> >That was part of Agrarian Reform in Mexico, but bred other problems -
> >credits weren't available, as the land couldn't be used as collateral;
> >widows who couldn't work their deceased husbands land were unable to
> >legally rent it; it was hard to attractive collaborative investments in
> >infrastructure - joint ventures - as there was no security for those
> >investments; so a lot of reasonable things were happening illegally and
> >the law was changed - Mexico's constitution was modified. [so that those things are within the law].
> So these issues--who works the land and how much can be charged for rent,
> for example--are where to start when discussing policy.
Now that those who worked the land were given ownership, they
themselves decide who will work it. Rents are generally determined
according to the going local rate.
> I personally feel the change in Mexico's constitution regarding land
> ownership should be cause for a new revolution.
You really think that? Try it first in your own back yard. Here, few
want more of that destructive, never ending cycle. They've seen enough
of that to know where it leads. Let me know how it goes, if you
> I see its effects here with
> thousands of now-displaced people coming to our community--some living in
> caves--as their land and their livelihood was lost when corporations like
> Grand Metropolitan bought up whole areas of land to plant tomatoes,
> broccoli, and strawberries, all for export. This is around Irapuato
> Michoacan Mexico.
You're seeing something else. As for "displaced people coming ... as
their land and their livelihood was lost"
People have been migrating to the US to resolve their economic problems
since long before the reforms done in the early 1990's. (We all know
where the money is). A village I lived in had at least 4-5 times more
people in the US than in the village and most have sent or brought money
back for local improvements. (And that was in the 1970's). The rugged,
mountain terrain is mainly cattle country and members of the large
mostly families migrate to other places - to the cities or places in
Mexico where there's more flat land & water or to the US). People come
and go from the US, many every year.
when corporations ... bought up ... land to plant ... for export.
Land reform laws don't allow foreign corporations to own land and even
nationals are limited to set amounts. The main problems in rural areas
now are capitalization, infrastructure, technology and secure, fair
markets; those are the things we try to help with.
As for exports, often export markets present advantages over national
ones, and cash reserves in stable currencies are desireable for the
national economy etc. Mexico's main comparative advantages are related
to geography and climate. In agriculture that means mainly tropical &
off season fruit & vegetables. And the existence of a market for
organic food outside Mexico is helping drive a move toward the use of
more environmentally friendly. technology.
> >> I'd not envision any chemical pesticides,
> >> fertilizers, or food additives.
> >This can be done with existing technology. But what about democracy? A
> >greater public good must be demonstable. More research is required, and
> >the collective results assembled into legislation.
> I cannot agree. We do not need more research--we have declining male sperm
> count, declining fertility, increasing health problems with especially
> children in areas of pesticide drift (see P A N U P S***Pesticide Action
> North America Updates Service http://www.panna.org/panna/ August 21, 1998
> Millions of Californians May Be Exposed to Dangerous Pesticides in Air).
I subscribe to the PANA newletter too and they do a good job as far it
it goes. But more research IS needed in order for legislation (based on
it) to be drafted and implemented, that will level the playing field
and make contaminating farmers and those that make the toxic
agrochemicals (rather than society) accountable for the contamination
they cause. This is a political problem, held back by vested (very
vested) interests. More people need to get involved at both the
political and grass roots levels.
> >> No prisons. Different ways for dealing with
> >> crime,
> >This hasn't been demonstrated as viable yet.
> Of course it has. We have centuries of experience with both prisons and
> alternative treatments of law-breakers.
You are not dealing with the root socioeconomic problems here.
> One way I would suggest would be to
> place an offender to local mores in a multigenerational home setting where
> he (or much more rarely she*) will have role models, be given work and a
> guaranteed income, where good behavior and misbehaviors will be responded
> to in ways designed to reinforce good behavior. The families who take
> *criminals* in would be screened and supported by not only social
> scientists but community members interested in community. I'd put people
> from the city into a less urban setting maybe, and create new means for
> support, especially to the families of the law-breakers as well as support
> for the families who take them in.
Within the current context, it would be good if more information was
available regarding alternative methods and the results acheived, so
that futher practical implementation might occur.
> With our current law setup, far more males than females are involved in the
> system from police attention to arrests all the way up to prison time. I'd
> suggest we need to look at the laws and evaluate how they are producing
> good community in the light of this disproportionate application.
Does that represent choices made, doors closed, or both?
> >Who is giving the land to the farmers, if it's not owned? What about
> farming would be done on community land. no one gives land to anyone.
3 kinds of land ownership now exist in Mexico - small private,
collective and communal. Only communal land is subject ot the above.
Collective ownership is cooperative to a degree established by those
involved. They are are no longer subject to the will of often corrupt
leaders and govt. officials, as a result of the reforms.
Also, both individuals and groups are now able to change the regimen
under which their land falls.
> Group interactions have been working on issues like *favoritism* for some
> time--I'm certain measures such as farmer satisfaction, consumer
> satisfaction, and food or flowers produced could be determined. We have new
> experiences to bring to social interactions. And trying something isn't the
> same as doing something--I'd like to see more doing and less trying. <g>
Before implentmenting anything on a large scale, it's good to try a few
pilot projects and look to what's been done elsewhere. That was done
and decisions were made, but of course the show's not over yet.
Continued feedback is needed from everyone so that appropriate
modifications can identified and implemented.
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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