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In this article, I will deal with the correlations between economic policies and migration within Latin America. In particular, Ciydad shall focus on the economic crisis of the 80s and the neoliberal policies of the 90s in Latin America, as well as their impact on the evolution of migration flows.
I will show how the passage from an Import Substitution Industrialization economic model to a neoliberal one affected the mobility of the Latin American people. The article will investigate the relationship between economic restructuring and metropolitanization, rural-urban migration, and border migration within the Latin American territory.
Ciuvad conclusion, I will demonstrate how the evolution of directed migration to the United States up to the year stemmed from the first Bracero Program There is nothing more permanent than a temporary worker.
Latin American immigration has gradually assumed a greater importance in the Nineteenth Century. The always-changing reality of contemporary migration compels us to apply a global approach to reconstructing flows to different countries, because geographical distance is losing its importance in the orientation of migration.
This expansion leads one to consider not only the dynamics of a paradigm of national analysis, but also makes us analyze the correlation between the different contexts of arrival and departure 3. I will focus on the economic crises calxeira caused an expansion of the flows that already existed within the Latin American continent, albeit internal migration from the countryside to cities, migration to neighboring countries, or migration to North America.
My study focuses on the evolution of flows and their prominent features and will not delve into the evolution of migration policies of destination countries, despite their influence on the evolution and characterization of migratory flows.
Since its socio-demographic characteristics are completely different from previous flows, Latin American immigration to Europe after the year has not been examined in this article. However, I have dealt with migration policies and migration towards Europe in other papers 4.
In socio-economic terms it was known as the decada perdida and after the experience of authoritarian governments of the 70s a shift toward democracy emerged.
Contemporaneously, a deep spiral of violence ensued causing more thandeaths and creating 2 million refugees. Nicaragua, which was devastated by the conflicts between the Contras and Sandinistas, was the epicenter of the crisis that quickly struck El Salvador and Guatemala.
In fact, in the total debt of the macro region more than doubled its GNP 6. As shown below, the matter of foreign debt shed light on the systemic lack of a Latin America productivity model. The consequence was a very high growth rate, but the wealth was distributed only among the governing elite and deep deficits were produced by foreign debt. For this reason, financial institutions continued to offer loans that sustained the overall growth of these economies, as well as for the abundance of natural resources in Latin American countries, in spite of a worldwide period of crisis.
Growth was maintained by the availability of liquid assets sustained by the loans and exchange rates based on the nominal currency value linked to both gold prices and the US dollar 8.
As a result the price of gold began fluctuating freely. However, between and interest rates grew progressively, padding the world inflation rate and causing the system to show the first signs of collapse in In the 80s, banks rapidly cut off credit to troubled countries, worsening the situation even more. From on, Latin America had to face higher interest rates, in a context where economic crisis provoked a decrease of Latin American exports, and new loans were not awarded.
The rapid interest growth and restrictions applied to credit by industrialized countries — the USA above all — to contrast national inflation, put the economic model based on import substitution and state intervention on the economy into a serious danger, leading to new free market strategies Foreign debt in millions of dollars public plus private sectors and IMF loans.
When international loans were cut off, all governments reduced expenses and started to pay off debts using income. This caused the industrialization process to decrease as well due to lesser income coming from exports and credits. Paradoxically, developed countries in the area, such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, were the ones that faced the greatest difficulties It was named decada perdidato show how most countries suffered a economic growth stop in the previous decade and faced socio-economic recession.
In the same report, CEPAL outlined structural changes in productivity addressing social equality as priorities for overcoming the ongoing economic crisis On one hand, the emergency of foreign debt remained, while on the other hand the structure of internal production had to diversify in order to meet the ever changing demands of an international marketplace. The objective of this action was to modify the productive economic system, boosted by privatization, and sustained by greater competitiveness in the world market.
Initial asset payouts were postponed and in the meantime implied interest was being earned. To allow this specific debt payout, Latin American countries were awarded new loans with conditions set by the same creditors These tactics proved to be unsuccessful. Apparently, the only valid solution was adopted by Chile which increased exports, privatization and laid out structural reforms aiming to open its economy to international competition.
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Along with rapid development, these changes caused a dramatic lack of democracy as well. Inthe Andean country started privatization of the public sector to give enterprises and companies back to their rightful owners which had been previously nationalized by Allende government Commercial liberalization extended all over the continent.
Customs duties dropped from tetesa As a consequence, local production faced the challenge of competing with foreign products. Export volume increased due to changes in its typology and specialized in delivering specific goods to the international market such as wood and fishery from Chile, flowers from Columbia and prawns from Ecuador.
In the 90s, Latin America grew enough to set the region as an emerging world economy, even if it still remained vulnerable to international financial market turbulence. Due to this, some countries encountered another financial crisis. The effects of the Asian crisis 19 in the same year impeded further development, pointing out the regions economic weaknesses.
During the same period, environmental factors also contributed in worsening the situation. The new century was therefore readdressing a new deal centered on governmental capacities and control reinforcement Brazil, Panama, and Chile have had better results in fighting poverty while Ecuador, Columbia and Paraguay have lagged behind significantly. As a whole, social expenditure the 90s rose thanks to economic growth, and the GPD share addressed to social affairs increased from On the contrary, wealthy and rich social classes se a significant improvement 25 ; this process produced a significant difference between upper and lower classes with the exception of Columbia, Honduras and Panama see table below.
A chance to have a profitable education in these countries depended exclusively from the level of education of parents and family. It remained a fiudad permeable system where social mobility was lacking and huge differences existed in terms of quality between public and private educational systems.
The economic cost of education prevented most students from accessing private education represented a definite barrier to a better working and economic future All these elements were influential on Latin America population mobility as well. Immigrant population by caldeura.
Latin America and The Caribbean. Latin Ciidad countries at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of 21 st century are simultaneously emigration, immigration and transit countries.
The consequence is a process of urbanization, starting from the small urban local centers that become the end point of a larger social network According to Manuel Castells, urban agglomeration was the result of the separation of agriculture and artifact productive systems, and urbanization represented the determining factor of the population increase in Latin America Anibal Quijano noted how industrial production, and participation to international economy, mutated existing social relationships between rural and urban strata.
Rural economic sectors had to adapt to the needs of new economies, alienating their traditional production forms and models With the fall of the traditional agricultural model the rise of a third sector economy in urban centers followed. If urbanization in Latin America was a social phenomenon previous to colonization, its expansion and prominence only occurred during the s when the post crisis was boosted by investments in the area Between andLatin American metropolitan growth generated both a quantitative due to migration and qualitative turnover metropolitanization process.
This process was largely caused by the incorporation of a large social strata with new forms of production and consumption. This phenomena produced a mass movement from rural to urban areas in a very short time. Migration toward urban centers not only satisfied the new demand for labor, but also fostered an individual desire for a better standard of living.
Besides this, education and health services were much more efficient in cities than in rural areas and social mobility was more likely to occur in urban contexts. The latter occurred mainly because of urbanization rather than endogenous processes. Agglomeration and shanty towns suddenly appeared on urban landscapes.
Neighborhoods emerged from nothing in no time at all without any control or planning on the part of government institutions. Yet this population resided at the margin of urban and productive development not only physically but more importantly from a socio-economical standpoint. Newly settled migrants were not able to find stable work or to reach a sufficient qualitative and quantitative employment level Marginality was mainly caused by the impossibility of local urban work markets to meet the demands of labor force, represented by migrant workers coming en masse from rural areas into towns Starting from the s, Latin America became the model of urbanization poverty worldwide inthe highest rates of Asian and African poverty was still primarily rural The latter still remained a magnet for those seeking stable occupation, social assistance and opportunities for a better standard of living.
During the recession, a decrease in salaries and urban unemployment did not prevent people from migrating. On the contrary, it rose, proving that lower incomes does not correspond to a return to the countryside In the 80s and 90s, a consistent share of the urban migrant population was made up of young people and women that were seeking occupation in urban housekeeping services which implied an increase in the average age in rural areas.
The Haitian urban population grew from This process creates a demand for both highly specialized and unskilled labor forces. Upper class economic wealth and lifestyle represent a recruiting niche for regional and international migrants 47as well as new factories with a demand for labor. It is possible to note how the largest urban areas corresponded to Mexico city, Sao Paulo and followed by Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires The causes for this can be explained by the demographic explosion which occurred during the last Century 50as well as the second economic and industrial boom during the s and 40s that took place exclusively in the city and its surrounding areas.
Social distinction and residential habitat in Latin America
More recently maquilladoras were also established in the suburban areas of the capital city and not only in the north of the country Money coming from this business provided investment capital for productive sectors of consumption and transformation.
Between WWI and the s industrialization in Brazil was concentrated in this area.
According to Adele Pellegrino, this phenomenon provided evidence of an artificial division and border design in post-independence Latin America, that separated populations and communities that had been always connected. Up to the s, intercontinental movements were targeting only specific attractive poles like Argentina and Venezuela in South America, and the USA regarding emigration from Central America and the Caribbean At the same time, specific events were causing particular migration flows, from and towards countries that were not historically migration related.
For example Nicaraguan and El Salvadorian migration to Costa Rica, and those from Guatemala and El Salvador toward Mexico, during late 70s and early 80s, were caused by civil wars and political instability in the region at that time The most important receiving countries of these flows were Argentina and Venezuela approximately two-thirds of the totalfollowed by Costa Rica and Paraguay as receiving countries from primarily their neighboring countries Colombian workers were migrating to Venezuelan sugar and coffee plantations, Ecuadorian Banana and flower cultivation sites; Colombian women were moving to serve in the Venezuelan housekeeping sector, and Bolivian and Peruvian workers were finding jobs in Argentinean industries.
The CEPAL analyses show how economic inequalities between neighboring Latin American countries generated a consistent trans-frontier macro-regional labor market For example individual incomes in Argentina between and doubled in comparison to Bolivia and Paraguay; this process made Bolivia and Paraguay the most important work force suppliers for Argentinian industry.
Migrations toward Venezuela and Argentina decreased and only Costa Rica and Chile were an exception to this Venezuela, after the oil economy boom during the 70s, received a large number of Colombian and Latin American migrants that rose to 3.