Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poca gente, tanta tierra

Want more hard numbers behind the Media Luna and autonomy movement? Like how 0.2 percent of land holders control 50 percent of Bolivia's arable land?

Well Mark Weisbrot and Luis Sandoval of CEPR give us a butt load. Go check out what this struggle for "liberty and democracy" is really all about.

Funny how the English press always forgets to mention these basic facts, isn't it?

11 comments: said...

Based on census data from 1984. The thieves that expropriated that land from the government have already sold it.

Evo is not taking vacant land, but land already cleared and being farmed. or land that that has gas on it so that he can get around departmental claims.

El Duderino said...

1) If these eastern latifundistas have already sold the land (and surely some have) then they shouldn't have any problems with the 5 to 10 thousand hectare limit in the proposed constitution. But we all know these estates exist, see Ron Larsen.

2) Departmental claims? Land ownership and tenure does not negate departmental cuts of nationalized gas revenue. However, the Media Luna's unconstitutional "Autonomy Statutes" would give departments near exclusive control of gas exploitation if enforced

Bina said...

Oh, but Duderino, you don't understand! Those landowners are all so virtuous and hard-working! They EARNED the right to own half of Bolivia and make their own little fiefdoms out of it! (Pay no attention to all those Indian slaves behind the curtain...) said...

They don't own half the land. These figures are ancient. Santa Cruz was completely different back then the population was perhaps 400,000 now its ~ 1.4 million. Right after that census mining went down hill and the miners flooded into Santa Cruz confiscating land.

The largest farms dont own half of Bolivia even by the document here. Bolivia has an area of 284,530,914 hectares. According to this 1984 information posted on this page there these large farmers owned total 11,047,000 hectares. Thats 3.9%.

If we are going to rationalize farming practices then farms with 2 hectares or less should be confiscated and sold together into larger farms. Since these are not farms but gardens. That 43% of farms in 1984. Actually 5 hectares makes little sense either - confiscate 68% of farms.

El Duderino said...

The figures are very relevant because the vast majority of eastern Bolivia's landholdings have not been adequately surveyed since, to make sure everything is on the level. If we are generous and say these guys sold off half their estates, then less than half of one percent still control a quarter of Bolivia's arable land.

The figures are for arable land. "Arable" means it can be cultivated, as opposed to say a mountain slope- which is done by impoverished campesinos in the land scarce highlands. Your jocular musings about these "gardens" betrays your ignorance of the actual poverty faced by the majority of Bolivians. said...

these figures don't tell you the percentage of arable land. It tells you an estimate of land being farmed more than 24 years ago. Farm land that was far drive from the city is now urbanized in santa cruz. New farm land has been cultivated.

Having people cultivate postage stamp plots like the ones evo has already set up will not help. What do the peasants complain about? Cant get enough money for what they grow. Only have one pair shirt and shoes etc. because no money. Creating more nonproductive 'farms' will not make things better.

In the fifty in order to maintain their control of the mines by directing anger elsewhere, La Paz sent the miners to Cochabamba to take the land from the 'evil landholders'. At the time Cochabamba was called the breadbasket of Bolivia. It fed Bolivia plus had enough to export. Now there is gas, La Paz wants to maintain control of the gas so they want to send peasants to destroy the farms of Santa Cruz just like they did in Cochabamba. The people behind Morales and Podemos always land on their feet.

El Duderino said...

You're clearly arguing about something you know little about, basic historical facts. I don't have the time to retell the last fifty years of Bolivian land politics in these comments. Maybe I will post some article links in another post.

You should be more careful not to look like a racist asshole when you characterize the redistribution of Cochabamba's feudal estates to its former subjugated peasants as a disaster in productive use. It was only a disaster for Bolivia's latifundistas- who moved to Santa Cruz.

Also you should be more careful to characterize Evo's land proposals, as Evo is not advocating untenable land division. The proposed constitution actually illegalizes untenable land division, what is called the minifundio. This means mandating a government program for facilitating reconsolidation of minifundios in west to tenable sizes.

Bina said...

Yeah, fancy a bunch of penniless little brown people who've spent their whole lives working some white guy's land not knowing how to farm it when land reform comes, breaks up the latifundio they used to be slaves on, and gives them parcels of their own for a change. Along with communal tractors, plows, etc., etc.

Yes, that was a snark. said...

it was only a disaster for the large land owners? Bolivia now imports 80% of the wheat it uses! Santa Cruz only produces enough for itself, because it is not a strong wheat growing region. Soil is better for other crops. Cochabamba produced not only enough wheat and lima beans for Bolivia but exported the surplus. People spoke of Cochabamba rivaling Argentina!

Evo isn't concerned with agricultural productivity he is only concerned with relieving the political pressure so that he can maintain control of the resources for those who control the government.

If they really wanted to help they would secure other unused land and educate the peasants in commercial farming and create new viable farms. Marxists only know how to tear down and criticize they don't know how to build.

El Duderino said...

Do yourself a favor and read the articles I posted in the following post.

Bina said...

Hmmm, I notice no comments whatsoever on those articles. Either this troll hasn't read them, or he has but feels better equipped to carry on his losing argument here.

BTW, said losing argument is IDENTICAL to the anti-Chavez shit coming from Venezuela. Funny how all that imported food only became an issue AFTER someone the crapitalists hated came to power with the specific intention to DO something about it. Never used to be a problem before...Especially not for Nestle and other megacorps from abroad. And not much of a problem before the crapitalists' pet hate actually started fulfilling their promises!