Tourism and industrial hog farms : a case study of two Maya communities in Yucatán state

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Knudsen, Siri

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This project analyzes the impacts of industrial hog farming from the perspective of two Maya communities in Yucatán state. I study frameworks of environmental justice and political ecology in the context of the project’s study areas. I highlight the importance of historical geographic context in understanding how industrial hog farm has grown within Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula. I examine how neoliberal policies have shaped the current political and economic positions of Yucatán state, and how the policies continue to have everyday impacts on Indigenous bodies.

I argue that community responses are entangled with issues of power and race and must be understood at different scale. I examine indigenous mobilization across Yucatán state and analyze how the community reactions to these concerns differ greatly.

Through interviews conducted in the field, I center these Indigenous perspectives within conversations of capitalism and power. Environmental concerns regarding the hog farms included water and air pollution, whereas the economic concerns included impacts on other industries such as tourism. I present a case study between my two study areas, comparing the similarities and differences between each community’s perception of the hog farms. I then explore how colonial legacies and environment relationships play a role in understanding community reactions. Lastly, I present counter mapping as a future method for similar projects. Moreover, I describe the importance of recognizing my positionality as a Western scholar researching Indigenous communities.


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