Chapter 8: Land investment flows and translocal development chains of 'impairing destruction'
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Alberto Alonso Fradejas focuses on the translocal effects of large scale investment in cane and palm complexes in Guatemala. He shows that in this country crops and trees have become key vehicles of transition to sustainable development amid contemporary socioecological crises. Thus, corporate flex crops and commodities complexes have consolidated within former strongholds and set off to new territories to take down the convergent global crises. Detailed analysis of the rise of a flex cane and palm complexes’ development corridor in Guatemala during 2005-2014 offers a series of insights on contemporary translocal development trajectories that may resonate elsewhere. Specifically, this development corridor has had positive implications for the few and adverse consequences for the many. By means of three translocal development chains of “impairing destruction”, this development corridor has driven exclusive, job-poor, and environmentally unsustainable translocal development dynamics. However, the flex cane and palm complexes’ development corridor has contested by many. This has made of translocal development outcomes during the current global land and resource rush the product of multiple and dynamic politics, rather than a story foretold.

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