Expansion of oil palm agribusinesses over indigenouspeasant lands and territories in Guatemala: Fuelling a new cycle of agrarian accumulation, territorial dominance and social vulnerability?
By Alberto Alonso-Fradejas
This paper is a critical analysis of the political economy and ecology of the current territorial re-structuring processes associated with the deployment of a flexible regime of agrarian capitalism in Guatemala, in light of its determinations over the human and social vulnerability of indigenous-peasant farmers in the territories of expanding oil palm industrial monocrops. Attention is paid to the main discourses of public and private stakeholders as well as to the specific material and cultural dispossession practices of this revisited dynamic that generates agrarian and resource-use conflict, once again catalyzed by demand drivers emerging from world (northern) markets related to the revalorization of commodities and the agrofuels fever. The discussion focuses on the impacts on three fundamental components of the livelihoods of Guatemala´s indigenous-peasant population, as core determinants of human and social vulnerability: i) the entitlements and rights to access, use and control of the means of production and natural resources; ii) household productive and reproductive strategies; and iii) the labor implications and changes in the social relations of production and reproduction.File: Alberto Alonso-Fradejas.pdf