Author:Gabriela Torres-Mazuera (Centro de Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social)
Paper short abstract:
In the 1990s land-titling programs launched by neo-liberal governments sought to generate standardize plots in the countryside. Ethnographic observation reveals in Mexico, an array of land practices continue to exist within those newly created plots.
Paper long abstract:
Attempts to standardize land-tenure have existed since the formation of liberal States. Simplistic categories such as "private", "public" and "social" property have been legalistic ways of coping with complex land-tenure structures and property regimes in rural areas. In the 1990's, land-titling programs were launched by neo-liberal governments all over the world in order to fix farmland boundaries, generate standardize plots with measured limits and registered individual property owners with clear rights to land. In Mexico, 20th century rural landscape has been dominated by ejido, a form of collective land-tenure that legally gives right to use the land to members of ejido community. The ejido land-tenure allow the co-existence of an array of property relations where multiple social actors hold different bundles of rights. The land-titling program launched between 1993 and 2006 aimed to individualize and privatize ejido lands attempting to legalize some of these relations while nullifying others. Ethnographic observation reveals that despite the alleged success of land-titling program in Mexico, an array of property practices not considered by law continue to exist and reproduced within those newly created standardize plots.
Standards and the quest for technocratic certainty