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Latin America.

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Presentation on theme: "Latin America."— Presentation transcript:

1 Latin America

2 Introduction Is comprised of 17 countries
Share a history of Iberian colonization Multiethnic (Amerindian, Iberian, African) Export of primary goods (eg, coffee, petroleum) Heightened economic integration (eg. FTAA) 75% urban; prevalence of megacities World’s great reserves of biological diversity (eg. Amazon rain forest, Andes mountains)

3 Environmental Geography

4 Western mountains and Eastern shields

5 The Andes Created by collision of oceanic and continental plates
Geologically young  volcanism, earthquakes Geologically complex  rich in minerals Divided into Northern: Venezuela, Colombia Central: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia Altiplano Southern: Chile, Argentina

6 Altiplano (elevated plain)
Elevated plateau straddling the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes Inhabited mostly by Amerindians High-altitude lake (Titicaca, Poopó) Altiplano (elevated plain)

7 The uplands of Mexico and Central America
The Mexican Plateau Mesa Central (southern end) Mexico’s breadbasket (eg. Mexico City, Puebla) The Volcanic Axis of Central America Stretches from Guatemala to Costa Rica Many active volcanoes  rich volcanic soil  bulk of the agricultural land (produce beef, cotton, and coffee)

8 Fertile volcanic soils, ample rainfall, and temperate climate of the Guatemala highlands have supported dense populations for centuries The Volcano Axis of Central America

9 The Shields Large upland areas of exposed crystalline rock
Guiana Shield Large upland areas of exposed crystalline rock Remnants of the ancient landmass of Gondwanaland Brazilian shield Human settlements: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro Paranã basalt plateau: fertile red soils (terra roxa)  coffee, orange Patagonian shield Open steppe country with few settlements  home to wildlife Brazilian shield Paranã basalt plateau Patagonia shield

10 Brazilian shield Patagonia shield
Oranges are widely cultivated due to the fertile soil Wildlife (Guanacos) thrives on the steppe

11 River Basins and Lowlands
Orinoco basin Amazon basin Amazon basin Largest river system by volume and area Year-round precipitation Sparse settlement Plata basin Rivers: Paranã, Paraguay, Uruguay Grassland: Chaco, Pantanal, pampas Large-scale mechanized agriculture Plata basin

12 River Basins and Lowlands
Orinoco basin Amazon basin Orinoco basin Llanos Tropical grassland Has supported large cattle ranches Now becomes the area of petroleum production Plata basin

13 Tropical humid climates
Mirror image of mid-latitude climates in the northern hemisphere Tropical, dry, temperate, and highland climates

14 Tropical climates Tropical lowlands in the east of the Andes
Support forest or savanna Average monthly temperatures show little variation Unlike tropical wet climate (Af), tropical savanna climate (Aw) has a dry season

15 Dry climates Can be found in The Pacific coasts of Peru and Chile
Patagonia Northern Mexico Bahia of Brazil

16 Temperate climates Humid subtropical (Cfa) Mediterranean (Csb)
Argentina, Uruguay, and parts of Paraguay and Chile Mediterranean (Csb) Around Santiago, Chile Marine west coast (Cfb) South of Conceptión, Chile

17 Altitudinal Zonation Changes in temperature by elevation (-3.5 °F for every 1000 feet; also known as environmental lapse rate) Changes in vegetation by elevation – plant communities common to the midlatitudes could thrive in the tropics at higher elevations

18 Altitudinal Zonation Tropical highland areas support a complex array of ecosystems The Andes, the highlands of Central America, the Mexican Plateau

19 El Niño Warm pacific current that usually arrives along coastal Ecuador and Peru in December, around Christmastime Occurs every decade or so Produces torrential rains Causes drought

20 Natural Hazards

21 Environmental issues The Valley of Mexico
Air pollution  thermal inversion layer traps pollutants in the high altitude Water Shortage: water is overdrawn from valley’s aquifer Contamination: pollutant run off into the soil, which leach into the aquifer Subsidence  reliance on ground water Worsened by poverty and governmental inaction

22 Air pollution in Mexico City
High elevation and immense size make management of air quality difficult

23 Deforestation The Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, and the Pacific forests of Central America have nearly disappeared as a result of Agriculture/Settlement Rather seen as an agricultural frontier Cleared to appease landless peasants Ranching Grassification – conversion of tropical forest into pasture Etc. Search for gold (Brazil, Venezuela, and Costa Rica) Coca leaf production (Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia) Rather different from the case in Southeast Asia where mostly the rain forest is cleared for hardwood extraction

24 Degradation of farmlands
Agricultural productivity has declined in recent decades due to increased aridity and severe soil erosion Modern agriculture is squeezing out indigenous crops

25 Urban environmental challenges
Pollution, inadequate water, garbage removal Squatter settlements – more vulnerable to natural hazards Industrial pollution Eg. Cubatão 1984 oil pipeline explosion

26 Environmental issues

27 Population and Settlement

28 Sparsely populated, youthfulness of population, urbanized
Map link Sparsely populated, youthfulness of population, urbanized High variation between urban and rural countries


30 The Latin American city
Rural-to-urban migration since 1950 1950: 25%  2000: 75% Preference for urban life Cultural: Under Iberian rule, residence in a city conferred status and offered opportunity Economic: primary role in structuring regional economies Urban primacy A country has a primate city three to four times larger than any other city in the country Eg. Lima, Caracas, Guatemala City, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City Decentralizing effort: Ciudad Guayana, Brasilia

31 Latin American city model

32 Latin American city model
Reflects colonial origins and contemporary growth Colonial origins - existence of CBD(Central Business District) Contemporary growth Zone of Maturity, and In Situ Accretion are radiated out from CBD Residential quality declines as one move from core to periphery Highlights the class divisions Elite spine – newer commercial and business strip that extends from the colonial core to newer parts of the city Peripheral squatter settlements – straddles the periférico (beltway highway); limited services and infrastructure; resulted from (1) rapid inflow of migrants (2) inability of government to meet presseing needs

33 CBD(central business district)
Elite Spine (new commercial center)

34 Peripheral Squatter Settlements
Elite Residential Sector

35 Informal sector Economic sector that relies on self-employed, low-wage jobs (eg. street vending, shoe shining, and artisan manufacturing) that are unregulated and untaxed Often includes illegal activities such as drug smuggling, sale of contraband items such as illegally copies videos and apes, and prostitutions Fundamental force that houses, services, and employs the inhabitants of squatter settlements Effort of the urban poor to make a place for themselves

36 Patterns of rural settlement
Under the colonial rule Colonial authorities granted land to the colonists Latifundia: practice of maintaining large estates Minifundia: peasants farmed small plots for their subsistence Political turmoil in 20th century Agrarian reform – redistribution of lands Creation of agricultural frontiers provides peasants with land Taps unused resources Shores up political boundaries

37 Population growth High growth rates throughout the 20th century
Natural increase Immigration Increasing life expectancy Growth rates have weakened in the late 20th century TFR has declined (except for rural countries) due to : Increased participation of women in the labor force Higher education levels of women State support of family planning Better access to birth control 6.5 (1960)  3 (1980)  2.5 (2000)

38 Migration to Latin America
European migration After gaining independence from Iberia ( ), government attracted European peasants to populate The Southern Cone countries (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil) Italian, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Germans Asian migration Mid 19th century: Chinese, and Japanese Eg. Japanese in Peru, Japanese-Brazilian orange farms Latest: South Korea

39 International migration in Latin America
Employment opportunities Venezuela’s oil wealth in 1960s and 1970s Argentina attracts Bolivian and Paraguayan laborers U.S. attracts Mexican laborers Political turmoil Chilean intellectuals in the 1970s Nicaraguans in 1979 Civil war in El Salvador and Guatemala

40 Transnationalism Phenomenon in which migrants maintain close contact with their home country Develop vital immigrant social networks in host countries

41 Principal Latin American migration flows
Interregional To frontier zones International within Latin America To Venezuela, Argentina International outside Latin America To U.S. To Europe

42 Cultural Coherence and Diversity

43 Cultural identity Precontact period: civilization in the central Mexico, and the Andes Since 1500s: forced assimilation of European culture Religion, language, political organization Dominance of European culture is explained by the demographic collapse of native populations The Pyramid of the Sun, near Mexico City – pre-Aztec Precontact era: Maya-Aztech civilization in Central Mexico, Inca civilization in the Central Andes Machu Picchu, Peru – Inca

44 Demographic Collapse Dramatic loss of indigenous population Causes are
47 million (1500)  5 million (1650) cf. 42 million in western Europe (1500) Causes are Epidemics of influenza and smallpox Warfare Forced labor Starvation due to a collapse of food production systems

45 The Columbian Exchange
An immense biological swap that occurred after Columbus came; exchange of crops and animal between Old World and New World Introduction of Old World crops wheat, olives, grapes; sugarcane, coffee Introduction of New World crops potato, corn, tomato, squash eg, Europe’s rapid population increase in 18th century Introduction of Old World animals Introduces Animal-borne disease; used for plowing; wool; diversity to diet Ecological and material basis for life in Latin America was completely reworked through this exchange process initiated by Columbus

46 Indian survival Largest indigenous populations can be found in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia Occurs in isolated settings through the link to land Amerindians’ political control Eg. Comarcas in Panama – areas of land set aside for indigenous Amerindians Eg. The first Amerindian president in Peru

47 Complex ethnic blend Racial mixing is the norm
Mestizo: Spaniard + Indian Mulattoes: European + African Racial caste system under Spanish rule: Blanco (European ancestry) Mestizo (mixed ancestry) Indio (Indian ancestry) Negro (African ancestry)

48 Languages 2/3 Spanish 1/3 Portuguese in Brazil
Indigenous languages in the Central Andes, Mexico, and Guatemala

49 Religions 90% Roman Catholic Syncretic religions
Blends of different belief systems Animist practices + Christian worship Churches are important religious and social centers in Latin America

50 Machismo and Marianismo
Cultural traits assigned to men and women Machismo Honor, risk-taking, self-confident Marianismo Patient, loving, gentle, willing to suffer in silence, keeper of home, nurturers of childen, deferential to husbands Fading stereotype

51 Global reach of Latino culture
Telenovelas Popular nightly soap opera exported worldwide National identities Dance and music tradition Tango (Argentina), Samba (Brazil), mariachi (Mexico) Literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende

52 Geopolitical Framework

53 Since 1500s Iberian rule has shaped political landscape profoundly
In 1900s, declared independence Political instability persists until recently

54 Iberian conquest Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
Division of New World by Spain and Portugal

55 Iberian conquest (~1800s) Portuguese Spanish
Settled in the coast of Brazil since 1500 Brazilwood, sugar estates, slave trade (late 16th century) Gold in the Brazilian interior (17th century) Spanish Silver in Central Mexico, Central Andes (mid 16th century) Cacao, sugar, and livestock

56 Revolution and independence
Portuguese colony Became independent republic ( ) Spanish colonies Experienced fragmentation in the 19th century Gran Colombia – led by Simon Bolivar United Provinces of Central America

57 Persistent border conflicts
Sparsely populated interior became a source of border conflicts War of the Pacific ( ): Chile, Bolivia Mexican War ( ): U.S., Mexico War of the Triple Alliance ( ): alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay against Paraguay Chaco War ( ): Bolivia, Parguay Falkland (1981): U.K., Argentina Territorial claims to Antarctica Antarctic Treaty (1959) – should be used for peaceful purposes

58 Trend toward democracy
Long independence, but political instability has been a problem 250 constitutions have been written since independence Military coups are frequent After 1980s Democratically elected governments Market-driven policy by free-market reformers However, problems still persist

59 Trend toward economic integration
Trade blocks are established to foster internal trade and reduce trade barriers Mercosur (1991) Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay Chile, Bolivia as an associate member $19 billion interregional trade NAFTA U.S., Canada, Mexico $700 billion interregional trade Impetus to the vision of FTAA (Free Trade Area of the America) Trade Blocks are established to foster internal trade and reduce trade barriers

60 Free Trade Area of the America (FTAA)
Proposed in 1994 34 states (excluding Cuba) in the Western Hemisphere Pledges to establish free trade zone stretching from Alaska to Cape Horn by 2005 Embodies the ideals of Neoliberalism Increased trade and economic integration will improve the standard of living for people in the America Neoliberalism: A political movement beginning in the 1960's that blends traditional liberal concerns for social justice with an emphasis on economic growth

61 Insurgencies, drug traffickers, and protest
Insurgency group Shining Path (Peru), FARC and ELN (Colombia) Drug trade Often seen as the root of many of the regions’ problem Brings in currency, but damages judicial system Eg. Colombia – highest crime rate Protest Zapatista rebellion in Mexico – supported by Amerindian peasant; protest the consequences of globalization; how increased foreign trade and investment hurt rural peasant

62 Coca-growing areas in South America
Peru, Bolivia  Colombia

63 Economic and Social Development

64 Primary export dependency Entrenched informal sector
Experimented with various development strategies From import substitution to neoliberalism World “periphery”?

65 Most Latin American countries are “middle income”, but extreme poverty exist

66 Agricultural production
~1950s: commercial agriculture for export Each country specializes in one or two commodities Costa Rica (Banana, coffee), Nicaragua (coffee, cotton), Brazil (coffee) Peru, Chile, and Colombia (coca) 1960s~: diversification/mechanization of agriculture Conversion of plains into fields Agricultural production increases while fewer people are employed by it (eg. Agriculture labor force in Peru: 45%  7%) 1990s~: efforts to conserve the ecosystem

67 Mining Oil Tin, Copper Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia
Bolivia, Chile Mechanized  more production with fewer miners Gold Tropical regions of Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica Labor-intensive  offer employment

68 Logging Exportation of boards and wood pulp
Short-term infusion of cash into a local economy, but makes the system of extraction unsustainable Plantation forestry Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, and Argentina Eg. Chile’s booming export economy

69 Entrenched informal sector
Provides goods and services without the benefit of government regulation, registration, or taxation Estimated nearly 60% of the total non-agricultural employment in 1998 Reflects the inability of the formal economies of the region to absorb labor

70 Development strategies
Self-sufficiency policy since the 1950s Import substitution - foster domestic industry by imposing inflated tariffs on all imports State-run nationalized industries Agrarian reform Neoliberalism emerges recently Privatization of industries; direct foreign investment (DFI) Establishment of trade blocks

71 Industrial center Emphasized manufacturing since the 1960s
National support Growth poles (planned industrial center) Eg. Ciudada Guayana (Venezuela), Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana (Mexico) Local investment Industrial sectors developed without direct state support Eg. Monterrey (Mexico), Medellín (Colombia), São Paulo (Brazil)

72 São Paulo, Brazil Industrial giant of Latin America
Financial center of Brazil The city of 18 million Began to industrialize in the early 1900s City’s coffee merchants started to diversity their investments Since then, industries have agglomerated Produce automobiles, aircraft, chemicals, process foods, and construction materials within a 60-mile radius of the city center

73 Foreign investment Realize the benefit of attracting foreign investment taking advantage of relatively cheap labor, and lax government regulation eg. Maquiladoras The Mexican assembly plants that line the border with U.S. Manufacturing systems in an increasingly globalized economy Mexico’s competitive advantage is Its location along the U.S. border Membership in NAFTA

74 Maquiladoras – opportunities and challenges
Between 1994 and 2000, 3 out of 10 new jobs in Mexico were in Maquiladoras Account for nearly half of Mexico’s exports Challenges U.S. workers lost jobs Industrial pollution due to lax government regulation Poorly integrated with the rest of the economy

75 Latin America in the Global Economy
Why does Latin America’s economy suffer? Dependency theory (1960s) Expansion of European capitalism created the region’s underdevelopment For the developed “cores” of the world to prosper, the “peripheries” became dependent and impoverished Support self-sufficiency policy, and agrarian reform

76 Disproportionate flow of exports to the U.S.
80% of Mexican exports 40% of all Central American and Andean export 15% of Mercosur trade Anyhow, increase in intraregional trade is recognized as a positive sign of greater economic independence for Latin America

77 Argentina in early 2002 from the view of dependency theory
Shows how dependent economies can be vulnerable to the fluctuation in a global economy Financial crisis in the late 1990s (Asia, Russia)  Reduction in DFI in Latin America  Devaluation of currency  Cheaper Brazilian products  Trade instability with Argentina  Worsened Argentina’s already unstable economy

78 So do you think FTAA will benefit all (in the hemisphere) or benefit only U.S. eventually?

79 Neoliberalism as globalization
By the 1990s most Latin American political leaders area embracing neoliberalism Neoliberal policies stress privatization, export production, direct foreign investment, and few restrictions on imports Eg. Chile’s economic growth: 5.6% (1990s) Social and environmental costs associated with neoliberal policies are not known yet

80 Dollarization A process by which a country adopts the U.S. dollar as its official currency To address the problems of currency devaluation and hyperinflation Ecuador (2000), Panama (1904) No long has control of its monetary policy Political cost Indicator of the prominence of the dollar in a global economy


82 Social development Social indicators have improved last three decades
Lower than MDC, but higher than other developing countries despite economic downturns Role of grassroots and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) Extreme variations between rural and urban areas, between regions, and along race and gender lines


84 Race and inequality The complex racial and ethnic mix fostered tolerance for diversity More often than not, link between race and poverty can be found Southern Mexico(Indian), Northeastern Brazil(Black) Race does not necessarily determine one’s economic standing, but it certainly influences it

85 For the last three decades, the status of women has improved

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