Peasant struggle and the agrarian reform : a case study from Cajamarca, Peru
The main source of primary material on which this thesis is based is fieldwork carried out in Cajamarca, Peru, between February 1975 and September 1976. It concerns a former estate (haoienda), called Chala, in the province of Hualgayoco This had been an agricultural and live stock estate which had drawn on the labour services of its peasant tenants in production. Before the Land Reform, introduced in 1969 by the modernizing military regime of General Juan Velasco, there had been a series of struggles organized by the peasants against the landlord. At the time the land reform law was passed, the peasants were already in de facto control of the land, and violently resisted attempts to introduce a cooperative. The thesis includes a theoretical discussion of the highland estate system', and an analysis of the historical and regional context in which it operated. Regional variations in the agrarian structure are explained by reference to the demands created by the primary export sector (plantation agriculture and raining) for labour and foodstuffe. The uneveness of agricultural development within regions relates to the political and economic power of the landlords within the region and nationally The conclusions of my fieldwork are, that as far as the highland estates were concerned, the objectives of the Land Reform were political rather than economic. This is demonstrated by the utopian nature of cooperative plans for estates such as Chala, which were formulated without resources being provided for building infrastructure such as marketing systems, credit and technological inputs. However, the Land Reform has liberated the peasantry from the payment of the landlord's rent, and has thus made way for a fuller development of capitalist social relations in the countryside.