Land grabbing in Latin America and the Caribbean

Cristóbal Kay, Jennifer Franco, Max Spoor, Saturnino M. Borras and Sergio Gómez | 05.01.2012

In The Journal of Peasant Studies, 39:3-4, 845-872

Land grabbing has gained momentum in Latin America and the Caribbean during the past decade. The phenomenon has taken different forms and character as compared to processes that occur in other regions of the world, especially Africa. It puts into question some of the assumptions in the emerging literature on land grabbing, suggesting these are too food-centered/too food crisis-centered, too land-centred, too centred on new global food regime players – China, South Korea, Gulf States and India – and too centred on Africa. There are four key mechanisms through which land grabbing in Latin American and the Caribbean has been carried out: food security initiatives, energy/fuel security ventures, other climate change mitigation strategies, and recent demands for resources from newer hubs of global capital. The hallmark of land grabbing in the region is its intra-regional character: the key investors are (Trans-)Latin American companies, often in alliance with international capital and the central state. Initial evidence suggests that recent land investments have consolidated the earlier trend away from (re)distributive land policies in most countries in the region, and are likely to result in widespread reconcentration of land and capital.

KEYWORDS: intra-regional land grabbing; food-feed-fuel complex; dispossession

This article is available for free download at Taylor Francis Online.

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