Land and Labor Relations in Guatemala’s 1952 Agrarian Reform: Rethinking Rural Identities
- agrarian reform,
- rural politics,
- local history
This article explores local histories of Guatemala’s 1952 agrarian reform in the department of Sacatepéquez. It argues that applications of the land reform law were situated within a preexisting context of local rivalries rooted in conceptions of identity that were tied to community, land, and labor. By analyzing the way that individuals interacted with the agrarian reform and each other, this article also suggests that oversimplified understandings of Guatemala’s rural population tend to minimize the contested nature of agrarian reform. Instead, this article closely examines local politics in order to understand how involved individuals deployed social categories in pursuit of land.