Over the past 30 years Chile has implemented neoliberal policies on the promise that open and free access to global markets through commodity exports will lead the country to its development. These policies have had tremendous territorial and economic effects, materially altering the country’s environment. Along with its historical role as the top producer of copper in the world, Chile lead the way to becoming the first global fruit exporter from the southern hemisphere through exports of crops such as grapes and blueberries. Chile also is also among the top ten wood producers, and is a leader in salmon farming.
This presentation explores these processes through analysis of the salmon farming industry in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile. In particular, it looks at how the salmon farming has produced a series of ecological contradictions that, in turn, have been addressed through a range of spatial and ecological fixes. By looking at the institutional, productive and technological solutions implemented to address the constant ecological crises, I reflect on the ideas of commodity frontiers or commodity regions as theoretical lenses to better understand extractive economies in Latin America.
Departamento de Geografia
Universidad de Chile
Co-sponsored by Latin American Studies Center