Test 2 Class notes

Test 2 Class notes - 5 Latin America Environmental Regions...

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5. Latin America Environmental Regions Tectonic plate boundaries: Sierra Madre in Mexico, Andes in South America , Amazon Basin/ Forest Major river basins form three major environmental regions – the rivers flow from the western highlands toward the Atlantic Oil in Mexico & Northern South America important; many countries developing natural gas deposits- new pressure from gas pipelines; resource exploration/ exploitation in Peruvian Amazon not welcome Agricultural production on the west coast of South America strongly tied to altitudinal changes Climates: dryland/ desert, tropical humid, mid altitude El Nino is a change in water temperature that has a significant impact on climate in the region Environmental problems: coastal and river pollution, deforestation (international concern) Population Regions Environmental limits have impact on population density High temperature: high moisture, low population density Upper altitudes of Andes: low population densities (except La Paz, Quito) High population densities in Central Mexico, Atlantic Coast of South America (largest cities: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City) Squatters - informal settlements common in Latin America ( ranchos, barrios, favellas ); main cause is rural urban migration of poor (responsible for large city sizes), lack of governmental control (not all occupants are poor), lack of services (education, sanitation, police, running water access etc) Problems of title & tenure; land use control (hazardous locations, environmentally sensitive locations); conversion to formal use has benefits of title, tenure, taxation, and service provision Primate cities : Buenos Aires, Santiago, Asuncion, Montevideo Political differences between rural and urban populations; Argentina, Peron ( Peronism ): 1940s-1970s Internal migration External migration- within hemisphere, return migration International migration Cultural Regions Societies of pre-Colombian history: Maya, Aztec, Inca Western influence particularly of Spanish (most common language) & Portuguese (language of Brazil)
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Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) French, English, Dutch Largely independent in the early 1800s Indigenous populations suppressed by European settlers Roman Catholicism is the most widespread religious denomination (Pentecostalism is gaining) Political Regions History of government control by people of European ancestry; indigenous people are becoming more politically active Rural urban migration: election in Bolivia of President Morales marks indigenous political power Hugo Chavez , Venezuela Venezuela major oil exporter, member of OPEC Rouseff , Brazil; Kirchner , Argentina; Michelle Bachelett , Chile (immediate past): women presidents Central America: civil unrest in 1970s, 1980s Left wing interests supported by Cuba, USSR Right wing interests supported by US Land reform issue (indigenous population’s rights): large landholdings typically controlled by people of European descent while natives are left landless Drug production & distribution: political implications (drug related crime/ violence) Mexico: reputation of official corruption
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