ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND AGRARIAN CONFLICT IN THE MUNICIPIO OF CUCURPE, SONORA, MEXICO.
KeywordsLand reform -- Mexico -- Cucurpe (Sonora)
Peasants -- Mexico -- Cucurpe (Sonora)
Social conflict -- Mexico -- Cucurpe (Sonora)
Committee ChairNetting, Robert
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is an ethnography of resource control in the municipio of Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico. The municipio itself covers 1,788 square kilometers of rugged, semi-arid terrain bisected by the San Miguel river and its tributaries. Less than one percent of the land is cultivated, the rest devoted to livestock raising, primarily cattle. Most Cucurpe households make their living as both ranchers and farmers. The control of land and water therefore becomes a vitally important political and economic issue. Twenty-one percent of the municipio is controlled by three peasant corporate communities--the comunidades of Cucurpe and San Javier, and the ejido 6 de Enero. The rest of the land belongs to private ranchers, many of whom are wealthy and reside outside the municipio. The dissertation focuses upon the history, structure and functions of the Cucurpe comunidad, the largest and most powerful of the three institutions, describing its role in past and present politics of resource control. Considerable economic inequality exists among Cucurpe households, not only among private ranchers and peasants, but among peasant households themselves. The range of economic inequality is ascertained, and conclusions about the relationships between inequality and the politics of resource control are drawn. It is argued that Cucurpe is composed of at least four different classes. These classes conflict and compete over two major issues: the control of grazing and arable land. Most households belonging to the corporate communities unite in opposition to private ranchers when their access to corporate rangeland is threatened. They battle each other over the status of arable land. Those with land consider it a private resource. Those without land content it belongs to the corporate communities themselves, a position supported by federal agrarian reform law. Such conflict seriously threatens the stability of these peasant organizations.