Chapter 4: Latin America
Rountree, et. al. as modified by
Joe Naumann, UMSL
Ch. 4 Latin America
(fig. 4.1)
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Learning Objectives
• First chance to integrate foundation
concepts with a relatively unfamiliar
region, and compare regions
• Understand Latin America’s culture, and
how colonization has affected it
• Know about the Andes and the Amazon
• Understand these concepts and models:
-Agrarian Reform
-Altiplano
-Dependency Theory
-El Nino
-Dollarization
-Maquiladora
-Growth poles
-Mercosur
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Introduction
• Latin America has 17 countries
– Colonized by Spain & Portugal (Iberian countries)
– Large, diverse populations
• 490 million people total
• Indian and African presence
• 75% of the people live in cities
• Several megacities (more than 10 million people)
– Industrialization & development grew since 1960s
• Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) proposes to
integrate economies of Latin America, North America
and the Caribbean (except Cuba)
• Natural resource extraction remains important
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Common Treatment of the Area
• Middle America
– From Mexico south through Panama
• The Caribbean coastal area has much in common with the islands,
culturally and economically
– The islands of the Caribbean
• South America
– The remainder of what Rowntree refers to as Latin
America.
• Latin America, for many authors, encompasses
both Middle America and South America
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South
American
Location
• Mostly east of
North America
• Does not extend as
far south toward the
pole as North
America extends
north toward the
pole. Has climatic
implications
CONTINENTALITY
NO
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CONTINENTALITY
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Neotropical Diversity
• Much of the region lies in the tropics, but not all
– Neotropics: tropical ecosystems of the Western
Hemisphere
• Large species diversity, inspired Darwin
• Environmental Issues Facing Latin America
• Relatively large land area and low population density has
minimized environmental degradation
• Latin America has the opportunity to avoid mistakes that other
regions have made
• Brazil and Costa Rica have conservation movements
– The Destruction of Tropical Rainforests
• Deforestation is the most common environmental problem in Latin
America
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Rainforests may
help create the humidity needed
for tropical precipitation.
• Major
oxygen
producer
– can we
risk
losing
it?
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Environmental
Geography
• Destruction of Tropical Rainforests (
– Affected regions: Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil and Pacific forests of
Central America
– Causes: agriculture, settlement, and ranching
• Grassification: conversion of tropical forest to pasture
– Concerns: loss of biological diversity
• Tropical rainforests: 6% of Earth’s landmass but 50% of species
• Urban Environmental Challenges: Valley of Mexico
-Air pollution, smog
-Water resources: quality & quantity
-Sinking land: occurring as Mexico City draws down aquifer
-Modern urban challenges: squatter settlements
But Curitaba is a “Green City”
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Environmental Issues in
Latin America (Fig. 4.3)
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Western Mountains
& Eastern Shields
• The Andes
– Relatively young, 5,000 miles long; 30 peaks over 20K feet
– Contain valuable metals and minerals
– Altiplano: treeless, elevated plain in Peru and Bolivia
• The Uplands of Mexico and Central America
– Most major cities and population found here
– Rich volcanic soils
• The Shields
– Large upland plateaus of exposed crystalline rock
• Brazilian shield is the largest, covering most of Brazil
• Has natural resources and settlement
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Physical Geography of
Latin America (Fig. 4.7)
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Some Key
Physical Areas
Sierra
Madre
Oriental &
Occidental
Greater Antilles
Lesser Antilles
Llanos
Central
Plateau of
Mexico
Andes
Mountains
Altiplano
Amazon
Guiana
Highlands
Brazilian
Highlands
Mato Grosso
Patagonia
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Pampa
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Middle America:
Hazardous
• One of the most hazardous areas in
the world to live.
– West Coast subduction zone
• Active volcanoes
• Earthquake prone
• Tsunamis – coastal flooding
– Caribbean Hurricane Prone
• Wind damage
• Flooding damage
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WORLD HURRICANE TRACKS
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DISTRIBUTION OF
EARTHQUAKES & VOLCANOES
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Click on the sign to see the video
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Environmental
Geography
• River Basins and Lowlands
– Amazon Basin
• Largest river system in world by volume; second in length
• Draws from nine countries
– Plata Basin
• Region’s second largest river watershed; economically productive
• Climate
• Little temperature variation in many areas
• Larger regional variations in precipitation
– El Nino
• Warm Pacific current that usually arrives along coastal Ecuador
and Peru in December
– Regional weather upsets (drought, torrential rain, flooding)
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PRECIPITATION
Major Influences:
Southeast Trade
Winds, the Andes
Mountains, & the
Peru Current
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Climate Map of Latin
America (Fig. 4.11)
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Altitudinal
Zonation & Climate
Windward side will be wet and leeward side
will be dry
Leeward
Windward
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ALTITUDINAL
ZONATION
• Vertical Climate Zones and Agriculture
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Altitudinal
Zonation in Action
TIERRA FRIA
Tierra
TIERRA HELADA
(ColdNevada
Land)
TierraTEMPLADA
Helada
TIERRA
(Frost Land)
Corn, Wheat, Potato
TIERRA
CALIENTE
(Temperate
Land) 3,600 m
12,000’
Coffee,(Hot
Rice,Land)
Corn, Sugar
6,000’
2000’
Sea
Level
Bananas,Tierra
Cocoa,
FriaSugar, Rice
2,000 m
Tierra Templada
600 m
Tierra Caliente
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Sea
23
Level
Snow at the Equator
– temperature drops 3.5ºF per 1000
ft. elevation
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Dominance of Cities
• The Pattern
– Interior lowlands of South America sparsely populated
• Brazilia: an attempt to draw more development to the interior of Brazil – a
growth pole
– Higher population in Central America and Mexico interior plateaus
– Dramatic population growth in 1960s and ’70s
• The Latin American City
– Urbanization began in 1950s; today 75% urbanized
– Urban primacy: a country has a primate city 3 to 4 times larger than any
other city in the country
– Urban form
– Reflects colonial origins and contemporary growth
– Latin American City Model
• Squatter settlements: makeshift housing on land not legally owned
or rented by urban migrants, usually in unoccupied open spaces in
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or near a rapidly growing city Globalization & Diversity: Rowntree, Lewis,
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Population Map of Latin
America (Fig. 4.12)
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Latin American City
Model (Fig. 4.13)
Periferico:
circumferential,
outer highway
Disamenity: a zone of established
slums much like the peripheral
squatter settlements
In Situ Accretion: a transition zone from the inner
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& Diversity:
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ring of affluence
to the
outerRowntree,
ringLewis,
of poverty – modest
Price, Wyckoff
housing interspersed with unkempt areas.
Population and Settlement (cont.)
• The Latin American City (cont.)
– Rural-to-Urban Migration
• Since the 1950s, peasants began to migrate to urban areas
– Mechanization of agriculture, population pressure,
consolidation of lands
• Patterns of Rural Settlement
• 130 million people (25%) live in rural areas
– Rural Landholdings
• Large estates used the best lands, relied on
mixture of hired, tributary, and slave labor
• Latifundia: Long-observed pattern of maintaining
large estates
– Feudal system transferred from Spain to the “New World”
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• Minifundia: pattern associated
with
peasants
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farming small plots for their own subsistence
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Pop. & Settlement
• Patterns of Rural Settlement (cont.)
– Agricultural Frontiers
• Brazilian Amazon settlement is controversial
– Short-term benefits
– Long-term disaster
• Provided peasants with land (???), tapped unused resources, shored up
political boundaries
• Population Growth and Movements
• Rapid growth throughout most of the century followed by slower growth
– Family planning: counter-cultural & counter-religious
– Declining Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) since 1980s
– European Migration
• Migration encouraged to till soils and “whiten” the mestizo population (of
mixed European and Indian ancestry)
– Many Europeans immigrated between 1870s and 1930s
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Pop. & Settlement
• Population Growth and Movements (cont.)
– Asian Migration
• Many Chinese and Japanese between 1870s and
1930s
– Former president of Peru a Japanese descendent
• New wave of immigrants from South Korea
– Latino Migration and Hemispheric Change
• Economic opportunities spurred migrations within Latin
America, or from Mexico to the U.S.
• Political turmoil, civil wars caused migration
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Effects of
Central America’s Mountains
Country
Population
Physiologic
density
Guatemala
12.3 million
696.6 per sq. mi.
Honduras
6.2 million
539.1
El Salvador
6.1 million
1155.2
Nicaragua
4.8 million
157.2
Costa Rica
3.5 million
316.8
Panama
2.8 million
331.1
Belize
240,000
451.2
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Principal
Latin
American
Migration
Flows
(Fig. 4.14)
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Repopulating a
Continent
• The Decline of Native Populations
– There were many complex civilizations in Latin
American before Europeans arrived
• 1500: population of 47 million; 1650: 5 million
• Causes:
– disease,
– warfare,
– forced labor,
– collapse of food production system
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Out of the Loop
• Indian Survival
– Largest populations of Indians
today: Mexico, Guatemala,
Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
– Indians trying to secure
recognized territory in their
countries
• Comarca: loosely defined
territory similar to a province or
homeland, where Indians have
political and resource control
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INDIAN CULTURE
HEARTHS
• SOURCE AREAS from which radiated
ideas, innovations, and ideologies that
changed the world beyond.
MA Hearths
Aztecs
Mayans
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Inca Culture
Hearth
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Machu Pichu –
terraced mountain top Inca city
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Terraces at
Machu Pichu
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Achievements:
• Bridge building and
mountain roads
• Irrigation
• Surgery through the
skull
• Highly organized
social/economic
structure
• Effective
management of
conquered peoples
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Cultural Patterns
• Patterns of Ethnicity and Culture
• Racial caste system – Spanish legacy: blanco
(European), mestizo (mixed ancestry), indio
(Indian), negro (African)
• Colonial structure – transplanted feudalism
– Peninsulares –
– Creoles –
– Mestizo –
– European/African mix
– Native Americans (Indians) & Africans
• Independence equality of Peninsulares & Creoles
• Blancos dominated social, political, & economic
systems for more than a century
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Patterns of Culture
– Languages
• About 2/3 Spanish, 1/3 Portuguese speakers
• Indigenous languages in central Andes, Mexico,
Guatemala
– Blended Religions
• 90% Roman Catholic (nominally)
– El Salvador, Uruguay have sizeable Protestant
populations
• Syncretic religions:
– Voodoo
– Catholicism and African religions, with Brazil’s carnival
as an example
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Catholic Influence
• Traditionally provided education & health care
• Established many of the social mores
• Higher clergy often came from the aristocracy and
supported the status quo
• Social role of the Church has grown in some places
becoming an advocate for the poor and
disenfranchised
– Bishop Romero in Nicaragua (assassinated)
• Has opposed most birth control methods in countries
with high birth rates and great poverty
• Many may be Catholic “in name only”
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Machismo
• Male oriented society – definitely a double
standard
• Traditionally, marriages were arranged – a greater
disadvantage for women – upper class men were
expected to be unfaithful
• Admiration for the strong, forceful male
– Dictators were often admired as much as they were
feared
– Military often a vehicle for advancement and control
– Compromise seen as a sign of weakness
• Male resistance to birth control -- # of male
children often considered a measure of one’s
manhood
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Language Map of Latin
America (Fig. 4.19)
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Colombian
Exchange
• Amerindians Contributed:
– Corn (maize), sweet potato, several kinds of beans, the
tomato, several kinds of squash, cacao, & tobacco
(Potato – from Peru)
– Gonorrhea & rheumatoid arthritis
• Europeans Contributed:
– Wheat, oats, rye, & other European crops, horse, cow,
sheep, pigs, chicken
– Syphilis, small pox, chicken pox, measles, mumps,
typhoid fever, influenza, etc. – African slaves also
brought tropical diseases for which Amerindians had no
immunity or resistance
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European
Settlement
• Initially drawn to areas of Incan rule and
wealth (Spanish) – “God, Glory, & Gold”
– At first kept the Inca as a puppet ruler
– Quickly turned to serfdom
• Hacienda was the New World “Manor”
– Land seen as the symbol of and source of wealth
– Land Alienation transfer of Amerindian lands to
European ownership
– Amerindians became the “serfs”
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Redrawing the
Map
– Cycles of antagonism and cooperation
• Organization of American States (OAS)
• MERCOSUR (Southern Cone Common Market)
• Iberian Conquest and Territorial Division
• Treaty of Tordesillas divided South America between
Spain and Portugal
– Revolution and Independence
• Creoles led revolutions, resulting in the creation of new
countries
– Persistent Border Conflicts
• Colonial boundary lines were not well accepted
• When states gained independence, border issues grew
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Shifting Political Boundaries
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(Fig. 4.21)
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Geopolitical
Framework
• Iberian Conquest and Territorial Division
– The Trend Toward Democracy
• Long independence, but political stability has
been a problem
• Democratic elections since 1980s
• Most of the countries are free-market
democracies
• Regional Organizations
• Supranatural organizations: governing bodies
that include several states
• Subnational organizations: groups that represent
areas of people within the state
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Regional
Organizations
– Trade Blocks
• To foster internal markets and reduce trade barriers
– Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA),
Central American Common Market (CACM), Andean
Group, NAFTA, Mercosur
– Insurgencies and Drug Traffickers
• Guerrilla groups have controlled large portions of their
countries through violence and intimidation
– FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia);
ELN (National Liberation Army)
– Colombia has highest murder rate in the world
• Drug cartels: powerful and wealthy organized crime
syndicates
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Price, Wyckoff
Rebel-held areas
of Colombia
Notice the
relationship
between coca
growing areas
and insurgency.
The drugs
supply the
money to
support the
movement.
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Long-standing
Conditions
•
•
•
•
Poverty – widening gap between rich & poor
Military governments & dictators until recently
Rule by the “aristocracy”
Rather rigid social structure – Amerindians usually
left out of the “loop.”
• In agriculture, trapped in an international
economic order they cannot change
– One crop economies
– Products which aren’t necessities
– A cartel like OPEC won’t work
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Important Recent
Developments
• Mexico’s “one-party democracy” seems to have
ended – Presidente Fox of PAN
• Democratically elected governments in all
countries except Cuba –
– even in Cuba communism is changing due to the loss of
Soviet/Russian financial assistance
– When Castro retires (or probably when he dies) there
may be greater change – i.e., the Pope’s visit would have
been unheard of 20 years ago
– One can even see the possibility of the resumption of
U.S. diplomatic relations on the horizon
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A Glimpse of Mexico
• Click on the map to see the video
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Dependent
Economic Growth
• Most Latin American countries are “middle income”
– Extreme poverty in the region, however
• Development Strategies
• Import substitution: policies that foster domestic industry by
imposing inflated tariffs on all imported goods
– Industrialization
• Manufacturing emphasized since 1960s
– Growth poles: planned industrial centers
– Maquiladoras and Foreign Investment
• Maquiladoras: Mexican assembly plants lining U.S. border
• Other Latin American countries attracting foreign companies
– The Informal Sector
• Provision of goods & services without government regulation
• Self-employment: construction, manufacturing, vending, etc.
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MAQUILADORAS
Tijuana
Nogales
Ciudad
Juarez
Chihuahua
Monterrey
Reynosa
Matamoros
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MAQUILADORAS
• Initiated in the 1960s
• Assembly plants in Mexico that pioneered
the migration of industries in the 1970s
• Today
–>4,000 maquiladoras
–>1 million employees
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MAQUILADORAS
• Modern industrial plants
• Assemble imported, duty-free
components/raw materials
• Export the finished products
• Mostly foreign-owned (U.S., Japan)
• 80% of goods reexported to U.S.
• Tariffs limited to value added during
assembly
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MAQUILADORAS
• Maquiladora products
•
•
•
•
•
Electronic equipment
Electric appliances
Auto parts
Clothing
Furniture
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MAQUILADORAS
• ADVANTAGES
– Mexico gains jobs & Mexican workers have
more money to spend on both Mexican and
U.S.-made products.
– Foreign owners benefit from cheaper labor
costs.
EFFECTS
– Regional development
– Development of an international growth
corridor between Monterrey and Dallas - Fort
Worth
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NAFTA
• Effective 1 January 1994
• Established a trade agreement between
Mexico, Canada and the US, which:
–Reduced and regulated trade tariffs,
barriers, and quotas between
members
–Standardized finance & service
exchanges
–May expand membership
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NAFTA
How has Mexico benefited from
NAFTA? Will Chile join it?
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MEXICO AND
NAFTA
• Foremost, it promises a higher standard of
living – more people with higher incomes
may also buy more U.S. products.
• NAFTA creates more jobs for Mexicans as
US companies begin to invest more
heavily in the Mexican market.
• Mexican exporters increase their sales to
the US and Canada.
• Is that the entire story?
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WAGE RATES COMPARED
$20.21
$25
$20
$17.38
$15
Mexico
U.S.
$10
$1.55
$2.87
$5
$0
Assemblers
Skilled Labor
History shows that over time, wages will increase in
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Economic and Social
Development (cont.)
• Primary Exports
• Latin America specialized in commodities into the 1950s
– Bananas, coffee, cacao, grains, tin, rubber, petroleum, etc.
– Agricultural Production
• Since 1960s, agriculture has become more diversified and
mechanized
• Machinery, hybrid crops, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, make
agriculture very productive
– Mining and Forestry
•
•
•
•
Products: silver, zinc, copper, iron ore, bauxite, gold, oil, gas
Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador export oil
Mining becoming mechanized, laying off workers
Logging
– Exportation of wood pulp provide short-term cash infusion
– Plantation forests of introduced species replace diverse native
forests
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Price, Wyckoff
Economic and Social
Development (cont.)
• Latin America in the Global Economy
• Dependency theory
– Dependency theory holds that expansion of European
capitalism created Latin American condition of underdevelopment
» Creates prosperous cores and dependent, poor peripheries
– Increased economic integration within Latin America and
dominance of U.S. market
– Neoliberalism as Globalization
• Neoliberal policies: stress privatization, export production, and few
restrictions on imports
– Benefits include increased trade and more favorable terms for
debt repayment; most political leaders are embracing it
» Some signs of discontent with neoliberalism and support for
reduction of poverty and inequality
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Latin America in
the Global Economy
– Dollarization
• Dollarization: process in which a country adopts (in
whole or in part) the U.S. dollar as its official currency
– Full dollarization – U.S. dollar becomes only currency
» Until 2000, Panama was the only fully dollarized
Latin American country
» Ecuador also became fully dollarized in 2000
» El Salvador considering
– Limited dollarization more common strategy
» U.S. dollars circulate with country’s national
currency
• Tends to reduce inflation, eliminate fears of currency
devaluation, and reduce costs
of trade
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Price, Wyckoff
Developing countries
seek a bigger and
better “piece of the pie”
• Banana plantations are
declining in importance
in Costa Rica, whereas
there are growing
numbers of workers in
high-tech fields and
tertiary and quaternary
activities.
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Social
Development
• Marked improvements since 1960
– Declining child mortality rate, along with higher rates
for life expectancy and educational attainment
» Most countries had child mortality cuts of 50% or
more
» Important role for non-govt. organizations (NGOs)
» Humanitarian organizations, churches, community
activists
– Still, regional social differences within countries
– Race and Inequality
• Relative tolerance, but Amerindians and blacks overrepresented among the poor
– Hard to ignore ethnicity and race when explaining
contrasts in income and availability of services
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Mapping Poverty and
Prosperity (Fig. 4.29)
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Status of Women
• Many women work outside the home (30%-40%)
–Lower than rate in U.S. but comparable to
many European countries
• Legally, women can vote, own property, and sign
for loans, but less likely than men to do so
– Reflective of patriarchal tendencies
• Low illiteracy rates
–Highest rates in Central America
• Trend toward smaller families
–Related to education and workforce
participation
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Monroe Doctrine &
U.S. Intervention
•
•
•
•
•
•
Panama – aided it’s revolt for independence
Guatemala
Nicaragua– helped create Somoza dictatorship
Haiti
Dominican Republic
Mexico (took ½ Mexico’s territory) – 1912
invasion to capture Pancho Villa (failed)
• Spanish American War – took Puerto Rico &
kept right to intervene in Cuba until 1935
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U.S. Intervention
Since 1960
• Cuba – Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis,
economic embargo – relations now improving
• Troops to Dominican Republic (????)
• Illegal Iran-Contra involvement in Nicaraguan
civil war
• Troops to Grenada
• Invasion of Panama to capture its president
Noriega – brought to U.S. tried for drug charges
and imprisoned in U.S.
• Intervention in Haiti to restore president
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Perceptions
Differ
• The U.S. likes to be perceived as a friendly
neighbor & upholder of principles of human
dignity. – Not easily accomplished when one
is a big power seeking its best interests
• Middle & South American perspective
– “Gringo” isn’t a complimentary term
– U.S. often called “the colossus of the north.”
– U.S. often supported dictators if they were
avowedly “anti-communist.” – disastrous in
Cuba & Nicaragua
– U.S as an economically imperialistic country
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Conclusion
•Latin America is the first region fully colonized by
Europe
•Demographic recovery slow after early population
decline
•Latin America is rich in natural resources
•But will resources be exploited for short-term gain or
sustainability?
•Active informal economy, rapid development
End of Chapter 4: Latin America
Globalization & Diversity: Rowntree, Lewis,
Price, Wyckoff
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Chapter 4: Latin America - University of Missouri–St. Louis