Home > colonias, environmental justice, US-Mexico border > NYT Article – Tropical Disease and Poverty in the US

NYT Article – Tropical Disease and Poverty in the US

A recent New York Times Op-Ed (August 18, 2012) described the rise in “tropical diseases” among the nation’s poor. Surprise! The example used to illustrate this trend was in south Texas. And while the specifics were not clear, the description and photo suggest that it was referring to one of the colonias of Cameron County.

I embrace the author’s diagnosis that links poverty and poor health, and I agree that the current problems undermine the future generations’ capacity for educational (and thus, economic and social) advancement. Finally, someone does not explain this by invoking “immigration” as cause, but poverty. Indeed, I second the outrage expressed by the author. But at the same time, the narrow and technocratic solutions do not address the root causes of this “new plague.” Rather than surveillance or vaccines, how about raising the quality of housing in the communities hardest hit, providing better sanitation infrastructure and environmental health. Interventionist and technocratic solutions simply obfuscate the social and political issues around poverty and the increasing incidences of tropical diseases. If poverty is the problem, then perhaps that is where our attention needs to be.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


A Radical Geography Community

The Channichthyidae

experiments in science

La Jicarita

An Online Magazine of Environmental Politics in New Mexico

The Trash Blog

Finding Away

Human-Environment Research Group

Geography @ Texas A&M University

%d bloggers like this: