Scholars and activists investigate the emergence of a distinctively Latin American environmental justice movement, offering analysis and case studies that illustrate the connections between popular environmental mobilization and social justice in the region.
Environmental justice concerns form an important part of popular environmental movements in many countries. Activists, scholars, and policymakers in the developing world, for example, increasingly use the tools of environmental justice to link concerns over social justice and environmental well-being. Environmental Justice in Latin America investigates the emergence of a distinctively Latin American environmental justice movement, offering analyses and case studies that examine both the promise and the limits of environmental justice in Latin America and the Caribbean -- both as a rallying point for popular mobilization and as a set of principles for analysis and policymaking.
After considering such conceptual issues as the connection between environmental conditions and race, trade, and social justice, the book presents a series of case studies. These studies focus first on industrial development, examining such topics as social tension over "megadevelopment" projects in Argentina and the concentrated industrial waste hazards of the export assembly plants on the U.S.-Mexico border, and then on the power and politics involved in land and resource use. Other chapters explore ecotourism, inequitable land distribution in Brazil, the ongoing struggle for justice and accountability over the former U.S. Navy bombing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and water policy in Chile, Bolivia, and Mexico. Taken together, the analyses and case studies suggest that environmental justice -- which highlights both broader issues of global injustice and local concerns -- holds tremendous promise as a way to understand and address environmental inequities in Latin America and elsewhere.
Henri Acselrad, David V. Carruthers, Jordi Diez, Katherine T. McCaffrey, Sarah A. Moore, Peter Newell, Tom Perreault, Carlos Reboratti, Reyes Rodriguez, Juanita Sundberg, Stefanie Wickstrom, Wendy Wolford, Michele Zebich-Knos
David V. Carruthers is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Diego State University.