Dr. Kendra McSweeney will deliver spring CICR Eminent Scholar lecture

Dr. Kendra McSweeney, professor in the department of geography at The Ohio State University, will give the spring 2016 CICR Eminent Scholar Lecture on Friday, March 25th at 3:30pm in the Ecology Auditorium. Talk title and abstract are included below.

“Grounding traffic: how the cocaine commodity chain embeds in Central America’s protected spaces”

Abstract: How illicit commodity chains ’embed’ in social and ecological spaces is gaining increased attention from scholars and policymakers. But the majority of work on this topic focuses on sites of illicit commodity production or consumption. Meanwhile, sites of commodity transshipment—so crucial to the functioning of illicit trade networks—remain largely unexplored. In this presentation, I unpack the functioning of a single rural transit node in the global cocaine trade, to trace how cocaine transit relies on, and transforms, the social and ecological worlds of eastern Honduras’ Moskitia region. Drawing from long-term ethnographic research and satellite image analyses, I show how the region’s rise as a trafficking hub post 2006 has changed land use and land cover in stark and unprecedented ways. Exploring the ways in which narco-rents are captured and laundered, and by whom, I review the long-term implications for biodiversity conservation and forest management in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

This event is cosponsored by the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, with support from the Odum School of Ecology, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and departments of Anthropology and Geography