Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


LACS: Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Diana Aldrete


The purpose of this research is to identify the growing problems associated with environmental degradation in Latin America. For decades, a combination of corrupt governments and lack of environmental legislation has allowed large companies to exploit the environmental resources of many different Latin American countries. Latin America is an extremely biodiverse region of the world and environmental resources are valuable. Large companies have monopolized environmental resources for profit, which has caused protests and violence. Most these large international companies have been allowed to harvest valuable resources, pollute the environment, and leave without any consequences. Because many Latin American governments prioritize economic interests, there have been extreme violations of human rights in many countries. Large development projects and corrupt governments take advantage of the poor and indigenous by taking their land without their consent. When the poor and indigenous attempt to fight back with peaceful protests, they are often threatened or killed. Environmental and human rights activists also play an important role in this work. Because of extreme environmental degradation and violation of human rights of the poor and indigenous, these activists openly speak out against the corrupt governments and large corporations. Unfortunately, Latin America has become one of the most violent and dangerous regions in the world for environmental and human rights activists due to government corruption and increased influence of large corporations. This work will focus on how the abuse of environmental resources and the lack of environmental legislation in Latin America has caused extreme human rights violations of poor and indigenous people as well as extreme violence against environmental and human rights activists.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in LACS: Hispanic Studies.