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Assignment on Despotism in Maquilapolis

Added on - 27 Jul 2022

I want you to answer 2 questions from the file I have attached. All the other instructions are available in the document attached. You have to answer those question after watching a movie called 'Maquilapolis'. It's available on Youtube. Link is also available in the document. Movie Link:

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The city of factories
Question one. Despotism in Maquilapolis
Maquilapolis is a film that represents the kind of manual labor that takes place in free
trade area commonly known as the FTA in the US-Mexico border.A free trade area is a
geographical area where goods stored manufactures assembles and exported for sale as defined
by (Koul 2018). Despotism is defined as the use of absolute power particularly in a cruel, brutal
or in a way that oppress the subjects (Glassman 2019). Racialized despotism is the kind of
dominance through the threat of punishment that occurs or directed to a certain race. In the film,
it is witnessed that all the workers in this factories come from Tijuana in Mexico, a Mexican
community who are extremely poor to afford their daily needs and thy have to work for less than
$ 11 dollars a day in order to buy water and a gallon of milk. Sexualized despotism is witnessed
in the film since 80% of the laborers who are working in these factories are women. They are
treated like commodities which are just acquired for production and if not productive, they are
discarded and replaced with other properties (Ussher 2016). The despotism was so prevalent that
a multinational company could not pay a severances fee of $2500 which is a negligible amount
compared to millions of dollars they earn from the sale of the manufactured products. Most of
the Mexican workers were women who were bringing up their children as single mothers who
desperately needed to earn something to keep their children alive. Most of them were not
educated and they could not raise their voices against the ills that they were going through in the
factories. It was evident from the film that some companies could go to an extent of firing them
whenever they planned on how to form unions to be their voices (Flores 2017). The Unions that
were formed by the employers could not be of any help to the laborers, in fact they favored the
employers who could afford to pay for lawyers to continue asserting their power and authorities
to helpless women who could not afford lawyers. Fellow workers offered to be advocates to help
and be the voice of the workers but the progress was not so significant both in the labor disputes
and other disputes that came up. The Mexican government had an obligation to provide these
layers to represent the labors but was not the case even after being given the funding by
international bodies like the IMF or the International Monetary Fund.
The women in the film claim that the factories preferred women working with them
because they are fast, docile and cheap. Their working conditions were so cruel that they could
not be allowed to take a break to go the bathroom or take drinking water. This contributed to
most of the women to develop kidney problems, anemia and some even nose bled while
working. The smell that is produced by the factory processors is so pungent that it caused nose
blockage and poisonous layers on them that the women could not be able to care of their own
children immediately after their daily shifts(Arvizo, García & Leiner 2020) Some women had
developed itchy and spotted skin from the lead poison that they are exposed to while working.
In 1960, multiple factories were started in in the US-Mexican borders that were allowed
to manufacture their goods duty free and tariffs free. The manufacturers are allowed to import
the raw materials and export the finished goods to and from US without any import or export
taxes from either of the countries (Dement 2018). The Mexican government developed
‘Programa de Industrializacion Fronteriza’ or BIP which were special laws that favored and
programs that fueled the growth of these factories. In 1994, the NAFTA which is the North
America Free Agreement which declared North America as a free trade area and this enabled
multinational companies to manufacture goods at a lower cost. These companies could import
quality raw materials from the United States and produce cheaply than in the US through paying
the Mexican workers lower wages while repaying fewer duties (Hernandez-Trillo 2018).
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