marginalizes Indigenous understandings of spirit around sacred spaces, and communication with the more than human world.
Key words: Indigenous knowledge; planetary health; more than human; spiritual ecology; decolonization; political ecology

CLAG 2024 Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 22-26 Paper Proposal
Case Watkins
James Madison University
“Development is a Plantation: Palms, Biofuels, and Foreign Direct Extraction in Bahia, Brazil”
Since the beginnings of European colonialism in the early sixteenth century, a ruling class of planter-colonists has sought to convert Brazil’s lush (agro)biodiverse landscapes to plantations of export monocultures. This trend continues throughout the country despite its devastating socio-environmental track record of displacement, degradation, death, and inequity. Still, marginalized communities have long managed to inhabit, and in some cases thrive with, landscapes
fragmented by plantations and other extractive land uses. In the northeastern state of Bahia, agrarian communities manage biodiverse agroforests of African oil palms and other plants that supply local Afro-Brazilian foodways and other spiritual-ecological expressions. Since the early twentieth century those complex agroforests have resisted threats from state-sponsored
development schemes seeking to reduce them to agro-industrial monocultures. Though
fragmented, the ancestral economy abides, and indeed proliferates, despite the state’s misguided and persistent interventions. In the latest salvo, public officials recently signed a pact with energy investors backed by the UAE to research and develop local biodiesel production based initially on monocultures of African oil palm, before transitioning to plantations of the native macaúba palm (Acrocomia aculeata). As these developments push me to reimagine fieldwork and my relations with local communities, in this exploratory paper I think aloud with the following questions: How will the development of these extractive agro-industries and their palm
monocultures reorder or further fragment the region’s ancestral agrarian communities, their biodiverse (agro)ecosystems, traditional foodways, and economies? And what can we do about it? How can we link up and mobilize the too often disparate movements for biodiversity and forest protection, rural community development, and climate-environmental-social justice? In the face of cascading crises, material insecurities, and loads of foreign capital, how can we promote more healthy relationships between peoples and planet in Bahia and beyond?

Lunch on your own or with friends.

where: Meet at: Tercer Piso del Cuartel de Ballajá
3-hour walking tour of Old San Juan that ends with a free drink at a local pub. Dr. Rafael Díaz (UPR Humacao) and Dr. Carlos Guilbe (UPR Rio Piedras) will lead this tour of the urban and historical geography, including gentrification, informal economies, and urban poverty of San Juan. Stops will include a diversity of barrios including La Perla.

Saturday May 25

where: Meet at: Plaza Colón, Viejo San Juan
10-hour day trip with private tour buses and lunch included. This tour led by Dr. Carlos Guilbe (UPR Rio Piedras) and Ruth Santiago (community and environmental lawyer) will cross the island (Cordillera Central) to the southern coast (Ponce and Guayama) to visit a coal-burning power plant, impacted landscapes, mangrove management areas, and food production sites, while exploring the south’s physical and historical geography through a climate justice & political ecology lens.

where: Meet at: Plaza Colón, Viejo San Juan
All day in Northern Puerto Rico including the Limestones. The field trip includes a visit to the falls of Tanamá River (20 minutes hike) and a visit to a natural cave. Lunch at a local restaurant (not included) and an afternoon visit to a small-scale cacao farm. This project is oriented to promote cacao/cocoa production in the island. Francisco Amundaray will be the guide. He is a geographer, lawyer, and owner of Nátura PR Tour & Experiences.

where: Meet at: Plaza de Colón, Viejo San Juan
4-hour vuelta of the local transportation systems in the greater San Juan Metropolitan Area with lunch included. Professors Rafael René Díaz (UPR Humacao) and José Longo Mulet (UPR Rio Piedras) will take interested folk on a geographic journey of the complex and dynamic peri-urban public transportation system with a stop for an authentic Puerto Rican lunch.


JLAG's Ten Most Popular Articles by Requests Since 2010

10104 Christopher Gaffney (2010).
Mega-events and socio-spatial dynamics in Rio de Janeiro, 1919-2016
Journal of Latin American Geography 9(1).

4591 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

4469 Doribel Herrador Valencia; Enric Mendizábal Riera; Martí Boada i Juncà (2012).
Participatory Action Research Applied to the Management of Natural Areas: The Case Study of Cinquera in El Salvador
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1).

3584 Jeremy Slack; Daniel E. Martínez; Alison Elizabeth Lee; Scott Whiteford (2016).
The Geography of Border Militarization: Violence, Death and Health in Mexico and the United States
Journal of Latin American Geography 15(1).

3562 Karl H. Offen (2004).
The Territorial Turn: Making Black Territories in Pacific Colombia
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1).

3105 Jeffrey Todd Bury (2002).
Livelihoods, Mining and Peasant Protests in the Peruvian Andes
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

2766 James Freeman (2014).
Raising the Flag over Rio de Janeiro's Favelas: Citizenship and Social Control in the Olympic City
Journal of Latin American Geography 13(1).

2540 Kate Swanson; Rebecca Maria Torres (2016).
Child Migration and Transnationalized Violence in Central and North America
Journal of Latin American Geography 15(3).

2527 Cynthia Sorrensen (2005).
Maria Full of Grace (Maria, llena eres de gracia) (review)
Journal of Latin American Geography 4(2).

2408 Dr. Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard (2015).
The Case of the Green Turtle: An Uncensored History of a Conservation Icon by Alison Rieser (review)
Journal of Latin American Geography 14(1).

JLAG's Ten Most Popular Articles by Requests in 05/2024

616 Doribel Herrador Valencia; Enric Mendizábal Riera; Martí Boada i Juncà (2012).
Participatory Action Research Applied to the Management of Natural Areas: The Case Study of Cinquera in El Salvador
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1).

112 Karl H. Offen (2004).
The Territorial Turn: Making Black Territories in Pacific Colombia
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1).

103 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

85 Martha G. Bell; Jessica Budds; Gabriela Valdivia; Jörn Seemann; John C. Finn; Eugenio Arima (2023).
Contested Conference Locations: Perspectives on the 2024 AAG and CLAG Meetings
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3).

75 Christian Brannstrom Adryane Gorayeb (2022).
Geographical Implications of Brazil’s Emerging Green Hydrogen Sector
Journal of Latin American Geography 21(1).

57 Hanna Laako Edith Kauffer (2021).
Conservation in the Frontier: Negotiating Ownerships of Nature at the Southern Mexican Border
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(3).

56 Miguel Aguilar Robledo (2004).
Formation of the Miraflores Hacienda: Lands, Indians, and Livestock in Eastern New Spain at the End of the Sixteenth Century
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1).

56 David J. Keeling (2005).
Latin American Development and the Globalization Imperative: New Directions, Familiar Crises
Journal of Latin American Geography 3(1).

53 Daniel W. Gade (2002).
Names for Manihot esculenta: Geographical Variations and Lexical Clarification
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

51 Elizabeth Macpherson; Pía Weber Salazar; Paulo Urrutia Barceló (2023).
Los ríos como territorio en disputa: hacia un enfoque relacional del agua en Chile / Rivers as Disputed Territory: Towards a Relational Approach to Water in Chile
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3).

JLAG's Ten Most Popular Articles by Requests in 2024

1977 Doribel Herrador Valencia; Enric Mendizábal Riera; Martí Boada i Juncà (2012).
Participatory Action Research Applied to the Management of Natural Areas: The Case Study of Cinquera in El Salvador
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1).

968 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

670 Martha G. Bell; Jessica Budds; Gabriela Valdivia; Jörn Seemann; John C. Finn; Eugenio Arima (2023).
Contested Conference Locations: Perspectives on the 2024 AAG and CLAG Meetings
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3).

555 Karl H. Offen (2004).
The Territorial Turn: Making Black Territories in Pacific Colombia
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1).

509 Elizabeth Macpherson; Pía Weber Salazar; Paulo Urrutia Barceló (2023).
Los ríos como territorio en disputa: hacia un enfoque relacional del agua en Chile / Rivers as Disputed Territory: Towards a Relational Approach to Water in Chile
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3).

485 Christian Brannstrom Adryane Gorayeb (2022).
Geographical Implications of Brazil’s Emerging Green Hydrogen Sector
Journal of Latin American Geography 21(1).

283 Jessica Budds; Kathleen O'Reilly (2023).
Reforming Water Governance in Chile: A Hydrosocial Relations Perspective
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3).

274 Miguel Aguilar Robledo (2004).
Formation of the Miraflores Hacienda: Lands, Indians, and Livestock in Eastern New Spain at the End of the Sixteenth Century
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1).

242 Felix M. Dorn; Fernando Ruiz Peyré (2020).
Lithium as a Strategic Resource: Geopolitics, Industrialization, and Mining in Argentina
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(4).

232 Daniel W. Gade (2002).
Names for Manihot esculenta: Geographical Variations and Lexical Clarification
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

Los Diez Artículos Españoles Mas Popular de JLAG por Solicitudes Desde 2010

4591 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1).

2258 Danilo Borja; Juan Bay; Conny Davidsen; Traducido por Yulia Garcia Sarduy (2021).
Ancianos amazónicos en la frontera petrolera: La vida y muerte de Nenkihui Bay, líder tradicional Waorani
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(1).

2154 Diana Vela-Almeida; Sofia Zaragocin; Manuel Bayón; Iñigo Arrazola (2020).
Imaginando territorios plurales de vida: una lectura feminista de las resistencias en los movimientos socio-territoriales en el Ecuador
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(2).

1660 Colectivo de Geografía Crítica del Ecuador (2017).
Geografiando para la resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 16(1).

1631 Diego B. Leal; David S. Salisbury; Josué Faquín Fernández; Lizardo Cauper Pezo; Julio Silva (2015).
Ideas cambiantes sobre territorio, recursos y redes políticas en la Amazonía indígena: un estudio de caso sobre Perú
Journal of Latin American Geography 14(2).

1620 Geobrujas-Comunidad de Geógrafas (2021).
Cuerpos, fronteras y resistencia: mujeres conjurando geografí­a a través de experiencias desde el otro lado del muro
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(2).

1366 Christian Abizaid; Luis Ángel Collado Panduro; Sergio Gonzales Egusquiza (2020).
Pobreza Y Medios De Subsistencia En La Amazonía Peruana En Tiempos De La Covid-19
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3).

1301 Jerónimo Ríos Sierra (2020).
Una aproximación (geo)politológica a la crisis de la COVID-19 en América Latina
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3).

1023 Robert B. Kent (2012).
La geografía en América Latina: Visión por países
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1).

911 Rosa Silvia Arciniega (2012).
Participación de Mujeres en el Mercado Laboral del Estado de México
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1).

Os Artigos Português Mais Populares da JLAG por Solicitações Desde 2010

1681 Rogério Haesbaert (2020).
Território(s) numa perspectiva latino-americana
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(1).

1572 Luciene Cristina Risso; Clerisnaldo Rodrigues de Carvalho (2022).
A exibição de antipolíticas indígenas e ambientais orquestrada pelo governo brasileiro de Bolsonaro
Journal of Latin American Geography 21(2).

1308 Joana Salém Vasconcelos (2021).
Cuba, protestos e caminhos da revolução
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(3).

949 Laura Sarmiento (2016).
JLAG Perspectives: Vida, Conhecimento e Território: uma geobiografia do Carlos Walter Porto-Gonçalves
Journal of Latin American Geography 15(3).

743 Joseli Maria Silva; Marcio Jose Ornat (2020).
Geografias feministas na América Latina: desafios epistemológicos e a decolonialidade de saberes
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(1).

475 Jessica Budds; Martha G. Bell; John C. Finn; Jörn Seemann; Eugenio Arima; Gabriela Valdivia (2023).
Language, Translation, and the Practice of Decolonizing Academic Publishing / Lengua, traducción y la práctica de la descolonización de las publicaciones académicas / Linguagem, tradução e a prática de descolonização das publicações acadêmicas
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(2).

283 Christian Dennys Monteiro de Oliveira; Fabrício Américo Ribeiro; Ivo Luis Oliveira Silva; Luiz Raphael Teixeira Silva; José Arilson Xavier de Souza; Gerlaine Cristina Franco; Marcos da Silva Rocha; Maryvone Moura Gomes; Camila Benatti (2020).
As organizações religiosas brasileiras frente à pandemia de COVID-19
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3).

213 Vinicius Santos Almeida (2020).
Necromobilidade durante a pandemia da Covid-19
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3).

160 Antoinette M.G.A. WinklerPrins (2009).
Cidades da Floresta: Urbanização, Desenvolvimento, e Globalização na Amazônia Brasileira (review)
Journal of Latin American Geography 8(1).

122 Jean-Yves Puyo (2008).
Mise en valeur de la Guyane française et peuplement blanc: les espoirs déçus du baron de Laussat (1819-1823)
Journal of Latin American Geography 7(1).