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Land Grabbing in Mexiko. Ein argumentativer Kopfstand der Weltbank

Peter Clausing, Christina Goschenhofer

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Land Grabbing in Mexico. Confusion in the World Bank’s Line of Argument.


This paper analyses the WorldBank’s (WB) claim that Mexico presents a positive example of how land grabbing in poor countries can be turned into a „win-win“ situation with opportunities for rural development. The WB suggests that clear, affordable and accessible (collective) land rights – as they allegedly exist in Mexico – in combination with a voluntary code of conduct for large scale land transactions, will help to ensure positive outcomes for rural development. However, WB documents and an analysis of the Mexican situation reveal that: (a) the 1990s attempt to privatise Mexico’s communal lands only partially succeeded, which now, 15 years later, is being proclaimed by the WB as a success in preserving communal land; (b) the WB’s conclusion that this cadastral project reduced land conflicts is drawn from a faulty database; and, (c) that numerous land conflicts belie this conclusion. Three case studies are presented in contra to WB claims. In conclusion, this text argues that in countries ridden by corruption and human rights violations, large scale land transactions reinforce social inequality instead of contributing to rural development.