Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Land Reform

October's Le Monde Diplomatique (eng) (esp: sumario), which just arrived in my mailbag, has a profile of land reform in Venezuela. The article explains Chavez's impatience with the pace of reform and the problems in execution, and it sets out the scale of the goals of the reform (2m hectares per 500,000 campesinos ). News to me, the British crown turns out to be one of the largest landholders in Venezuela. According to the article, they're among the many landholders who are having a hard time proving they actually own the land they control.

Land reform is also a hot issue in Brazil, with expectations focused on Lula's PT government delivering on its commitment to make more land available to those without, and to do so within the law. I suppose that much of the campesino farming would be at or near subsistence levels, but it does make me wonder what the addition of so many productive acres would be on Latin America's insistence in reforming trade in agricultural products.

It looks like November's Diplo, at least in the Spanish language edition, will be taking a closer look at Latin America. I'm a dead-tree subscriber to the English edition, so I'll give it a look when it arrives. FWIW, the Portuguese version is here, although they don't seem to have this article on-line.


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