The Data of Disaster: Understanding Climatizing Surveillance in Post-Maria Puerto Rico

Nearly two years have passed since Hurricane María made landfall in Puerto Rico, yet its effects are still reeling through the islands. Rather than assisting with recovery, government agencies are engaging in what I term climatizing surveillance—mechanisms developed to both disempower Puerto Ricans and to ensure valuable resources remain in the hands of the wealthy elite. At its core, this enterprise seeks the erasure of marginalized peoples and their claims to commonly held lands and resources. Christina Boyles discusses how these processes operate in Puerto Rico, highlight their broader implications for a climate-stricken world, and outline strategies for resistance.