Published in 1999. Despite the attempts of a number of Latin American republics to redistribute land resources and carry out agrarian reform programmes, ’the land question’ remains a vital political issue throughout the region. This book focuses on Bolivia, where government proposals to replace a radical agrarian reform law of 1953 with a neo-liberal Ley INRA provoked heated public debate and violent campesino clashes with the police (witnessed by the author) in September/October 1996. The first five chapters are largely concerned with theoretical aspects and a review of Bolivia’s agrarian reform legislation: the remaining six chapters are devoted to an analysis, from the viewpoints of participant campesinos and the researcher, of agricultural change in Aymara communities beside Lake Titicaca, where the author has conducted research over nearly 30 years. Currently lakeside farming is under severe threat as a result of land degradation, limited cash resources, rural-urban migration, tourism and commuterisation.

part I

The Theory

chapter 1|14 pages

Agrarian reform in Latin America

chapter 3|18 pages

The domination of the hacienda

chapter 4|24 pages

Bolivia’s Agrarian Reform Law of 1953

chapter 5|27 pages

Ley INRA (1996)