Maquiladoras: Hazardous Waste

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The growth of maquiladoras has led to increased air, water, and soil, pollution due to the inadequate disposal of hazardous wastes throughout the northern border area. Maquiladoras generate many hazardous waste such as acids, nickel, lead, paints, oils, and plastics, which are not regularly accounted for, despite the existence of the La Paz Agreement which requires U.S companies to deal with the toxic wastes associated with production (Frey 329). Statistics show that in the 1990s only 25 percent of such wastes were returned to the United States for processing, with 65 percent unaccounted for with wastes being either abandoned or dumped illegally in various locations (Frey 330). A more alarming statistic is that the flow of hazardous waste from …show more content…
IGOs actions, such as the World Bank, seems to represent the will of the core nations in the semi periphery, and the periphery. The World Bank lends 20 Billion U.S dollars annually to the poor nations of the world, with two thirds of that going towards large-scale developments projects (investment loans) (London, Shandra, and Shircliff 1). These investment loans require nations to reduce government spending, loosen government regulations, cut corporate taxes, and privatize government assets while increasing agricultural and natural resource exports, while cutting unfavorable spending for conservation (London, Shandra, and Shircliff 2). This creates a lack of environmental regulations, which allows the core to enact detrimental environmental practices in the periphery, to externalize environmental costs (Burns, Davis, and Kick 362). Trade liberalization is also recommended to governments by the World Bank in order to increase exports, by removing barriers and providing financial incentives and regulatory concessions in order to encourage foreign investments (London, Shandra, and Shircliff …show more content…
World Bank sponsored reforms pushed the Bolivian government to sell 50 percent of its equity in the state oil company (YPFB) in 1996 to multiple multinational corporations (MNC’s)s, such as Enron and Shell (Hindery 281). Between 1997 and 2001, investment rose nearly five times than what was invested in the pre-privatization years (Hindery 282). The privatization of YPFB was spurred by U.S economic interests, due to the indication that funding privatization would benefit investors, create demand for equipment, open new markets, and create jobs (Hindery 288). The World Bank supported modification of policies, in hopes of the liberalization of trade in oil and natural gas, and made such modifications pre-conditions to be met for the approval of 30 million USD loan (Hindery 288, 289). Through these conditional loans the World Bank finances state institutions in Bolivia, which provides them with control over social and environmental regulations (Hindery 289). With approximately 50 percent of the Bolivian state revenue coming from oil and natural gas, multinational corporations such as Enron and Shell, along with a 200 million USD loan from the U.S government, were able to push for Bolivian approval in the construction of the Cuiaba pipeline, which would span from Bolivia to Brazil, through the Chiquitano forest (Hindery 293). This pipeline became responsible for four major oil spills, a

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