Enclosed: Conservation, Cattle, and Commerce Among the by Liza Grandia

By Liza Grandia

This impassioned and rigorous research of the territorial plight of the Q'eqchi Maya of Guatemala highlights an pressing challenge for indigenous groups around the globe - repeated displacement from their lands. Liza Grandia makes use of the instruments of ethnography, heritage, cartography, and ecology to discover the habitual enclosures of Guatemala's moment greatest indigenous staff, who quantity 1000000 powerful. Having misplaced so much in their highland territory to overseas espresso planters on the finish of the nineteenth century, Q'eqchi' humans all started migrating into the lowland forests of northern Guatemala and southern Belize. Then, driven deeper into the frontier via farm animals ranchers, lowland Q'eqchi' chanced on themselves in clash with biodiversity conservationists who demonstrated safe components throughout this sector throughout the 1990s.

The lowland, maize-growing Q'eqchi' of the twenty first century face much more difficulties as they're swept into worldwide markets in the course of the Dominican Republic-Central the USA loose exchange contract (DR-CAFTA) and the Puebla to Panama Plan (PPP). The waves of dispossession imposed upon them, pushed by means of encroaching espresso plantations, livestock ranches, and guarded components, have unsettled those agrarian humans. Enclosed describes how they've got confronted and survived their demanding situations and, in doing so, is helping to give an explanation for what's taking place in different modern enclosures of public "common" space.

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Extra resources for Enclosed: Conservation, Cattle, and Commerce Among the Q'eqchi' Maya Lowlanders (Culture, Place, and Nature)

Sample text

Rousseau argued that the propertied classes did this by turning clever usurpation into an inalienable right, writing, “The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, thought of saying, This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society” (1994: 42; see also Andreasson 2006: 3). In other words, to legitimate a new property claim, there must be a dynamic hegemonic interplay between possession and persuasion (Gudeman and Rivera 2002; see also Gramsci 1971 and Nader 1997).

Ecology is inherently unpredictable, and, thus, packaging nature into “things” to be sold on the market can lead to unforeseen outcomes. Finally, to many indigenous groups, the commodification of nature, especially land, is anathema. Indigenous people do not want just any land; they want specific, spiritually sacred homelands as well as the right to autonomous local governance and self-determination (Stavenhagen 2006). Green neoliberal projects also tend to target environmental problems in out-of-the-way places that by their marginality, remoteness, and general quirkiness create friction for global capital (Tsing 2005).

Also suffering the first massacre of the Guatemalan civil war at Panzós, hundreds of Q’eqchi’ communities were once more uprooted from their homeland during the last part of the twentieth century. At the end of the long Guatemalan civil war, many indigenous and peasant leaders hoped that the 1996 Peace Accords might bring agrarian justice in a Introduction 5 country where 2 percent of the wealthy own more than two-thirds of the land. Unable or simply unwilling to redistribute land, the Guatemalan government instead decided to embrace the new World Bank paradigm of “market-assisted agrarian reform” being implemented around the globe, which, in theory, would shift land control away from elites to the “invisible hand” of the market.

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