FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
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Rio’s shantytowns are finding a place on city maps

Rio’s shantytowns are finding a place on city maps | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
RIO DE JANEIRO — Look at most maps of Rio de Janeiro. The beaches are easy to spot, as are the iconic ocean-front neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema. In the middle is a vast forest.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 25, 2013 11:40 AM

A nonprofit organization run by current and former favela residents called Redes da Mare has started the first mapping program to systematically chart out the favelas for municipal governments.  We take for granted what having an address on a named street means in a modern society; it is a portal to public utilities, recognition with businesses and countless other social benefits.  Being left 'off the map' is synonymous with being left behind.  By finding their way on the city maps they are removing some of the social stigma that sought to treat them as if they did not exist.  


Tags: Brazil, urban, squatter, mapping

Caterin Victor's comment, January 26, 2013 2:06 PM
Even the shanty-towns are beautiful in Brazil
chris tobin's curator insight, February 21, 2013 3:06 PM

Being left off the map is ludicrous.  It should be surprising how many there are,what they pick for addresses, and population statistics. Hopefully this will also help them to get aid for poverty relief.

 

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Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty

Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

"Some four decades after welcoming foreign assembly plants and factories, known as maquiladoras, Mexico has seen only a trickle of its industrial and factory workers join the ranks of those who even slightly resemble a middle class." 

 

Despite making such consumer goods like BlackBerry smartphones, plasma TVs, appliances and cars that most people in the US, for instance, consider necessities, Mexican workers in these factories seldom get to enjoy these items because, as this article argues, the labor system keeps them in poverty.  Foreign investment in these businesses keep unions out and attracts workers from poorer areas, allowing low-cost labor to prevail.  Less than $8 a day is the going wage - great for the bottom line and consumer prices but very bleak for those who toil in this system.


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Olga Varlamov's curator insight, November 23, 2013 8:26 PM

This article talks about how the maquiladora labor system dosen't provide enough money for it's workers. Many in Mexico are living in poverty and can't afford much more than dinner because of their low wages.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:47 PM

The labor system keeps workers in Poverty. This is the argument that is transitioned by stating the fact that many factory workers are and will always remian in poverty if they have no oppurtunity to move up in the food chain and become educated in order to get themselves out of poverty. They need different skills in order to aquire a better job to create a better life.  

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, February 11, 2015 11:33 PM

Its a very sad situation reading this. Seeing people go through all this to just survive. Kids don't even get any education and follow their parents footsteps to work at a plant just to be able to pay for bills. 8 dollars a day, and you wonder why they try to run to united states. Its very unfortunate that a lot of people go through this and i hope it changes soon, because to see that this is going on makes me thankful for what i have around me. Foreign investors are not great as they set out to be take advantage of the poor and get rich out of it, i think its pretty ridiculous.

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How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 1:17 PM

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

   Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

   Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 8:50 PM

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.

 

Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)

 

I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.  

 

* http://www.economist.com/node/21541753

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2015 2:32 PM

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened.