Small scale migration along the interoceanic highway in Madre de Dios, Peru: An exploration of community perceptions and dynamics due to migration

Kelly E. Jensen, Nehal N. Naik, Christina O'Neal, Gabriela Salmón-Mulanovich, Amy R. Riley-Powell, Gwenyth O. Lee, Stella M. Hartinger, Daniel G. Bausch, Valerie A. Paz-Soldan

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6 Citas (Scopus)


Background: Madre de Dios, a southern state in the Peruvian Amazon basin, has experienced rapid development as well as an influx of migrants since the construction of the Interoceanic Highway (IOH) connecting Brazil, Bolivia, and the Peruvian coast. We explored perceptions of migration and development in up to eight communities along the IOH in Madre de Dios following construction of the highway. Methods: We conducted a multiple methods study involving focus group (FG) discussions and interviews with key informants (KIs) in eight communities in Madre de Dios. The data was used to develop and apply a survey on demographics, financial, personal, social, human, and physical capital in four communities between February 2014 and March 2015. Results: We conducted 12 FGs and 34 KI interviews. A total of 522 people participated in the survey. Comparing migrants (those who had moved to the area after construction of the IOH) and non-migrants, we found no difference in food security or access to health services. The majority (67.6%) of respondents from both groups reported that illness was their primary threat to well-being. Non-migrants owned more land than migrants (p < 0.001), were more likely to have piped water directly in their home (p = 0.046), and were more likely to participate in community groups (p = 0.012). Looking at perceptions about migrants, KIs and FGs discussed both positive perceptions of migrants (increased cultural exchange and new technology) and negative perceptions (increased drugs and alcohol in their communities and a lack of investment in the community). Both migrants and non-migrants reported trusting the local government more than the national government. Conclusions: Although we hypothesized that migrants would have decreased access to food, water, health services, and land relative to non-migrants, our results show that the only significant differences were in land ownership and water access. Efforts to improve community infrastructure should be carried out at the local level and focus on improving issues reported by both groups, such as potable water, sewage, and increased access to health services. Furthermore, an emphasis on community cohesion, ensuring land rights, and increasing long-term job opportunities should help ease tensions between migrants and non-migrants.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo12
PublicaciónBMC International Health and Human Rights
EstadoPublicada - 12 feb. 2018
Publicado de forma externa


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