This paper utilizes geographical and interdisciplinary approaches to analyze changes in human-environment interactions following the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). It documents spatially and socially uneven patterns of transnational, national and local production and exchange. Negative ecological and social repercussions concentrate among marginalized groups while benefits accrue to regional elite and foreign corporations. Findings from Costa Rica, the Dominican Repblic and Nicaragua build from 2009 and 2010 fieldwork involving interviews with state officials, industry representatives and civil society. Media coverage, governmental and nongovernmental reports, industry data and scholarly articles supplement field sources and demonstrate transitions in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Findings suggest complex patterns of change with direct and indirect consequences for climate and ecology, governance and decision-making and social vulnerability and income.

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Copyright © 2012, Mesoamerica. This article first appeared in Mesoamerica: 54 (2012), 54-93.

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