Ponce & San Juan: Injustices brought onto the national spotlight due to a “natural disaster”
John Wesley Crespo
Ficek, Rosa E. 2018. “Infrastructure and Colonial Difference in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María.” Transforming Anthropology 26 (2): 102–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/traa.12129.
This secondary source is an academic, peer-reviewed journal article from Transforming Anthropology that describes the infrastructural and colonial differences post Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Ficek goes into great depth on the ‘everyday’ struggles Puerto Ricans were facing weeks after Maria made landfall, examining the various strategies they used to obtain vital resources, despite the weak infrastructure that existed pre Maria to the then current shattered one that presided. Furthermore, this source explores the idea of “worth” as a citizen in a commonwealth, where the ‘racialization’ of Puerto Ricans as colonial citizens was embodied as Ficek puts it due to these experiences of acquiring food, water, power in Maria’s aftermath. Ficek’s article thus will help to understand and conceptualize the colonial differences in Puerto Rico as well as the deteriorating infrastructure pre/post Maria. Additionally, this source will be used in my paper to discuss this inequality of ‘worth’ as a citizen of the United States living in a commonwealth and not in a state where Maria further brought out this notion overall.
O’neill-Carrillo, Efraín, and Miguel A. Rivera-Quiñones. 2018. “Energy Policies in Puerto Rico and Their Impact on the Likelihood of a Resilient and Sustainable Electric Power Infrastructure.” Centro Journal 30 (3): 147–71. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=136081828&site=ehost-live.
This secondary source is an academic, peer-reviewed journal article from Centro Journal that examines Puerto Rico’s electrical power infrastructure—notably, how Hurricane Maria uncovered various flaws and fatalities in the dated fossil based generation system used in towns like that in Ponce. The damage that presided was catastrophic all over the island but as the authors above point out, the electrical power gird as well as the energy policies that existed in San Juan varied greatly to the rest of the island, like that of Ponce in the southern section of the island. This source then will be used in my paper to discuss in comparison the infrastructural aspect of environmental injustice attributable to better technology and electrical power system policies in San Juan to that of the lesser technological and weaker systems in Ponce. Furthermore, this source will offer an insight on how this stark contrast came to fruition pre Hurricane Maria to finally being brought onto the national spotlight due these systems being heavily affected after the fact.
Villanueva, Joaquín. 2019. “Corruption Narratives and Colonial Technologies in Puerto Rico: How a Long-Term View of U.S Colonialism in Puerto Rico Reveals the Contradictory ‘Political Work’ of Corruption Discourse, Both in Extending Colonial Rule and in Resisting It.” NACLA Report on the Americas. Vol. 51. doi:10.1080/10714839.2019.1617489.
This secondary source is an academic, peer-reviewed journal article from NACLA Report on the Americas that examines corruption in Puerto Rico, notably from 2010 – 2017, just shortly after Hurricane Maria made landfall. Moreover, Villanueva here looks at the dichotomy between colony and corruption and how government officials from both mainland United States as well as those in Puerto Rico participated in various illegal activities, negatively affecting residents in San Juan and Ponce. In fact, the U.S. Congress in 2016 signed into law the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) to combat just this issue of corruption committed by Puerto Rican government officials. This law in turn appoints an oversight board called ‘La Junta’, to regulate and manage Puerto Rico’s finances; a “babysitter” action as Villanueva eloquently refers to it. Overall, this source will be used in my paper to address the political/corruption aspect of environmental injustice affecting those in San Juan and Puerto Rico and how due to Hurricane Maria, this issue was brought to the national spotlight in dissecting where the money was funneled to and how this was so.
citizen, class, energy, corruption, infrastructure, racism