Water is life, but the colony is a necropolis: Environmental terrains of struggle in Puerto Rico
Date of Original Version
The catastrophic conditions after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, homeland to the second largest US Latinx group, also result from a long history of colonial exploitation exacerbated by economic downturn, debt crisis, and federally imposed austerity. US policies affecting agriculture and attracting contaminating industries set the groundwork for extreme environmental degradation, which in turn has long motivated local community activism, coalition-building, and de-colonial praxis. The authors illustrate that in Puerto Rico, environmental resistance has been a vanguard terrain of struggle against the deepening insertion of multinationals and continued degradation. Culminating with a glimpse of how the very basics needed for survival—such as water—have been sacrificed to the logics of capital extraction, this essay points to the urgency of making an environmental justice perspective of central concern to US Latinx Studies.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Lloréns, Hilda, and Maritza Stanchich. "Water is life, but the colony is a necropolis: Environmental terrains of struggle in Puerto Rico." Cultural Dynamics 31, 1-2 (2019). doi: 10.1177/0921374019826200.