Unhealthy bodies in sugar landscapes
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American occupation of the island of Puerto Rico in 1898 entailed countless economic, political, and social changes. As a result, Puerto Rican economy became increasingly dependent on sugar cane cultivation. Peasants and workers migrated to coastal areas while wages were insufficient to provide proper housing and health. In spite of promises of modernity and benevolent public health campaigns, a tuberculosis epidemic continued to claim thousands of lives while official discourse continued to obscure the connection between the sugar economy and tuberculosis mortality rates.