Faculty Mentor

Serena Cosgrove, PhD

Faculty Editor

Nova Robinson, PhD

Student Editor

Jane Kidder


In this paper, I explore the impacts of mega-development projects in Chile and Nicaragua using a postcolonial framework to critically analyze the effects on the indigenous Pehuenche and Rama. Through an analysis of the Ralco Hydroelectric Dam in Chile and the proposed Interoceanic Nicaraguan Canal, I will examine the historical context and postcolonial practices that allowed for state approval of foreign-funded mega-development projects. I will then review each project’s impact on traditional, indigenous ways of life. Finally, I will propose a combined bottom-up and top-down strategy based on indigenous empowerment. My proposal is supported by the objectives of international multilateral institutions and civil society organizations to combat the megaprojects’ circumvention of national and international law.