Tierra y Libertad: The Social Function Doctrine and Land Reform in Latin America

52 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2015 Last revised: 20 Oct 2015

See all articles by Tom Ankersen

Tom Ankersen

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Thomas Ruppert

University of Florida

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Latin America has been caught for centuries in a vicious cycle of land consolidation and land reform; the issue perennially resurfaces since concentration of land and associated resources results in conflict.' Latin American nations are among the world's leaders when it comes to the inequality of land distribution.

Land reform, or agrarian reform, as it is more commonly referred to in Latin America, is hardly a new phenomenon. As we will show, the need to develop a policy to redress the consolidation of lands by a powerful few and redistribute it in the name of equity and development has its pedigree in Greco-Roman times. In Latin America land reform began in colonial times and has persisted through the present, resisted by elites who benefited from the largesse of the colonial powers. In the colonial era, the land and its resources was all the crown could offer to the conquistadors, colonial elites, and to the church. As a result, the newly independent states immediately entrenched a resistant, wealthy class of latifundistas, or large landed estate holders, setting the stage for a legacy of revolution and attempts at land reform.

Keywords: Social Function Doctrine, land reform, Latin America, sustainable development, socio-environmental function

Suggested Citation

Ankersen, Tom and Ruppert, Thomas, Tierra y Libertad: The Social Function Doctrine and Land Reform in Latin America (2006). 19 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 69 (2006), University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675713

Tom Ankersen (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

Thomas Ruppert

University of Florida

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

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