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Latin American Underdevelopment Tied to Land Ownership

ISSN:1060-4189
LADB Article ID: 78569
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2012-04-13
By: Andrés Gaudín

The system of land-ownership—its poor distribution—has affected the life of South American countries since their struggle for independence from colonial powers Spain and Portugal in the early 19th century. In this region, historically, land has been power. During the last century, progressive and popular political parties in various countries denounced land grabbing—which resulted in the latifundio—as the major cause of the underdevelopment that condemned the region to become a supplier of primary products, raw material going to industries in developed countries and processed with their own labor. Recently, the idea has resurfaced, but no longer promoted exclusively by progressive sectors. Now, some governments are expressing the need to again put the issue at the center of public debate.

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