There was significant migration from the British Caribbean to Ecuador in the first decade of the twentieth century. The experiences of these migrant workers were dominated by violence and brutality, regardless of the type of industry or the region of Ecuador. For example, workers on the Quito-Guayaquil Railway were housed in tents in subzero temperatures and subject to routine corporal punishment. Workers in the Amazonian rubber industry were chained and whipped. In the Galapagos Islands, many Jamaicans found themselves imprisoned in the penal colony on the island of Floreana, while others starved to death while collecting guano. This paper argues that far from being an anomaly, the experiences of workers in Ecuador highlight how important physical violence was as a tool of racialization in Latin American countries that sought to benefit from the availability of migrant Caribbean labor, but were simultaneously developing nationalist ideologies based on the pathologization of blackness and the exclusion of African-descended populations.
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