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Book Chapter

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Mexican Sugarcane Growers: Economic Restructuring and Political Options


Under the new agrarian policies and economic rules of Article 27, implemented in January 1992, the customary patters of political patronage and loyalty in the countryside no longer operate as before. Campesions now are challenged to think and act like entrepreneurs who assume investment risks in order to successfully participate in competitive markets. But most possess neither the economic resources nor worldviews to be the “campesino entrepreneurs” sought by the government or by the leaders of the Confederación Nacional Campesina (CNC) and the Confederación Nacional de Productores Rurales (CNPR), the two campesino confederations affiliated to the ruling PRI. This contradiction between campesino worldviews and neoliberal economic reforms defines the unprecedented challenge to the traditional legitimacy held by both organizations. Sugarcane growers represent a distinct social group, and the essays in this volume will examine the particular implications of the current transformation for the social and political options of Mexico’s sugarcane growers.

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This chapter was published by the UC San Diego Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies in Mexican Sugarcane Growers: Economic Restructuring and Political Options (ed. Peter Singelmann) in 1995. It can be accessed from the publisher's website at:

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Book Chapter