Inundaciones políticamente construidas. El megaproyecto hídrico Chone en Ecuador

Juan Pablo Hidalgo-Bastidas, R.A. Boelens

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Abstract

The construction and implementation of the hydraulic mega-project Chone (coastal Ecuador) was legitimized as a means to promote city development but has flooded and dramatically transformed rural territories. A utilitarian discourse regarding the «benefits of the urban majority» justified this project,
at the expense of the ostensible «underdeveloped minority» in the countryside. Throughout the implementation of the megadam, peasants were represented as «backward» and «pre-modern», in need of adopting modernist urban imaginaries to fit official notions of progress. Policy-makers presented the
risk of flooding as a mere «natural» and «technological» problem, obscuring the power relations that produce the urban-rural territorial transformations. From a political ecology perspective, we contend that the abundance of water is a political construct, instead of just a techno-natural phenomenon.
We conclude by arguing that mega-projects are not only means to control water but also constitute mechanisms to order and govern society.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)127-148
JournalCuadernos de Geografia
Volume101
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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