Since the NAFTA agreement, slightly more than 25% of the Ejidos have been sold mainly to large corporations eager to consolidate control over larger tracts of land. Instead of living in a self-reliant manner, former members of "dis-incorporated Ejidos" became "consumers" and "wage earners" dependent on the capitalist system. Unable to survive in Mexico in the "wage-consumer" economy, large numbers of former Ejido members traveled to the United States to earn higher wages to send money home for families now dependent on money to survive instead of their own labor and control over their own land and food.
Yesterday I traveled to Monterey, Mexico, just south of Laredo, Texas. On the flight back I looked out the window to see thousands of parcels of land abandoned and dwelling "scraped away" leaving only the cleared plot where people once lived. The people were no-longer living on the land. Evidence now demonstrates that the corporatization of Mexico has resulted in massive migration of formerly self-reliant people away from their land to consumer dependency on money and wages in the United States.
Americans are now distraught over the massive migration of mainly Mexican Indians, and Central American Indians to the United States. The economic policies of state governments like NAFTA have forced self-reliant people off their land into dependence on wage-earning. While that move seems to benefit the capitalist system, it has caused enormous disruption of populations long capable of taking care of themselves.
Native populations in the Americas, and elsewhere in the world for that matter, have built self-reliant communities that have sustained human populations for thousands of years. The progressivism of conservative and liberal capitalists sits at the root of human social and economic instability by forcing people off the land.
Reaffirmation of self-sustaining, cultural diverse nations living close to the land is essential to eliminate the massive dislocations of peoples we have seen in the last sixty years.
(C) 2007 Center for World Indigenous Studies
Technorati Tags: NAFTA, self reliance, susbsistence economy, land rights
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