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The social geography of credit groups in the Candelaria Colonies, Candelaria, Campeche, Mexico Fuller, Richard Allan 1976

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THE SOCIAL GEOGRAPHY OF CREDIT GROUPS IN THE CANDELARIA COLONIES CANDELARIA, CAMPECHE, MEXICO by RICHARD ALLAN FULLER B.A., State U n i v e r s i t y of New York at Albany, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES, DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the re q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1976 © Richard Allan Fuller, 1976 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Brit ish Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of Brit ish Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date ABSTRACT In Mexico, a primary agent f o r s o c i a l change continues t o be a g r a r i a n reform. However t h i s i s no longer r e s t r i c t e d t o the reformation of outdated, pre-Revolution land tenure systems. Today, i t i s necessary to formulate e f f e c t i v e and f e a s i b l e a g r a r i a n p o l i c i e s which w i l l help t o meet Mexico's current needs f o r f i n a n c i a l , t e c h n o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l development and which w i l l solve problems created by the new land tenure s t r u c t u r e . I t i s thus that the Mexican government has launched various new programmes which are intended to f a c i l i t a t e and enhance the development of the e j i d o system of land tenure w i t h i n the country. The use of the e j i d o as a means of d i s t r i b u t i n g and h o l d i n g lands has had p r o b l e m a t i c a l success. Because peasants' r i g h t s to e j i d o lands are usufructuary, they have no t i t l e to the land. As a r e s u l t , the land cannot be used as c o l l a t e r a l f o r securing loans f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l production from p r i v a t e l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s . To a i d the e j i d a t a r i o s , the government has e s t a b l i s h e d s p e c i f i c n a t i o n a l c r e d i t banks whose f u n c t i o n i t i s to lend money to groups of peasants who i n t u r n assume a c o l l e c t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the debt i n c u r r e d . This study examines c r e d i t groups i n two c o l o n i e s along the Candelaria R i v e r , Campeche, Mexico,to determine the impacts of these groups on a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes i n the c o l o n i e s . As somewhat of a c o n t r o l , i n order that a v a l i d basis f o r comparison might be e s t a b l i s h e d , a t h i r d community, possessing a s i m i l a r p h y s i c a l environment and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l framework, but l a c k i n g c r e d i t groups, was a l s o s t u d i e d . The i n t e n t of the study i s to i n v e s t i g a t e how the f u n c t i o n of c r e d i t groups a f f e c t s land area c u l t i -vated, methods of a g r i c u l t u r e , types of crops grown, and the socio-economic w e l l - b e i n g of the communities i n the f i e l d area. In order to undertake the study, i t was f i r s t deemed necessary to review the e v o l u t i o n of land tenure systems i n Mexico w i t h a view towards understanding the framework w i t h i n which the Mexican peasant i s intended t o c a r r y out h i s a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s . Three c r i t i c a l s o c i a l f a c t o r s were then i d e n t i f i e d as a f f e c t i n g the u n i t y and cohesion found i n the c r e d i t groups, and u l t i m a t e l y w i t h i n the communities themselves. These f a c t o r s were the background of group and community members, a l l e g i a n c e to the group or community, and the l e a d e r s h i p q u a l i t y found i n the f i e l d area. Interviews were then c a r r i e d out, w i t h the m a j o r i t y of people interviewed f i t t i n g i n t o two broad c a t e g o r i e s , e i t h e r peasants who were e l i g i b l e to r e c e i v e or i n f a c t were r e c e i v i n g a g r i c u l t u r a l c r e d i t , or peasants who were i n e l i g i b l e t o r e c e i v e t h i s a i d . A d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n regarding the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the f i e l d area and the operation of the c r e d i t groups was obtained from c r e d i t banks s e r v i n g the area, from the Department of Agrarian A f f a i r s and C o l o n i z a t i o n , the Centre of Agrarian Studies, and other r e l e v a n t sources. The study i n d i c a t e s the a g r i c u l t u r a l methods and types of crops grown i n the f i e l d area are d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d by the c r e d i t groups and r e s u l t i n a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes which bear a s t r i k i n g l y d i f f e r e n t aspect from those e f f e c t e d by peasants who do not b e n e f i t from c r e d i t a i d . Nevertheless, t h i s i s a s u p e r f i c i a l d i f f e r e n c e . The land area c u l t i v a t e d and, perhaps more important, the economic w e l l - b e i n g of those who r e c e i v e c r e d i t a i d versus those who do not r e c e i v e such a i d , does not appear to d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y . This s i m i -l a r i t y i n these l a t t e r two v a r i a b l e s i s shown to be a t t r i b u t a b l e i n part t o the d i v e r s e and, i n some cases, incompatible back-grounds of some r e s i d e n t s of the f i e l d area, to v a r y i n g degrees of a l l e g i a n c e and commitment to the c r e d i t groups and communities s t u d i e d , and to d i f f e r i n g q u a l i t i e s of l e a d e r s h i p w i t h i n the groups and communities. E q u a l l y important was the f i n d i n g that the e j i d o system of land tenure was unacceptable to the c o l o n i s t s who were interviewed In l i g h t of the impact of the s o c i a l f a c t o r s on the f i e l d area, and the apparent disteem f o r the a c t u a l framework w i t h i n which the r e s i d e n t s of the c o l o n i e s e x i s t , the v a l i d i t y of c o l o n i z a t i o n schemes such as that along the Candelaria becomes questionable. Consequently, i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r changes i n the current e j i d o system of land tenure are discussed i n the f i n a l chapter of the study. I f the system i t s e l f i s not abandoned, as i t migh$ w e l l be. m o d i f i c a t i o n s to i t are c e r t a i n l y imperative. TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I . INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem 1 Location 4 P h y s i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Settlement Process 8 of the F i e l d Area . 6 Tenure Parameters 11 Methodology 23 S o c i a l Geography 26 I I . NUEVO COAHUILA 32 Community D e s c r i p t i o n 32 C r e d i t Group H i s t o r y 39 S o c i a l Factors A f f e c t i n g C r e d i t Groups and the E j i d o 42 Government P o l i c y 51 A g r i c u l t u r a l Landscapes 54 Summary 59 I I I . VENUSTIANO CARRANZA 63 Community D e s c r i p t i o n 63 C r e d i t Group H i s t o r y . 68 S o c i a l Factors A f f e c t i n g C r e d i t Groups and the E j i d o 73 Government P o l i c y . . 79 A g r i c u l t u r a l Landscapes 81 Summary 86 IV. EL TIGRE 89 Community D e s c r i p t i o n 89 S o c i a l Factors A f f e c t i n g the E j i d o . v . . . . 93 Government P o l i c y 98 A g r i c u l t u r a l Landscapes 99 Summary 104 V. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 107 I m p l i c a t i o n s 107 BIBLIOGRAPHY . 123 APPENDIX . . . 12S LIST OF TABLES 1. Maiz Group, Nuevo Coahuila 40 2. Rice Group, Nuevo Coahuila . . . . . 40 3. C a t t l e Group, Nuevo Coahuila 41 4. Maiz Group, Venustiano Carranza 71 5. Rice Group, Venustiano Carranza 71 o. C a t t l e Group, Venustiano Carranza 72 7. Average Number of Hectares/Person C u l t i v a t e d By C r e d i t Group Members I l l ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 2 . 1 The bandstand at Nuevo Coahuila 34 2 .2 The laundry tubs 34 2 .3 Zona Urbana, Nuevo Coahuila 35 2 .4 Nuevo Coahuila i n 1966 37 2 . 5 One of the 23 abandoned houses 37 2 . 6 The maiz group's f i e l d 57 2 . 7 The c a t t l e group's pasture 57 3 . 1 Venustiano Carranza i n 1966 65 3 .2 The bandstand i n 1973 66 3 .3 Zona Urbana, Venustiano Carranza 67 3 .4 The maiz f i e l d (Venustiano Carranza) 83 4 . 1 E l Tigre 91 4 . 2 A fenced-in k i t c h e n garden 91 4 .3 Reburning and c l e a r i n g a milpa 102 4 . 4 P l a n t i n g maiz w i t h a d i g g i n g s t i c k 102 Map 1. The Candelaria Region i n 1965 5 2 . Nuevo Coahuila as Planned i n 1963 . . . . . . . 9 3 . Venustiano Carranza as Planned i n 1963 . . . . 10 4 . Nuevo Coahuila i n 1973 33 5 . Venustiano Carranza i n 1973 . . 69 6 . E l Tigre 92 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Statement of the Problem The Candelaria Colonies represent a contin u i n g phase i n Mexico's "March to the Sea". The goals of the c o l o n i z a -t i o n p r o j e c t are (1) to incorporate e s s e n t i a l l y unused a g r i c u l t u r a l lands i n t o the s t a t e and n a t i o n a l economies; (2) to f u l f i l l r e v o l u t i o n a r y goals of land d i s t r i b u t i o n to the land -l e s s ; (3) t o r e l i e v e overcrowding i n highland Mexico by drawing c o l o n i s t s from t h a t region; and ik) to a i d i n stemming the flow of c i t i z e n s from the countryside to the c i t i e s . 1 A f u r t h e r aim of the Candelaria p r o j e c t was t o "Mexicanize" n a t i o n a l t e r r i t o r y l y i n g adjacent to the Republic of Guatemala by economic, p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l domination of the land. L o f t y as the goals are, one must regard them i n the l i g h t of Mexico's planning h i s t o r y , which has often served p o l i t i c a l needs more than the economic and s o c i a l needs of the people. 2 The c r e a t i o n of a modern new community where l i t t l e p r e v i o u s l y e x i s t e d would serve the purpose of impressing a world l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n or the wealthy northern neighbour. The c o l o n i e s , l o c a l l y r e f e r r e d t o as e.jidos. Nuevo Centros de Poblacion E . j i d a l . or c o l o n i a s . c o n s i s t of s i x communities organized f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a of the Departamento de Asuntos Agrarias y C o l o n i z a c i o n (DAAC). The e j i d o was used as the v e h i c l e f o r d i s t r i b u t i n g the land to the c o l o n i s t s . However, the p r o j e c t i t s e l f has been only p a r t l y s u c c e s s f u l . Symptoms of f a i l u r e are high abandonment r a t e s , government d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the economic development of the c o l o n i e s , high costs f o r the programme, and general d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n of the c l i e n t e l e . One problem i s l i n k e d to the nature of e j i d o land tenure. As i n a l l e j i d o s , the r e s i d e n t s of the Candelaria Colonies have only r i g h t s of usufruct to p a r c e l s of l a n d . The l a c k of t i t l e to the land impedes the c o l o n i s t s ' a b i l i t y to secure c r e d i t from p r i v a t e l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s to a i d i n a g r i c u l t u r a l production. In response t o the problem, the f e d e r a l government has created s t a t e l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s t o serve the c o l o n i s t s . Two such banks operate along the Candelaria, the Banco Nacional de C r e d i t o E j i d a l and the Banco Nacional Agropecuaria. However c r e d i t i s extended . only t o groups of people, r a t h e r than to i n d i v i d u a l s . This study examines the r o l e of c r e d i t groups i n the Candelaria Colonies. I t s i n t e n t i s an examination of how these groups a f f e c t the landscapes found w i t h i n the c o l o n i e s i n terms of the methods of a g r i c u l t u r e employed, types of crops grown, and land area c u l t i v a t e d . The study reviews the h i s t o r y of c r e d i t groups i n two of the s i x c o l o n i e s , Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza, and examines how s o c i a l f a c t o r s can modify the groups' operations. The r o l e of government p o l i c y as the i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework w i t h i n which the groups operate i s a l s o examined. Rules and r e g u l a t i o n s which are i n s e n s i t i v e t o the t r a i t s of the Mexican peasant can be d e t r i m e n t a l t o the f u n c t i o n i n g of groups operating w i t h i n t h i s framework. I t i s b e l i e v e d that s o c i a l f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g c r e d i t group operations, tempered by government p o l i c y , a f f e c t the landscapes observed i n the c o l o n i e s . In e f f e c t , one may ask: What d i f f e r e n c e do the c r e d i t groups make? As somewhat of a c o n t r o l , a t h i r d a g r i c u l t u r a l community along the Candelaria, E l T i g r e , was s t u d i e d . E l Tigre possesses a s i m i l a r p h y s i c a l environment, w i t h an a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l that i s not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from that of the c o l o n i e s . However, the community i s not o f f i c i a l l y recognized as a p o l i t i c a l u n i t by the f e d e r a l government and t h e r e f o r e i s not accorded many of the r i g h t s and b e n e f i t s of an e j i d o . Of importance to t h i s study i s the i n e l i g i b i l i t y of the r e s i d e n t s t o r e c e i v e c r e d i t from s t a t e c r e d i t banks. Thus, the landscapes of the c o n t r o l area r e f l e c t a g r i c u l t u r a l e f f o r t s of a community unaffected by c r e d i t group a c t i v i t y . Of course there are other d i f f e r e n c e s between the c o l o n i e s and E l T i g r e ; the study does not take place i n a l a b o r a t o r y . However the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n o r g a n i z a t i o n and p h y s i c a l environment seem to a l l o w com-pa r i s o n . Location The study area i s located along the Candelaria River i n the State of Campeche, Mexico. The r i v e r , o r i g i n a t i n g i n Guatemala, empties i n t o the Laguna de Terminos i n the Gulf of Mexico. (Map 1.) 5 The p r i n c i p l e town along the r i v e r i s Candelaria which serves as the immediate source of goods and s e r v i c e s . Candelaria i s i n turn l i n k e d by an a l l -weather road to Escarcega. From Escarcega, one i s able to reach the c i t i e s of Campeche, Merida, Villahermosa, and u l t i m a t e l y Mexico C i t y . A r a i l h e a d i n Candelaria provides r a i l seryi.ce f o r the r i v e r b a s i n . The c o l o n i e s themselves are located to the south of Candelaria. The lands which they occupy were mostly n a t i o n a l t e r r i t o r y w i t h only the o c c a s i o n a l squatter l i v i n g along the r i v e r . However, evidence shows that the f i e l d area was once u t i l i z e d and populated during p r e h i s t o r i c Mayan times. 4 Of p a r t i c u l a r note are the r u i n s of three l a r g e pyramids i n E l T i g r e . To the east of the present c o l o n i e s are u n s e t t l e d lands, t e c h n i c a l l y belonging t o older e j i d o s , but seldom used f o r anything more than the g a t h e r i n g of c h i c k l e , and some lumbering. A great deal of n a t i o n a l t e r r i t o r y remains to the east as w e l l as to the west. North of the c o l o n i z a t i o n p r o j e c t are older e j i d o s and p r i v a t e holdings e s t a b l i s h e d along the r a i l r o a d . The two c o l o n i e s which were the prime sources of information f o r t h i s study are l o c a t e d at opposite ends of the study area. The townsite of Nuevo Coahuila i s MAP 1 : The Candelaria Region i n 1 9 6 5 . * about 55 kilometers southeast of Candelaria along the shore of the Rio San Pedro, a t r i b u t a r y of the Candelaria R i v e r . E l T i g r e i s 30 k i l o m e t e r s south of Candelaria and on the west bank of the r i v e r . Venustiano Carranza i s only s i x kilometers south of C a n d e l a r i a . At present, E l Tigre and Nuevo Coahuila are a c c e s s i b l e only by boat. The road constructed between Venustiano Carranza and Candelaria i s t o be extended to Nuevo Coahuila. However, t h i s i s expected to r e q u i r e s e v e r a l years f o r completion. The proposed route bypasses E l Tigre and no road i s planned f o r c o n s t r u c t i o n to that community. Boat t r a n s p o r t a t i o n to the c o l o n i e s i s o n l y b a r e l y adequate. Businessmen i n Candelaria operate boats to buy farm products and s e l l goods to c o l o n i s t s as w e l l as t o accommodate passengers. There are some motor launches a v a i l a b l e f o r h i r e , but the cost i s p r o h i b i t i v e f o r the average c o l o n i s t . More f r e q u e n t l y , the cayuco. a dug-out type canoe, i s used f o r short t r i p s and f i s h i n g along the r i v e r and i t s t r i b u t a r i e s . A t r i p from Nuevo Coahuila to Candelaria r e q u i r e s approxi-mately 12 hours. Captains of v e s s e l s are known to h e s i t a t e when t a k i n g aboard s i c k passengers f o r f e a r they w i l l d i e before reaching Candelaria. 5 P h y s i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the F i e l d Area The f e d e r a l government was s u f f i c i e n t l y convinced t h a t the Candelaria Region possessed the c a p a b i l i t y of becoming one of Campeche«s more productive a g r i c u l t u r a l zones to produce a programme of development f o r i t . The area i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by broken k a r s t h i l l s and vast low-l y i n g ba.jos and f l o o d p l a i n s . The h i l l s , often t r e e -covered, become more predominant as one moves southward i n t o Guatemala. The bajos resemble savannah lands and are covered by coarse sawgrass. The o r i g i n of t h i s savannah f e a t u r e i s not p r e c i s e l y known, although at one time i t was a t t r i b u t e d to o v e r - c u l t i v a t i o n by the ancient Maya. This i s no longer thought to be t r u e . 6 Today they are l a r g e l y maintained by the seasonal inundation of the land by f l o o d i n g waters. Most of the area i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by l a t o s o l i c s o i l s which are capable of supporting pasture and a f a i r l y wide range of food crops. However, the s o i l s are porous and r e q u i r e some conservation measures. The area i s i n the t r o p i c a l wet and dry group of the Koeppen c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , w i t h a d i s t i n c t dry season during the low sun period of w i n t e r . During t h i s time, i r r i g a t i o n i s r e q u i r e d f o r some crops. Between May and October, when most of the p r e c i p i -t a t i o n occurs, s o i l s are h e a v i l y leached and r e q u i r e f e r t i l i z a t i o n f o r sustained cropping. A m i n i m i z a t i o n of the l e a c h i n g process occurs n a t u r a l l y w i t h s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n . Temperatures are h o t t e s t d u r i n g the months of February through May w i t h an average maximum of 30OC and a minimum of 18°C. While these temperature v a r i a t i o n s do not present a c o n s t r a i n t f o r most a g r i c u l t u r a l crops, meteor-o l o g i c a l phenomena c a l l e d nortes do. These weather phenomena occur between May and December and are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s i g n i f i c a n t drops i n temperature, high winds and t o r r e n t i a l downpours. Such c o n d i t i o n s often s e v e r e l y damage crops. Water sources f o r the communities examined i n t h i s study are the Candelaria R i v e r , i t s t r i b u t a r i e s , springs and w e l l s . A l l of the water i s of s u f f i c i e n t q u a l i t y to be used f o r domestic and a g r i c u l t u r a l needs. However, the seasonal v a r i a t i o n i n r a i n f a l l again creates some problems, as the supply of water to w e l l s and springs can be danger-ously low. This n e c e s s i t a t e s c a r r y i n g water from the r i v e r i n Nuevo Coahuila. Settlement Process In March of 1963, men began c l e a r i n g f i e l d s , b u i l d i n g houses, and preparing the land f o r t h e i r f a m i l i e s who were to f o l l o w . Each new community would encompass some 5,100 hectares of land , 20 hectares of land to be a l l o t t e d to the i n d i v i d u a l c o l o n i s t . (See Maps 2 and 3.) Of the 20 hectares, approximately 5 were cle a r e d at the outset. However, r a p i d f o r e s t takeover and a r e t u r n to s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n has reduced the area under c u l t i v a t i o n to 2 or 3 hectares per person. In f a c t , the farmers have, i n some cases, moved out of the planned f i e l d s and i n t o the f o r e s t e d areas, c l e a r i n g new p l o t s f o r s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n . (See Maps 4 and 5.) The land that was not i n i t i a l l y c l e a r e d was reserved f o r i n t e n s i v e farming w i t h i r r i g a t i o n , orchards, pasture or other purposes. To date, t h i s has only been p a r t l y r e a l i z e d . MAP 2: Nuevo Coahuila as Planned i n 1963* 0 1 2 3 Kilometers .196_3_Bou„dary _ _ J_ }_ [ j J_ j J_ j J_ j J Land Annexed i n 1970 f o r Pasture, C u r r e n t l y Vacant Zona Urbana Proposed I r r i -g a tion Systems • IS: ^Source: Departamento de Asuntos Agrarias y Colon i z a c i o n I j Vacant, Proposed MAP 3 : Venustiano Carranza as Planned i n 1963* Rio Candelaria • Zona Urbana Proposed A g r i -c u l t u r a l Area. (Each Square Ap-proximately 20 Hectares) Vacant, Proposed Area f o r Orchards Pasture, Intensive A g r i c u l t u r a l Operations Proposed I r r i g a t i o n System Swamp A 0 i 2 3 Kilometers 4 North ^Source: Departamento de Asuntos Agrarias y Colonizacio'n A l l of the c o l o n i e s possess a townsite or zona  urbana. l a i d out i n a spacious g r i d p a t t e r n (Figure 3.1). The houses f o r the r e s i d e n t s were constructed here, as were the s c h o o l , h e a l t h centre and plaza r e p l e t e w i t h bandstand and ornamental t r e e s . Unfortunately, the zona urbana was w e l l removed from the f i e l d s f i r s t c l e a r e d . This circum-stance was due i n part t o the zonation of s o i l and land -form types away from the r i v e r b a n k s , and planners' d e s i r e s to place lands designated f o r i n t e n s i v e use c l o s e s t to the homes. ? Maps 4 and 5 again i l l u s t r a t e that the r e s i d e n t s have a l t e r e d t h i s o r i g i n a l concept. During the period of establishment, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from f e d e r a l departments of h e a l t h , education, water resources, a g r i c u l t u r e , p u b l i c works and other agencies provided t e c h n i c a l a i d and guidance. DAAC acted as co-or d i n a t o r of a l l the a c t i v i t i e s . By e a r l y 1964, the f i r s t f a m i l i e s a r r i v e d to begin a new l i f e . Tenure Parameters Mention has p r e v i o u s l y been made of the f a c t that the Candelaria Colonies have not e n t i r e l y f u l f i l l e d the goals e s t a b l i s h e d by the government f o r the p r o j e c t . This i s p a r t l y due t o the e j i d o system as a framework w i t h i n which the co l o n i e s are s t r u c t u r e d . To understand t h i s system more f u l l y , and the government's r e l i a n c e upon i t f o r o r g a n i z i n g the c o l o n i e s , i t i s necessary to review i t s e v o l u t i o n as a system of land tenure i n Mexico. Aspects of the present-day tenure systems have roots i n the Spanish systems as imposed upon n a t i v e tenure systems. While the contrasts between the methods of holding land by these two c u l t u r e s are great, one s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l does e x i s t . This i s based upon communal tenure systems which were found i n both Spanish and Aztec s o c i e t i e s . Although the Aztecs were developing a concept of p r i v a t e ownership of land at the time of the conquest, the predominant tenure system was land held by the c a l p u l l i . or cl a n s . This land included t r a c t s held by heads of f a m i l i e s and was t r a n s f e r a b l e by i n h e r i t a n c e . There were a l s o t r a c t s of land that were held by the community as a whole f o r common use. In Spain, communally held lands were a l s o c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the t y p i c a l a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e . C a l l e d e j i d o s . they were u s u a l l y l o c a t e d outside v i l l a g e gates, and were reserved f o r community uses such as t h r e s h i n g and winnowing, pasture lands, and woodlots. Despite t h i s p a r a l l e l the contrast between c e r t a i n Spanish and Indian a t t i t u d e s toward land ownership remained enormous. 8 The Spanish looked on land ownership as one method of a c h i e v i n g fame and g l o r y . The m a j o r i t y of Indians regarded t h e i r lands as belonging to the community and u s e f u l f o r subsistance. When the Spanish invaded Mexico, they e s t a b l i s h e d the encomienda system which was s i m i l a r to the Aztec system of t r i b u t e . The encomienda was a r i g h t t o e x p l o i t the labour of the conquered. In f a c t , the Spaniard often c a r r i e d on the defeated Aztec noble's r o l e of e x p l o i t a t i o n through labour and t r i b u t e e x c i s e from the Indian p o p u l a t i o n . An i l l u s t r a t i v e i f , because of s i z e , somewhat a t y p i c a l example of an encomienda was that concession granted to Cortes, ". . . c o n s i s t i n g of 22 towns, i n c l u d i n g 23,000 vassals and a t o t a l population of about 115,000 i n h a b i t a n t s . The lands f a l l i n g under h i s j u r i s d i c t i o n . . . . amounted to at l e a s t 23,000 square m i l e s . . . . The Royal grant s p e c i f i e d t h a t he should have the v a s s a l s and . . . . complete c i v i l and c r i m i n a l j u r i s d i c t i o n over the i n h a b i t a n t s . " 9 The encomienda system was s h o r t - l i v e d , not s u r v i v i n g the f i r s t century of Spanish occupation. I t began to be replaced by Crown grants of land. These grants gave the grantee a c t u a l t i t l e to the land and not merely the r i g h t to c o l l e c t t r i b u t e . They ranged i n s i z e from 100-200 acres (peonias) t o f i v e times as l a r g e ( c a b a l l e r i a s ) . Both peonias and c a b a l l e r i a s were often assembled t o form much l a r g e r holdings. Large holdings were a l s o created when t i t l e s to land covered by encomiendas were granted to the encomendero. At the same time, the Church brought p a r t s of Mexico under i t s c o n t r o l through the establishment of missions. On the northern f r o n t i e r s , Dominican, J e s u i t and Franciscan orders worked t o r e - e s t a b l i s h Indians from s c a t t e r e d communities on Church lands. By t h i s process, as w e l l as mortgaging and l e g a c i e s , the Church developed s p e c t a c u l a r economic powers. Attempts were made, to d i v e s t the Church of t h i s power, but i t was not u n t i l the l a t e nineteenth century that the Church was f i n a l l y s t r i p p e d of i t s land holdings and i t s power to acquire land. "By 1823, there was s c a r c e l y any good land l e f t t hat was not i n p r i v a t e hands, yet there were only about 10,000 landowners." 1 0 At that time, the Church was the l a r g e s t landowner. At the end of the Diaz regime i n 1910, the c o n d i t i o n d e t e r i o r a t e d to the point where Mexico possessed the dubious d i s t i n c t i o n of being the L a t i n American country i n which the concentration of land ownership i n the hands of a few had gone f a r t h e s t . Unrest and discontent simmered beneath the surface of the e s t a b l i s h e d s o c i e t y . Strong c e n t r a l c o n t r o l was necessary. Agrarian u p r i s i n g s were common. Even a f t e r independance from Spain, Mexico remained an example of the Spanish a g r a r i a n s o c i e t y . The s t r u c t u r e of t h i s s o c i e t y p r i o r to the Revolution of 1910 was based on l a t i f u n d i s m o . "a s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n accompanying the existence of l a r g e land holdings and extreme i n e q u a l i t y of land d i s t r i b u t i o n . " H This l a t i f u n d i a l s o c i e t y was based on the hacienda, a vast holding which could cover thousands of hectares. The hacienda was not only a l a r g e land h o l d i n g system, but was a s o c i a l system as w e l l , " . . . a universe w i t h i n which c e r t a i n kinds of s o c i a l and economic r e l a t i o n s h i p s took p l a c e . The greater part of the r u r a l population l i v e d w i t h i n the l i m i t s of the haciendas and i n f a c t lacked the most elementary c i v i l r i g h t s . . . . indeed, peonage as a system of labour was the very foundation of the hacienda." 12 The issue of p r e s i d e n t i a l succession t r i g g e r e d the R e v o l u t i o n , which began i n 1910. 13 P o r f i r i o Diaz had been d i c t a t o r of the country f o r 35 years, and. there was wide-spread discontent due t o the regime's corruptness and i t s f a i l u r e t o "introduce new blood" i n t o the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . However, t h i s i s s u e soon became secondary to the p l i g h t of the peasant as espoused by Zapata. "Let Sr. Madero (the leader of the r e v o l u t i o n ) — a n d w i t h him a l l the world—know that we s h a l l not l a y down our arms u n t i l the e j i d o s of our v i l l a g e s are res t o r e d to us, u n t i l we are given back our lands which the hacendados s t o l e from us. . . .'' H The E j i d o The f i r s t important d i r e c t i v e concerning the a g r a r i a n i n t e r e s t s of the Revolution was the decree of 1 9 1 5 . Although the decree b e n e f i t t e d few because of b u i l t - i n l i m i t a t i o n s , i t d i d begin a process of r e s t i t u t i o n of lands to v i l l a g e s . On September 1 5 , 1916 , President Venustiano Carranza c a l l e d f o r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l convention i n part f u r t h e r to f a c i l i t a t e land reform. A r t i c l e 27 of the r e s u l t a n t C o n s t i t u t i o n of 1917 deals w i t h the a g r a r i a n problems f a c i n g the country. "In a d d i t i o n to d e f i n i n g property r i g h t s and imposing r e s t r i c t i o n s on a l l p r i v a t e property, the C o n s t i t u t i o n sets f o r t h a formula f o r the s o l u t i o n of the a g r a r i a n problem. This i n c l u d e s (1) the r e s t o r a t i o n of lands t o v i l l a g e s ; (2) the o u t r i g h t grant of lands to v i l l a g e s i n cases where they are needed even though p r i o r owner-ship cannot be proven; (3) the recovery of n a t i o n a l lands and waters that were a l i e n a t e d i n opp o s i t i o n t o the p u b l i c welfare d u r i n g the Diaz regime; (4) the d e s t r u c t i o n of the l a t i f u n d i a by l i m i t i n g the s i z e of p r i v a t e h o l d i n g s . " 15 The v e h i c l e f o r gran t i n g land to peasants was the e j i d o . Envisioned as an i n s t i t u t i o n to r e d i s t r i b u t e land, the e j i d o was a l s o viewed as p o t e n t i a l l y u s e f u l f o r or g a n i z i n g a more e f f i c i e n t form of a g r i c u l t u r a l production. The terms of the system were th a t lands of the e j i d o were to be held by a community and could conceivably be worked as a common u n i t . The lands, or par c e l s t h e r e o f , could not be mort-gaged, s o l d , rented, or t r a n s f e r r e d i n any way. Each member of the e j i d o was a l l o t t e d a p a r c e l , the s i z e of which has v a r i e d over the years from 4 to 20 hectares of c u l t i v a b l e land. In theory, government heal t h care, a g r i c u l t u r a l a i d and e d u c a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s would a l s o be made a v a i l a b l e to a l l e j i d a t a r i o s . The Mexican peasant was to be assured greater s o c i a l j u s t i c e and greater s o c i a l s e c u r i t y . Not a l l e j i d o s have been formed by dotacion. Measures are now prescribed i n ag r a r i a n laws whereby twenty men meeting f e d e r a l requirements w i t h respect to age, c i t i z e n s h i p and other r e g u l a t i o n s , gathering to work unoccupied or unused land as an e j i d o , may apply to DAAC f o r e j i d a l r e c o g n i t i o n . The lands are checked by DAAC t o ensure that they do not l i e w i t h i n the boundaries of e x i s t i n g e j i d o s . In such a case, the men making the request must show cause as to why a separate t i t l e should be recognized. This procedure i s common when squatters on lands surplus t o an e j i d o d e s i r e to l e g a l i z e t h e i r settlements. Without e j i d a l r e c o g n i t i o n the b e n e f i t s sponsored by the f e d e r a l government f o r e j i d o s are not a v a i l a b l e . S i m i l a r i t i e s e x i s t between present-day and pre-Revolutionary uses of e j i d a l lands. The lands belong to the community. Rights of the i n d i v i d u a l to the land are u s u f r u c t u a r y . No e j i d a t a r i o has the r i g h t to s e l l or mort-gage any part of the e j i d o l a n d . The l a t t e r r e s t r i c t i o n prevents the assembly of l a r g e p r i v a t e t r a c t s of land by any one i n d i v i d u a l or i n s t i t u t i o n . However, i t has a l s o created a major problem f o r the e j i d a t a r i o . P r i v a t e l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l not make loans t o a peasant who has. no c a p i t a l assets to use as c o l l a t e r a l . In Mexico, such assets have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been land. With-out t i t l e to e j i d a l lands, many peasants have l o s t t h e i r only source of c o l l a t e r a l . To remedy the s i t u a t i o n , f e d e r a l l y sponsored le n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s have been created to loan the e s s e n t i a l money f o r seeds, f e r t i l i z e r s , e t c . The c o l l a t e r a l f o r the loans i s the harvests of the e j i d a t a r i o s . As mentioned e a r l i e r , there are two such f e d e r a l l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s i n the study area, the Banco Nacional de Cre'dito E j i d a l (Banco E j i d a l ) , and the Banco Nacional Agropecuaria (Banco Agropecuaria). The Law of A g r i c u l t u r a l C r e d i t s t i p u l a t e s that . . . n a t i o n a l banks w i l l be created (e.g., Banco E j i d a l ) and r e g i o n a l banks (e.g., Banco Agropecuaria) w i t h the purpose of (1) o r g a n i z i n g , r e g u l a t i n g , and i n v i g i l a t i n g the f u n c t i o n i n g of the l o c a l c r e d i t s o c i e t i e s ; (2) making commercial loans f o r groups . . . .; (3) a c q u i r i n g , s e l l i n g and adminis-t e r i n g goods destined e x c l u s i v e l y f o r the development of a g r i c u l t u r a l products . . . .; (4) s e l l i n g the harvest of i t s c l i e n t e l e i n the best c o n d i t i o n s , r e g u l a t i n g the market; (5) a c t i n g as agent f o r i t s c l i e n t e l e f o r the buying of goods needed f o r the a g r i c u l t u r a l e x p l o i t a t i o n of t h e i r lands. 1° In the same law, e j i d a t a r i o s are d i r e c t e d to form c r e d i t groups i f they wish to r e c e i v e a g r i c u l t u r a l c r e d i t . These groups, r a t h e r than i n d i v i d u a l s , become r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the debt i n c u r r e d . They are t o : (1) work i n common the lands of the group; (2) purchase, f o r common use, seeds, f e r t i l i z e r s , animals, machinery, and any other equipment necessary f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l e x p l o i t a t i o n of e j i d o lands; (3) obtain c r e d i t f o r s a i d purchases and f o r g r a n t i n g t o i n d i v i d u a l members of the groups; (4) f o s t e r the economic development of i t s mem-bers and t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l , s o c i a l , and moral pro-gress. 17 There i s no r e s t r i c t i o n on group membership; any e j i d a t a r i o may j o i n . Most banks i n s i s t on a minimum of at l e a s t ten persons, but even t h i s r u l e i s often r e l a x e d . An e j i d a t a r i o may a l s o belong to more than one group. P r o f i t s a c c r u i n g to the group are d i s t r i b u t e d e q u a l l y among members, regardless of i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n . The same i s true of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r any debt in c u r r e d by the group. Unfortunately, the r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of lands v i a the e j i d o system has not been e n t i r e l y s u c c e s s f u l from e i t h e r an economic or a s o c i a l standpoint. C r i t i c s of the system point out that the p r o d u c t i v i t y of the e j i d o has lagged d r a s t i c a l l y behind that of p r i v a t e land h o l d i n g s . 1 8 Furthermore, the various programmes designed t o f a c i l i t a t e a g r a r i a n reform have often proved t o be weak and i n e f f e c t i v e . Perhaps the c r e d i t banks have been l e a s t e f f e c t i v e . "The ( c r e d i t ) program has not provided more than a f r a c -t i o n of the peasant owners w i t h funds. . . . The reasons f o r the i n s u f f i c i e n c y . . . . in c l u d e the high r a t e of d e f a u l t by peasant debtors, l a c k of adequate funds to disb u r s e , and probably a lack of i n t e r e s t by the govern-ment leaders who f e l t that t h e i r a g r a r i a n reform o b l i g a t i o n s had been met by mere r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of lands . " 19 I r o n i c a l l y , the former hacendado who was often able to keep a part of h i s pre-Revolution holding has b e n e f i t t e d from government c r e d i t programmes. 2 0 Not only does he have the resources of p r i v a t e l e n d i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s at h i s d i s p o s a l because he i s able to mortgage h i s land, but he has a l s o received extensive loans from the government's c r e d i t banks. 2 1 His economic p o s i t i o n has strengthened and he i s able t o make s i g n i f i c a n t investments i n c a p i t a l equipment. This has r e s u l t e d i n higher p r o f i t s and r e -investment i n lands. Shortcomings have not been r e s t r i c t e d t o the c r e d i t systems. Inadequate t e c h n i c a l a i d has promoted the con-t i n u a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l a g r i c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s . For many, the slash/burn system of r o t a t i n g cropping remains the only method of a g r i c u l t u r e p r a c t i c e d . In a l l but a few areas, modernization of a g r i c u l t u r e has meant the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a t r a c t o r i n an e j i d o but i n s u f f i c i e n t education concerning i t s e f f e c t i v e use. In essence, the government has attempted to modernize by investments i n c a p i t a l goods without suf-f i c i e n t investment i n Mexico's p l e n t i f u l resource: the people. Despite the d i f f i c u l t problems accompanying e j i d a l land tenure, the system i s not abandoned. Many Mexican leaders f e a r d i s a s t r o u s consequences i f such a move were t a -ken. In view of the lack of education and business s o p h i s t i -c a t i o n of the m a j o r i t y of peasants, i t i s bel i e v e d that the e j i d a t a r i o s would be cheated of t h e i r land by moneylenders and sp e c u l a t o r s . Perhaps more important reasons f o r the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the e j i d o system stem from p o l i t i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l changes i n the Mexican countryside due to the e j i d o . 2 2 The e j i d o s have been e f f e c t i v e i n reducing the s i z e of haciendas. The e j i d o system has brought a^out greater so-c i a l j u s t i c e and economic s e c u r i t y f o r the peasant. P o l i t i c a l l y , the e j i d o has made Mexico a more s t a b l e country. E j i d a t a r i o s have been organized and to a degree p o l i t i c i z e d by the P a r t i d o Revolucionario I n s t i t u c i o n a l (PRI), the governing p o l i t i c a l p a r t y . Agrarian reform, which i s always "on-going" i n PRI plat f o r m s , has i n f a c t transformed the Mexican peasant from a s e r f to a c i t i z e n . To many, i t i s i d e o l o g i c a l l y unacceptable to d i s c a r d t h i s system. I t i s pa r a d o x i c a l that the e j i d o , being subjected to c r i t i c i s m s by Mexicans of a l l c l a s s e s , i s nevertheless perpetuated by the n a t i o n a l p r i d e i n the Revolution of 1910 which created t h a t very system. The e j i d o has n e i t h e r provided f u l l employment nor s a t i s f i e d hunger f o r food and land by a r a p i d l y i n c r e a s i n g population. 2 3 C o l o n i z a t i o n The s c a r c i t y of land has become e s p e c i a l l y c r i t i c a l i n the densely populated areas of Mexico. In one attempt to meet the demands the government embarked on a p o l i c y of c o l o n i z i n g unoccupied n a t i o n a l t e r r i t o r y . Many of the o b j e c t i v e s of these schemes--namely settlement of unoccupied lands, economic growth of a g r i c u l t u r e , c r e a t i o n of a consumer c l a s s — a r e remarkably s i m i l a r to previous c o l o n i z a t i o n programmes. At one time, i t was b e l i e v e d that by adopting l e g i s l a t i v e measures f a v o u r i n g immigration of f o r e i g n e r s , the country would be able to populate and e x p l o i t l a r g e t r a c t s of uninhabited lands and thus a i d economic develop-ment. O f f i c i a l s hoped c o l o n i z a t i o n schemes would a t t r a c t f o r e i g n e r s w i t h economic and educational advantages which, i n t e g r a t e d w i t h Mexican n a t i o n a l i t y , would a i d i n over-coming the se r i o u s economic and s o c i a l problems that faced Mexico. Leaders envisioned emulating the s u c c e s s f u l experiences of f o r e i g n immigration that occurred i n Canada, the United S t a t e s , and Argentina. The Revolution caused a h i a t u s i n c o l o n i z a t i o n attempts. In 1926 President P l u t a r c o E l i a s C a l l e s promulgated the f i r s t law of c o l o n i z a t i o n of the r e v o l u t i o n a r y p e r i o d , r e - d e c l a r i n g the b e n e f i t s of f o r e i g n c o l o n i z a t i o n . In 1934 the Agrarian Code allowed f o r the c r e a t i o n of Nuevo Centros de Poblacion (NCP's) as a means f o r d i s t r i b u t i n g land. The r e g u l a t i o n s were intended to serve only the Mexican peasant, thus h a l t i n g ideas of f o r e i g n settlement and f o r e i g n c o n t r o l of Mexican land. The code f u r t h e r d i c t a t e d that management of the lands, t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n and e x p l o i t a t i o n , should f o l l o w the same g u i d e l i n e s as e s t a b l i s h e d f o r e j i d o s . In 1946, the law was amended to f a c i l i t a t e c o l o n i z a t i o n of unoccupied n a t i o n a l lands by p r i v a t e purchase. U n t i l 1963 lands could be occupied i n f o u r ways. E j i d o s could be formed, p r o v i d i n g a s u f f i c i e n t number of men would p e t i t i o n the government i n request f o r e j i d o recog-n i t i o n . P r i v a t e farms, t h e o r e t i c a l l y r e s t r i c t e d i n s i z e by the a g r a r i a n code, could be e s t a b l i s h e d . Squatters were allowed to become p r i v a t e p r o p r i e t o r s a f t e r a s p e c i f i e d period of occupancy and use or i f they purchased the land they worked from the government. Colonies could a l s o be created upon p e t i t i o n t o the government under i t s p r e s c r i b e d laws. Squatters could band together and form a colony i f they so d e s i r e d . Under the c o l o n i z a t i o n programme, land could be purchased at low governmentally f i x e d p r i c e s on easy terms. C o l o n i s t s could s e l l or mortgage holdings subject to the approval of a l l the landowners i n the colony. Unfortunately, problems of land s p e c u l a t i o n arose, and q u a n t i t i e s of land were amassed by r e g i s t e r i n g p l o t s of land i n the names of f a m i l y members. Because of the widespread abuse of t h i s scheme, i t was abandoned by p r e s i d e n t i a l decree i n 1963 . Subsequently, a l l new settlements were to be administered along the l i n e s of the e j i d o , the s e t t l e r s being granted u s u f r u c t r i g h t s to the land, but not t i t l e . Squatting on land could hardly be prevented and p r i v a t e ownership was protected and allowed to continue but c o l o n i z a t i o n outside of the e j i d o framework h a l t e d . The adherence t o the e j i d o s t r u c t u r e f o r land settlement has, perhaps, been one of the c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c -t o r s to the d i s a p p o i n t i n g r e s u l t s of recent c o l o n i z a t i o n schemes. Problems of low p r o d u c t i v i t y , i n e f f e c t i v e government support programmes and inadequate t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e have plagued c o l o n i e s . However, i t i s again u n l i k e l y that a c o l o n i z a t i o n p r o j e c t based on a tenure system other than the e j i d o would gain p o l i t i c a l acceptance. Methodology Much of the data u t i l i z e d to evaluate the f u n c t i o n i n g of the c r e d i t groups i n the Candelaria Colonies was obtained by i n t e r v i e w i n g r e s i d e n t s of the f i e l d area. A l l i n t e r v i e w s were of an i n f o r m a l nature. Questionnaires completed by the interviewee or i n t e r v i e w e r were omitted, as were tape recorders and v i s i b l e notebooks. Rather, i n q u i r y was made during casual conversations w i t h i n d i v i d u a l s and groups of i n d i v i d u a l s . Several circumstances n e c e s s i t a t e d t h i s procedure. In the f i e l d area, the low l i t e r a c y r a t e precluded the use of a questionnaire t o be read and completed by many of the r e s i d e n t s . A questionnaire f i l l e d out i n the pre-sence of the interviewee was a l s o r e j e c t e d . The f i e l d area, f a r removed from the t o u r i s t trade, i s seldom v i s i t e d by non-Mexicans. The appearance of a not e - t a k i n g North American would i n e v i t a b l y arouse s u s p i c i o n . Only a f t e r a period of f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n were substantive t o p i c s i n t r o -duced i n t o the conversations i n a n a t u r a l and spontaneous f a s h i o n . These t o p i c s , i n i t i a t e d by any party, became an important source of informat i o n u t i l i z e d i n the study. Although i n t e r v i e w s were c a r r i e d out i n a relaxed atmosphere, s p e c i f i c questions were included i n conversation. (See Appendix.) These questions were designed to examine the r o l e of s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which can lend cohesion t o a group, to study the r o l e of government p o l i c y along the Candelaria, and to determine the types of a g r i -c u l t u r a l landscapes found i n the study area. B r i e f l y , the f i r s t group of questions asked was t o assess the impact of membership background, a l l e g i a n c e t o and l e a d e r s h i p i n the c r e d i t groups and communities. These s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are b e l i e v e d to be p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n f o s t e r i n g u n i t y or cohesion i n a group. 2 4 In t h i s context, questions were asked to determine the background of the r e s i d e n t s i n terms of t h e i r s t a t e of o r i g i n , t h e i r r e l i g i o n , t h e i r past experiences and t h e i r expectations. The o r i g i n s of a group's members are s i g n i f i c a n t i n c o n t r i b u t i n g to group cohesion. F r i e n d -s h i p s , shared experiences and blood r e l a t i o n s h i p s provide f o r a common world view. A s i m i l a r f a s h i o n of a c h i e v i n g a job, c e l e b r a t i n g an event, and spending l e i s u r e time, a l l f a c i l i t a t e co-operation, and su s p i c i o n s lessen when a s i m i l a r means of operation i s perceived by members of a group. Further, questions were then asked to assess r e s i -dents' a l l e g i a n c e t o t h e i r community and to the c r e d i t groups. A t t r a c t i o n to a group f a c i l i t a t e s cohesive o r g a n i z a t i o n . With the self-development of a group commitment, perhaps through adherance to a d o c t r i n e or a common goa l , the group i s b e t t e r able to achieve i t s goals. Outside pressure may act as a fo r c e t o keep a group together, but i t cannot create the sense of a l l e g i a n c e which i s necessary f o r e f f e c t i v e group performance. F i n a l l y , questions were then asked t o evaluate the q u a l i t y of l e a d e r s h i p i n the e j i d o s and c r e d i t groups and to determine the c o l o n i s t s ' opinions of these l e a d e r s . Few groups are maintained without the development of an h i e r a r c h y which assumes the aspect of a rank s t r u c t u r e . When a l l e g i a n c e to a group i s weak the q u a l i t y of lea d e r s h i p assumes an im-portant r o l e . Leaders may be req u i r e d to f u l f i l l day-to-day needs and provide the main source of motivation f o r the group i n compensation f o r the la c k of a l l e g i a n c e . Thus the q u a l i t y of l e a d e r s h i p may, to a la r g e degree, determine the a b i l i t y of a group to achieve i t s goals, whatever those goals might be. The second group of questions d e a l t w i t h the impact of government p o l i c y on the operations of both the community and the c r e d i t groups. These questions were aimed at d i s -c overing the r e s i d e n t s ' f e e l i n g s towards the government and i t s p o l i c i e s . That i s , the i n t e r v i e w e r wanted to know whether or not r e s i d e n t s f e l t that the government was aware of t h e i r needs and t h e i r expectations. In essence the attempt was made to disc o v e r whether the government and i t s o f f i c i a l s s i n c e r e l y concerned w i t h the c o l o n i s t s ' w e l l - b e i n g or whether c o l o n i s t s were merely viewed as ciphers to be manipulated i n the most p o l i t i c a l l y expedient f a s h i o n . The t h i r d group of questions r e l a t e d t o the a g r i -c u l t u r a l landscapes of the communities. These questions d e a l t w i t h t o p i c s such as the methods of a g r i c u l t u r e , the types of crops grown, and opinions of the r e s i d e n t s as to the e f f e c t i v e -ness of the c r e d i t groups i n i n c r e a s i n g a g r i c u l t u r a l product-i v i t y . The important point s put f o r t h i n a l l conversations were noted i n d i a r i e s w i t h a view towards a s s e s s i n g the infor m a t i o n obtained. Consistent and repeated statements were t r e a t e d as being i n d i c a t i v e of trends. A d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n which could not e a s i l y be obtained from r e s i d e n t s i n the f i e l d areas was procured by c o n s u l t i n g outside sources. 25 This included s t a t i s t i c a l data, maps, a i r photos and information from i n t e r v i e w s w i t h govern-ment o f f i c i a l s . S o c i a l Geography Topics covered i n the conversations might w e l l have been those that the p o l i t i c a l , c u l t u r a l or economic geographer would examine, however i n t h i s study they are considered w i t h i n the context of how they a f f e c t the operations of groups and i n t u r n a f f e c t a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes. For t h i s reason the study i s a s o c i a l geography r a t h e r than a c u l t u r a l , economic or p o l i t i c a l geography. I t i s recognized that to date there has been l i t t l e agreement on the d e f i n i t i o n of s o c i a l geography. E a r l y work regarded s o c i a l geography as the examination of man and h i s a c t i v i t i e s . Studies encountered under the heading included t o p i c s such as r a c i a l , l i n g u i s t i c and r e l i g i o u s d i s t r i b u t i o n s , economic themes, and p o l i t i c a l , m i l i t a r y and h i s t o r i c a l themes. 2 6 In e f f e c t i t covered the geographical t o p i c s that were non-physical i n nature. Indeed, human geography now seems the appropriate l a b e l f o r such s t u d i e s . In 1945 G i l b e r t and S t e e l attempted to c l a r i f y the subject by i d e n t i f y i n g what they knew to be four c e n t r a l themes of s o c i a l geography. These pertained to (1) the d i s t r i b u t i o n of popu l a t i o n ; (2) the d i s t r i b u t i o n and form of r u r a l settlements; (3) the study of towns 3.nd cxt/XGS. s.nd th@ distjribu.txon of s o c i & l groups and t h e i r way of l i f e i n d i f f e r e n t environments? 27^ This d e f i n i t i o n c o n s i d e r a b l y narrowed the f i e l d of i n q u i r y . Houston presented a more concise d e f i n i t i o n i n 1963 by d e f i n i n g s o c i a l geography "as the study of r u r a l and urban settlements, together w i t h population s t u d i e s . " 2 g This d e f i n i t i o n i n c l u d e s the demographic aspect of the e a r l i e r , but i s d e f i c i e n t i n that i t neglects c u l t u r e and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s to geography. While G i l b e r t and S t e e l acknowledged the f a c t that s o c i a l groups do have a place i n geographical s t u d i e s , they r e s -t r i c t t h e i r importance t o the d i s t r i b u t i o n s of such groups and go l i t t l e f u r t h e r . These d e f i n i t i o n s are n e i t h e r com-p l e t e nor adequate f o r t h i s study. In even more recent works authors have defined s o c i a l geography as i n c l u d i n g v a r i a b l e s r e l a t e d to s p a t i a l aspects of o r g a n i z a t i o n s , s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , i n d i v i d u a l s and groups. 2 9 Such works would appear enlightened, but the v a r i a b l e s are r a r e l y c l e a r l y d e f i n e d . This study i d e n t i f i e s group a l l e g i a n c e , l e a d e r s h i p and background of membership as v a r i a b l e s important i n group operations. I t i s not meant t o imply that these are the only v a r i a b l e s a p p l i c a b l e to s o c i a l geography, but r a t h e r that they are the v a r i a b l e s that t h i s study focusses upon i n an e f f o r t to examine how groups a f f e c t the environment i n which they operate. Chapters I I through IV each deal w i t h one of the communities examined i n the f i e l d area. The f i n a l chapter of the study presents the conclusions r e s u l t i n g from t h i s examination. Strengths and d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the e j i d o c r e d i t systems as revealed by t h i s study are reviewed. From t h i s i t i s l o g i c a l and i n t e r e s t i n g to d i s c u s s the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r improving the economic and s o c i a l s t a t u s of the com-munities along the Candelaria. FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I 1 V i c t o r M a n z a n i l l a Schaffer, Reforraa A g r a r i a Mexicana (Colima: Universidad de Colima, i 9 6 0 ) , p. 239. 2 R o d o l f o Stavenhagen, " S o c i a l Aspects of Agrarian Structure i n Mexico." i n Agrarian Problems and Peasant  Movements i n L a t i n America, ed. Rodolfo Stavenhagen (Garden C i t y , New York: Anchor Books, 1970), pp. 226-27. 3The map, courtesy of A. H. Siemens, i s admittedly dated. However, a more recent v e r s i o n was not a v a i l a b l e at the time of the study. The map does continue to give a good i n d i c a t i o n of ownership status of surrounding lands. ^ A l f r e d H. Siemens and Dennis E. Puleston, "Ridged F i e l d s and Associated Features i n Southern Campeche: New Perspectives on the Lowland Maya," American A n t i q u i t y 37 ( A p r i l 1972): 228-39. 5A l f r e d H. Siemens, "New A g r i c u l t u r a l Settlements Along Mexico's Candelaria R i v e r , " Inter-American Economic A f f a i r s 20 (Summer 1966): 28. 6 M i c h a e l D. Coe, The Maya, gen. ed. Glyn D a n i e l , Ancient Peoples and Places, v o l . 52 (New York: Praeger P u b l i s h e r s , 1971), p. 24. 7siemens, "New A g r i c u l t u r a l Settlements," p. 30. ^Preston E. James, L a t i n America. 4th ed. (New York: Odyssey Press, 1969), p. o8T ^Nathan L. Whetten, Rural Mexico (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1948), p! Wl 1 0James, L a t i n America, p. 90. 1 ]-Stavenhagen, " S o c i a l Aspects," p. 226. 1 2 l b i d . , p. 227. ^ H e r e a f t e r , the Revolution of 1910 i s r e f e r r e d to as the Revolution t o d i s t i n g u i s h i t from i n s u r r e c t i o n s succeeding i t . H H e len Phipps, Some Aspects of the Agrarian Question  i n Mexico: A H i s t o r i c a l Study (Austin: U n i v e r s i t y of Texas Press, 1925), p. 137. -1 % h e t t e n , Rural Mexico, p. 120. l 6 L e y Federal de Reforma A g r a r i a (Mexico C i t y : E d i t o r e s Mexicanos Unidos, 1973), pp. 360-61. 1 7 I b i d . , pp. 366-67. ^ R o b e r t J . Alexander, Agrarian Reform i n L a t i n America (New York: Macmillan P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1974), p. 54. 1 9 i b i d . , p. 27. 2<->The landowner, not s u r p r i s i n g l y , often chooses the best p o r t i o n s of h i s former landholding f o r r e t e n t i o n . A 1949 law provided that landowners could keep 100 hectares or l e s s of i r r i g a t e d land, 200 hectares or l e s s of other la n d . ^ A l e x a n d e r , Agrarian Reform, p. 66. 2 2 I b i d . , p. 55. ^Doreen Warriner, Land Reform i n P r i n c i p l e and P r a c t i c e (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1969), p. 241. 2 Z fSee, f o r example, Fred E. F i e d l e r , A Theory of  Leadership E f f e c t i v e n e s s (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1967), E. W. Bovard, J r . , "Group Str u c t u r e and Pe r c e p t i o n , " J o u r n a l of Abnormal S o c i a l Psychology 46 (1951): 398-405, D. R. Cartwright and A. Zander, eds.. Group Dynamics:  Research and Theory (New York: Harper and Row, I960), James H. Davis, Group Performance (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley P u b l i s h i n g Company, 1969), Amitai E t z i o n i , "Dual Leadership i n Complex Organizations," American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review 30 (October, 1965): 688-98, John W. David and Herbert Harai, S o c i a l Psychology:  I n d i v i d u a l s . Groups. S o c i e t i e s (New York: Harper and Row, 1968), John Paul Scott and Sarah F. Sc o t t , eds., S o c i a l C o n t r o l and  S o c i a l Change (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1971), Tony T r i p o d i , e t . a l . S o c i a l Program Education ( I t a s c a , 111.: F. E. Peacock P u b l i s h e r s , 1971). ^ S t a t i s t i c a l data regarding the c r e d i t groups and t h e i r h i s t o r i e s was obtained from the Banco Nacional de Credito E j i d a l and the Banco Nacional Agropecuaria. Maps, s t a t i s t i c s and inform a t i o n regarding the Candelaria c o l o n i z a t i o n p r o j e c t were obtained from the Departamento de Asuntos Agrarias y C o l o n i z a c i o n , the Centro de Investigaciones A g r a r i a s , the Ford Foundation i n Mexico C i t y and the Departamento de Recursos H y d r a l i c o s . Census in f o r m a t i o n was obtained from the l i m i t e d data of the I n s t i t u c i o n de D i r e c c i d n E s t a d i s t i c a s and from the "Census of the Candelaria Region" taken i n November, 1972 by l o c a l school a u t h o r i t i e s i n Candelaria. A e r i a l photos and photo mosaics were from the f i l e s of A. H. Siemens, Associate Professor, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. 2 6 C . C. Huntington and Fred A. Carlson, Environmental  Basis of S o c i a l Geography (New York: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , I n ¬corporated, 1930), p. 1 0 . 2 ? E . W. G i l b e r t and R. ¥. S t e e l , " S o c i a l Geography and I t s Place i n C o l o n i a l S t u d i e s , " The Geographical Journa l 106 (September-October 1945): 118. 2 8 J . M. Houston, A S o c i a l Geography of Europe (London: Gerald Duckworth and Company^ 1963), p. 13. 2 9 H . G. K a r i e l and P. E. K a r i e l , E x p l a n a t i ons i n S o c i a l Geography (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley P u b l i s h i n g Company, 1 9 7 2 ) , p. v. CHAPTER I I NUEVO COAHUILA Community D e s c r i p t i o n The road from Nuevo Coahuila's dock on the Rio San Pedro to i t s zona urbana i s bumpy and r u t t e d i n the dry months, muddy and b a r e l y passable dur i n g the wet ones. An abandoned, crumbling house greets v i s i t o r s on f i r s t s i g h t of the community. I t i s adjacent to the community , square which i s too b i g f o r the r e s i d e n t s to maintain adequately. Paths z i g - z a g through i t s weeds which are only i n f r e q u e n t l y cut. Off t o one side of the square i s a bandstand i n s u r p r i s i n g l y good c o n d i t i o n . I t i s shaded by l u s h t r e e s imported from A f r i c a . Men can u s u a l l y be seen smoking and t a l k i n g at the bandstand during the afternoon and evening. . ( F i g . 2.1.) On another side of the square are the school, h e a l t h centre, laundry tubs, and water tower and pump-house. The f i r s t two s t r u c t u r e s are r a t h e r d i l a p i d a t e d , w i t h w a l l s cracked and crumbling, screens broken out of windows, and paint p e e l i n g away. The water tower only p e r i o d i c a l l y serves the community, the pumps being f r e q u e n t l y out of order. The laundry tubs are always a scene of a c t i v i t y as i t i s the n a t u r a l gathering point f o r women i n the com-munity and the exchanging of news. ( F i g . 2.2.) A t h i r d side of the square i s occupied by a larg e wooden warehouse w i t h a t i n r o o f . This b u i l d i n g once housed r i c e - d r y i n g f a c i l i t i e s , but has sin c e been s t r i p p e d of i t s equipment and now serves as a shed f o r three t r a c t o r s . A s m a l l thatched C a t h o l i c church i s located i n f r o n t of t h i s b u i l d i n g . I t was b u i l t by the r e s i d e n t s of Nuevo Coahuila, but seldom sees much formal use. There i s no r e s i d e n t p r i e s t i n the community. The f o u r t h s i d e of the square i s l i n e d w i t h houses. One of these has i t s f r o n t room converted i n t o a sm a l l s t o r e . In a d d i t i o n to i t s commercial f u n c t i o n , i t serves as a gathering place f o r both men and women i n the community during spare time. Emanating from the square are a number of s t r e e t s which lead t o the remaining houses i n the community. Many of these roads are passable by v e h i c l e s , but some are no more than footpaths. ( F i g . 2.3.) The houses, themselves, range i n q u a l i t y from abandoned and crumbling to neat and very w e l l maintained. Of note are four houses which have w e l l - c o n s t r u c t e d outdoor kitchens w i t h gas stoves, dug w e l l s , neat gardens, animal pens, and sturdy fences sur-rounding the yards. The m a j o r i t y of the houses are f a r Figure 2.1 The bandstand at Nuevo Coahuila; a gathering place f o r men. The 5SSA5b.; a gathering place f o r women. Figure 2 .3 Zona Urbana, Nuevo Coahuila, J u l y 1973 To Milpas and F i e l d s To Milpas and F i e l d s 0 X X 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 X 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X X X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0* X X 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X X 0 X 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 C e n t r a l Square X X 0 0 X 0 0 X X 0 0 X 0 X X 0 0 0 X 0 X 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 M v e / H o c k To Milpas anH d F i e l d s \ North f a c i l i t i e s 0^ = Occupied houses 0^ = Former r i c e d r y i n g X = Abandoned houses — = Roads usable by machinery (Not to Scale) l e s s e l a b o r a t e . Only the very poorest have no improvements. Nonetheless, of the 99 houses, 23 were completely abandoned. ( F i g . 2.5.) There i s always some so r t of a c t i v i t y i n the com-munity. C h i l d r e n play e i t h e r i n the schoolyard or at home. Two b a s e b a l l teams have been organized and v o l l e y b a l l i s popular during the evening. T r a v e l l i n g merchants d i s p l a y goods under the bandstand r o o f . A second st o r e i n the com-munity a t t r a c t s people as does the i l l e g a l whiskey s t i l l which i s hidden i n a well-known l o c a t i o n . The a r r i v a l of any store-boat at the dock i s a l s o sure t o a t t r a c t a l a r g e number of people. Near the zona urbana are c u l t i v a t e d f i e l d s and planted pastures. These areas, maintained by machinery and c r e d i t group a i d , resemble the North American farm i n appearance. Rows of crops are o r d e r l y , well-spaced, f r e e of t r e e stumps and d e b r i s , and w e l l weeded—no easy task i n a t r o p i c a l environment. But around these f i e l d s l i e small milpas maintained by s l a s h and burn techniques. Only the t r a d i t i o n a l a g r i c u l t u r a l techniques, the d i g g i n g s t i c k and the machete, are used i n these areas. (Map 4.) Much of the land i n Nuevo Coahuila i s vacant, i n c l u d i n g a s i z e a b l e area annexed i n 1970. Plans to u t i l i z e t h i s land f o r more i n t e n s i v e uses, i r r i g a t e d p a r c e l s , orchards and co-operative pastures, have never m a t e r i a l i z e d . The area reserved f o r f u t u r e homes remains unused and an obstacle i n the paths t o the f i e l d s and milpas. F i e l d s that Figure 2.4 Nuevo Coahuila i n 1966 . (Photo courtesy of A. H. Siemens) Figure 2.5 One of the 23 "abandoned houses. MAP 4 : Nuevo Coahuila i n 1973 0' 1 2 3 Kilometers Path to Wharf North R i o SarTTedro Zona Urbana M i l p a s , Operated Without Credi t i n 1973 Maiz F i e l d , C r e d i t Group Operated Pasture, Cred i t Group Operated, 2* • Vacant Land, U t i l i z e d by S h i f t i n g C u l t i v a t o r s were o r i g i n a l l y c leared are now s i g n i f i c a n t l y reduced i n s i z e . The a r a b l e land c l o s e s t to the zona urbana i s u t i l i z e d f o r crop c u l t i v a t i o n . Those f i e l d s f o u r or more kilometers away from the homes are abandoned as being inconvenient to c u l t i v a t e w i t h given technology and machinery. C r e d i t Group H i s t o r y C r e d i t groups i n Nuevo Coahuila were f i r s t a c t i v e l y sponsored i n 1966 when the Banco Agropecuaria began funding c a t t l e groups. In 1968, the Banco E j i d a l began to organize and sponsor maiz and r i c e groups. 1 The h i s t o r y of these groups w i t h respect to membership, area c u l t i v a t e d , c r e d i t extended, and c r e d i t r e p a i d , i s summarized i n Tables I - I I I . From t h i s information s e v e r a l important trends may be noted. F i r s t l y , i n the maiz, r i c e and o r i g i n a l c a t t l e group, membership has been decreasing. Secondly, a decrease i n membership i n the maiz and r i c e groups was accompanied by a decrease i n land area c u l t i v a t e d . This was not tru e of the c a t t l e group; the area they u t i l i z e has increased over the years. F i n a l l y , loan repayment has been e r r a t i c i n the groups sponsored by the Banco E j i d a l , but has been ahead of schedule i n the c a t t l e group sponsored by the Banco Agropecuaria. Banco E j i d a l o f f i c i a l s s t a t e that t h e i r groups i n Nuevo Coahuila have performed at an acceptable l e v e l , though they admit that the groups have not s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r e d t h e i r members' economic s t a t u s . The ganadero group has l o s t membership, but appears to be economically v i a b l e . 40 TABLE I MAIZ GROUP, NUEVO COAHUILA Cycle Number of Members Quota Per* Hectare Area Operated C r e d i t Extended % C r e d i t Repaid 68- 68 69- 69 ??:77? 72-72 97 33 53 59 46 $790.00M 790.00 790.00 790.00 790.00 270 180 143 114 87 $220,300M 142,200 68,730 92 78 91 79 95 RI TABLE CE GROUP, NU I I EVO COAHUI] LA Cycle Number of Members Quota Per Hectare Area Operated Cr e d i t Extended % C r e d i t Repaid 68- 68 69- 69 72-72 70 47 40 33 0 $1800.00M 1800.00 1800.00 1800.00 0 135 115 75 74 0 $243,000M 207,000 135,000 133,200 0 89 100 85 84 0 * Refers to the amount of the allotment of funds to the group per hectare of land that the group, as a whole, c u l t i v a t e s . TABLE I I I CATTLE GROUP, NUEVO COAHUILA Year Number of Members Group A B C 1966 1968 1971 1972 96 94 11 44 18 21 As of J u l y 1973, Group A has repaid $82,137.30, surpassing the t o t a l amount due by 30 Oct 74. Modified Payment Schedule * Date Due Amount 30 Oct 72 30 Oct 73 30 Oct 74 30 Oct 75 30 Oct 76 30 Oct 30 Oct 1§ B is 30 Oct 30 Oct 30 Oct 30 Oct 11 65 # 1 0 , 0 0 0 M 3 , 8 3 3 11 73 707 42 951 50 394 56 577 67 115 53 921 114 529 * Information a v a i l a b l e only f o r Group A. This i s r e f l e c t e d i n the repayment s t a t i s t i c s and by statements from r e s i d e n t s of Nuevo Coahuila, that members of the c a t t l e group appear l e a s t l i k e l y to s u f f e r from money problems. The hope i s that w i t h new c a t t l e groups and more c o l o n i s t s i n v o l v e d i n c a t t l e production, the economic w e l l - b e i n g of the colony w i l l be enhanced. S o c i a l Factors A f f e c t i n g C r e d i t Groups and the E.jido Background Most of the r e s i d e n t s of Nuevo Coahuila are from s t a t e s i n Northern Mexico, g e n e r a l l y those a b u t t i n g the United States. Many of the people, e s p e c i a l l y the men, have had working experience on farms i n the U.S. Because of contact w i t h advanced a g r i c u l t u r a l techniques, most of the c o l o n i s t s brought modest a g r i c u l t u r a l s k i l l s and a knowledge of mechanized farming t o Nuevo Coahuila. I n i t i a l l y , c o l o n i s t s were e n t h u s i a s t i c at the thought of a p p l y i n g these s k i l l s i n a l u s h , t r o p i c a l environment, a contrast to the more a r i d n o r t h . Yet today, d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and d i s -couragement are widespread among the r e s i d e n t s . A prime reason f o r discouragement, that one most f r e q u e n t l y mentioned during i n t e r v i e w s , i s the sense of i s o l a t i o n perceived by the c o l o n i s t s . Nuevo Coahuila i s w e l l removed from the c o l o n i s t s ' r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s . Furthermore Candelaria, which i s not e a s i l y a c c e s s i b l e , o f f e r s few of the urban conveniences that most people were accustomed t o . Even the p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t — c l i m a t e , f l o r a , i n s e c t s , e t c . — a r e more f o r e i g n than a n t i c i p a t e d . The sense of i s o l a t i o n i s expressed most s t r o n g l y by women who are l e s s mobile than men. Some f e e l l u c k y to go to Candelaria once a year. The f e e l i n g s of i s o l a t i o n and d e p r i v a t i o n are w e l l stated by one woman: "I guess the only t h i n g that r e a l l y bothers me i s the h e a t — I ' v e been here nine years and I'm s t i l l not used to i t and probably never w i l l be. Of course there are serio u s problems here, e s p e c i a l l y the l a c k of s e r v i c e s . By the time the boats get to Nuevo Coahuila, they have s o l d most of t h e i r merchandise. We have l i t t l e to choose from. . . . The road to Candelaria w i l l make a d i f f e r e n c e ( l a u g h t e r ) . Who knows when that w i l l be done? The c h i l d r e n don't have an equal chance to suc-ceed^here. The education i s not good, and proper textbooks are not even a v a i l a b l e . I t i s much more c o s t l y to leave here and go to u n i v e r s i t y than i t was at home. We have land here, but i t ' s not r e a l l y ours. . . . B e t t e r o f f ? Not r e a l l y . . . ." A second problem i s the l a c k of t e c h n i c a l a i d . During the f i r s t year of operation, the colony was provided w i t h three new t r a c t o r s , plows, and a g r i c u l t u r a l advice and a i d through f e d e r a l employees who f r e q u e n t l y v i s i t e d the colony. Since t h i s f i r s t year, f e d e r a l a i d has been g r e a t l y reduced. Machinery has d e t e r i o r a t e d i n the humid cl i m a t e and parts are d i f f i c u l t to get. The c r e d i t group members, t h e o r e t i c a l l y able to take advantage of the machines, are forced to r e l y on horses or mules p u l l i n g plows, or the machete and d i g g i n g s t i c k . This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t u r b i n g to those who have experience as braceros w i t h mechanized a g r i c u l t u r e on American farms. The c r e d i t banks have not c a r r i e d on the i n t e n s i v e t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e that the f e d e r a l government discontinued a f t e r the f i r s t year of the c o l o n i e s ' operation. 2 The hopes of modern mechanized u a g r i c u l t u r e have a l l but disappeared f o r the m a j o r i t y of men i n the community. One of the most important systems f o r maintaining u n i t y i n a Mexican peasant v i l l a g e i s the compadrazco  system or godparent system. Godparents are s e l e c t e d when c h i l d r e n are born, f o r weddings, and f o r important events i n the peasant f a m i l y ' s l i f e . They are depended upon i n emergencies f o r loans, labour, or p r o t e c t i o n f o r an orphaned c h i l d . While many of the f a m i l i e s that moved to Nuevo Coahuila were from the same st a t e s of Northern Mexico very few were from the same towns or v i l l a g e s . Upon departure to Nuevo Coahuila, the c o l o n i s t s l o s t the compadrazco t i e s and an important source of s e c u r i t y and co-operation between f a m i l i e s . In f a c t , conversations revealed that some r e s i -dents d i d not f u l l y t r u s t other members of the community This f e e l i n g of mutual d i s t r u s t has been c a l l e d a character-i s t i c t r a i t of Mexican peasantry by p s y c h o l o g i s t s E r i c h and Michael Maccoby. 3 A common Mexican State of o r i g i n does not appear to be a s u f f i c i e n t replacement f o r the more intim a t e personal compadrazco t i e s as a b a s i s f o r u n i t w i t h i n the colony A l l e g i a n c e The study by Fromm and Maccoby i n d i c a t e s that i n Mexico, peasant groups formed on the bas i s of mutual a i d are not common. 4 Membership to a c r e d i t group i s vol u n t a r y but i n f a c t r e quired i f an e j i d a t a r i o i s to r e c e i v e funds f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s . Thus, to obtain governmental a i d , the peasant i s forced to j o i n a group that has as i t s working premise co-operation between members. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d that the c r e d i t group members f e e l l i t t l e a l l e g i a n c e to t h e i r group. In Nuevo Coahuila, t h i s problem i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute i n the c r e d i t groups sponsored by the Banco E j i d a l . Several reasons f o r the lack of a l l e g i a n c e were obtained from in t e r v i e w s w i t h i n d i v i d u a l group members. The most f r e q u e n t l y mentioned problem i s the f e a r that one's economic p o s i t i o n w i l l worsen due to c r e d i t group membership. This f e e l i n g i s based on the f a c t that the e n t i r e group i s re s p o n s i b l e f o r the debt i t i n c u r s . Should s e v e r a l members f a i l to repay the p o r t i o n of the loan a l l o t t e d f o r t h e i r use, the remaining members must assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . This could increase i n d i v i d u a l debt burden. Past performance has provided some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s worry. A second f e a r was that one man would do more work than another, yet a l l would share e q u a l l y i n any p r o f i t s the group made. This b e l i e f , perhaps f o s t e r e d by the r e s i d e n t s ' apparent d i s t r u s t of one another, has kept some men from working as e f f e c t i v e l y as could be expected. A t h i r d problem i n the maiz and r i c e groups has been the l a c k of v i s i b l e economic betterment on members' beha l f . Conversations w i t h c o l o n i s t s i n d i c a t e d c a t t l e group members were the w e a l t h i e r c i t i z e n s . This adds to the b e l i e f that maiz and r i c e group membership does not a l t e r one's economic p o s i t i o n . As a r e s u l t , another impediment i s placed i n the development of a l l e g i a n c e to these groups. The e j i d a t a r i o s i n Nuevo Coahuila have some basis f o r the b e l i e f that maiz or r i c e group membership does l i t t l e f o r one's economic w e l l - b e i n g . C r e d i t i n these groups i s of a c y c l i c a l nature, the debt being due at harvest. Between the day of the loan and the harvest, departure from the group, and sometimes from the colony, has often been frequent enough to increase the debt burden f o r remaining members. The increased burden has counterbalanced the increase i n p r o f i t s one would expect due to decreased membership. P r o f i t margins, i f any, are u s u a l l y narrow. In c o n t r a s t to the Banco E j i d a l ' s groups i s the c a t t l e group where co-operation between members i s necessary, a c t i v e l y encouraged by the Banco Agropecuaria, and a c t u a l l y present a f t e r seven years of development. O f f i c i a l s of the bank f u l l y expected i n i t i a l membership to drop due to "the co-operative nature of the group, d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h Nuevo Coahuila, the climate or whatever." 5 However, they f e l t the group would then be l e f t w i t h people having more d e s i r e , more i n i t i a t i v e and more commitment. The remaining members of the c a t t l e group appear to be those who have the greatest p r i d e i n Nuevo Coahuila. These men r e s i d e i n the houses w i t h well-kept yards and a number of home improvements. The president of the e j i d o , h i g h l y respected by the c o l o n i s t s , i s a member of the c a t t l e group. I t i s a l s o important t o note that a l l but two of the members have been in v o l v e d w i t h the group si n c e 1966. During i n t e r v i e w s , the members spoke w i t h great enthusiasm f o r the achievements of t h e i r c a t t l e group and t h e i r goals. Acknowledgement was made of the f a c t that experience was gained through time. P o s i t i v e achievement i s sensed by being ahead of schedule i n debt repayment. I t appears that the commitment to the group and p o s i t i v e r e s u l t s , coupled with the long-term membership and blood r e l a t i o n s h i p s of some of the members, have overcome the f e a r s associated w i t h c r e d i t group p a r t i c i p a t i o n among men i n the c a t t l e group. 6 Enthusiasm and a l l e g i a n c e f o r the c r e d i t groups are a f f e c t e d by c o l o n i s t s ' views of bank a t t i t u d e s towards the groups. Comment was f r e q u e n t l y made that "about a l l the engineers from the Banco E j i d a l do i s r i d e up i n t h e i r motor launch, give out money, and r i d e away i n the motor launch". O f f i c i a l s of the Banco Agropecuaria do admit to a l a c k of t e c h n i c a l a i d f o r c a t t l e groups, but t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n c r e d i t groups has been more evident than the Banco E j i d a l ' s . Longer and more frequent v i s i t s by o f f i c i a l s of the bank, often w i t h the o f f i c i a l s working i n the f i e l d s alongside the group members, r e f l e c t t h i s . The d i f f e r e n c e i n the i n t e r e s t shown by the two banks i s w e l l noted by the m a j o r i t y of e j i d a t a r i o s i n t e r -viewed. The Banco Agropecuaria i s recognized as the bank whose employees take an i n t e r e s t i n the e j i d o and the w e l f a r e of i t s r e s i d e n t s , and not j u s t the p r o f i t s or losses i n c u r r e d by i t s c r e d i t groups. As a l l the groups must operate w i t h i n the e j i d o , questions were asked to assess members' a l l e g i a n c e to i t . Of the persons i n t e r v i e w e d , only one man f e l t that the e j i d o system was a good system f o r d i s t r i b u t i n g and h o l d i n g l a n d , b e l i e v i n g that only by means of the e j i d o system was he able to obtain some s o i l to c u l t i v a t e . A l l others be-l i e v e d t h a t owning a p r i v a t e p a r c e l was f a r b e t t e r . The e j i d a t a r i o s f e l t l i t t l e s e c u r i t y i n working land f o r which no t i t l e was h e l d . A s u r p r i s i n g m a j o r i t y of persons ex-pressed the b e l i e f that they were no b e t t e r o f f economically than i n Northern Mexico, where most had had no land at a l l . The only exceptions to t h i s were ganadero group members, but even they, w i t h t h e i r degree of success, would p r e f e r p r i v a t e land ownership. The d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the e j i d o as a land tenure system f o s t e r s disappointment with l i f e i n Nuevo Coahuila. This disappointment decreases i n i t i a t i v e and thus weakens the systems that are to work f o r Nuevo Coahuila's economic success. Leadership Leadership q u a l i t y and l e a d e r s h i p needs vary s i g n i f i c a n t l y between the c r e d i t groups of the Banco E j i d a l and Banco Agropecuaria. The ganadero group may be thought of as group-oriented and the maiz and r i c e groups as l e a d e r - o r i e n t e d . This d i f f e r e n c e r e q u i r e s two types of l e a d e r s . In the ganadero group, the enthusiasm f o r and a l l e g i a n c e to the group's goals have made the members aware of themselves as a group and a working u n i t . Leadership i s necessary to perform a d m i n i s t r a t i v e f u n c t i o n s , but i s l e s s of a requirement f o r motivation.- Several members of the group st a t e d that although l e a d e r s h i p i n the group was of "good q u a l i t y " , i t was not necessary to govern the group. While t h i s b e l i e f may be a s i m p l i f i c a t i o n and the leader needed more than i s g e n e r a l l y r e a l i z e d , i t does i n d i c a t e that the group i s not e n t i r e l y dependent upon one or two i n d i v i d u a l s . The maiz and r i c e groups appear to have developed a great dependency on t h e i r l e a d e r s . The f a c t that members do not have to work c l o s e l y together has i n h i b i t e d the growth of u n i t y and cohesion i n the groups. The leaders of the groups are needed t o c a r r y out day-to-day a c t i v i t i e s as w e l l as to motivate the membership. This places tremendous pressure on the leader as i t i s h i s duty to see that the i n d i v i d u a l members work together, share equipment, and f u l f i l l group o b l i g a t i o n s . Interviews among r i c e and maiz group members i n d i -cate that many times leaders of these groups never cared about the members, or worse, were "bad" and " s t u p i d " . They have f a i l e d to provide the necessary source of mot i v a t i o n , with r e s u l t s of decreasing group membership and v a r i a b l e economic performance. The le a d e r s ' f a i l u r e to create a cohesive, co-operative group membership has done l i t t l e to' a l l e v i a t e the already e x i s t i n g f e a r s p r e v i o u s l y men-ti o n e d . S t a f f q u a l i t y of the c r e d i t banks a l s o v a r i e s . The Banco E j i d a l ' s o f f i c e i n Candelaria has been i n a con-stant process of r e o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r s e v e r a l years. F i l e s are i n di s o r d e r and most of the bank o f f i c i a l s are new to the Candelaria area and u n f a m i l i a r w i t h the h i s t o r i e s and problems of the c r e d i t groups i t sponsors. C r i t i c i s m of the bank's operations i s q u i c k l y obtained from members of i t s groups as w e l l as from l o c a l merchants i n Candelaria. E j i d a t a r i o s have expected the bank to pl a y a major decision-making r o l e . The bank has not f u l f i l l e d t h i s r o l e , p a r t l y as a conscious e f f o r t to avoid becoming the patron or l a n d l o r d of p r e - r e v o l u t i o n a r y times, but more out of d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n and apparent i n a b i l i t y . The f a i l u r e has l e f t r i c e and maiz group members i n Nuevo Coahuila extremely d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the bank. The Banco Agropecuaria has been more s u c c e s s f u l i n suppl y i n g the l e a d e r s h i p required by bank o f f i c i a l s through sending i t s s t a f f i n t o the f i e l d , h e l p i n g to organize the ganadero group, and making major d e c i s i o n s when necessary. But, at the same time, i t i s t r a i n i n g members of the group f o r l e a d e r s h i p p o s i t i o n s and has worked at developing group co-operation. The bank i s c o n s c i o u s l y attempting to remove i t s e l f from the decision-making r o l e i t f e l t necessary to assume at the outset of group operations. The bank has not l e f t the peasants i n a confused, i s o l a t e d s t a t e , but r a t h e r b e t t e r organized and educated f o r the d e c i s i o n -making r o l e they w i l l be required to assume. This, i n c i d e n t a l l y , shows business acumen on the bank's p a r t , as opposed to the Banco E j i d a l ' s performance. Present e j i d o l e a d e r s h i p i n Nuevo Coahuila i s h i g h l y regarded. The president of the e j i d o i s knowledge-able about the problems of the e j i d o and s i n c e r e l y i n t e r e s t e d i n s o l u t i o n s t o the problems. The president of the zona urbana, a maiz group member, has s u c c e s s f u l l y f u l f i l l e d the s o c i a l r o l e expected of him, o r g a n i z i n g f e s t i v a l s , b a s e b a l l and v o l l e y b a l l teams, community work p r o j e c t s , e t c . He i s a l s o regarded as i n t e l l i g e n t and i n t e r e s t e d i n the w e l l -being of h i s f e l l o w e j i d a t a r i o s . These leader s ' commitment to t h e i r jobs and the e j i d o has helped somewhat i n s t r e n g t h -ening the commitment of the remaining e j i d a t a r i o s t o Nuevo Coahuila and the idea of a community. Government P o l i c y Recent government a c t i o n s have d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d c r e d i t groups i n the f i e l d area. In e a r l y 1 9 7 3 , p o l i c y was e s t a b l i s h e d r e s t r i c t i n g c r e d i t group sponsorship to one bank i n any one e j i d o . R a t i o n a l e f o r the p o l i c y stemmed from the b e l i e f t h a t two or more banks operating i n one area created needless d u p l i c a t i o n s . For the Candelaria area, t h i s means that the Banco Agropecuaria now sponsors the groups south of and i n c l u d i n g the colony Estado de Mexico and the Banco E j i d a l operates those groups north of Estado de Mexico. This p o l i c y change i s important i n Nuevo Coahuila f o r two reasons. The s t a f f of the Candelaria o f f i c e of the Banco Agropecuaria has i t s greatest e x p e r t i s e and experience w i t h c a t t l e groups. The sudden need to become engaged i n a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s was not expected by l o c a l bank o f f i c i a l s . There appear to be weaknesses i n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a b i l i t y as a r e s u l t . Maiz group operations have been d i s -rupted due to l a c k of s u f f i c i e n t p r o v i s i o n s of seeds and f e r t i l i z e r s by the bank. The r i c e group has ceased t o operate a l t o g e t h e r as the Banco Agropecuaria the f a c i l i t i e s nor the d e s i r e to process r i c e Members of that group are now l e f t w i t h no cr*op to plcint n.o lcinc! prepared f o r an a l t e r n a t e crop and are i n c r e a s i n 1 d i s couraged. The second i m p l i c a t i o n of t h i s f e d e r a l p o l i c y change l i e s i n the basic p o l i c y d i f f e r e n c e between the two banks operating i n the f i e l d area. O f f i c i a l s from the Banco Agropecuaria b e l i e v e that the f u t u r e of the Candelaria area i s i n c a t t l e production. A g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s not d i r e c t l y involved i n c a t t l e production are f e l t to be waste-f u l . Any maiz grown should be f o r c a t t l e feed w i t h food s u p p l i e s to come from outside areas. This p o l i c y has r e s u l t e d i n a greater emphasis on the c a t t l e group and de-emphasis on the current maiz group. The u l t i m a t e e f f e c t s of t h i s p o l i c y change remain to be seen, but the immediate e f f e c t has been to discourage c r e d i t group members who pr e f e r to be involved i n the growing of maiz. The f e d e r a l government has a l s o i n s t i t u t e d a new programme that would help e j i d a t a r i o s become involved i n c a t t l e production without j o i n i n g c r e d i t groups. In the programme, the peasant would r e c e i v e 300 pesos f o r each hectare of land cleared f o r pasture. The programme i s b e l i e v e d t o be p o t e n t i a l l y u s e f u l , but i s c r i t i c i z e d f o r l a c k of l e a d e r s h i p and c o - o r d i n a t i o n . An example of t h i s i n other c o l o n i e s i s the c l e a r i n g of non-contiguous parcels of land by e j i d a t a r i o s . As a r e s u l t the time required f o r the development of a u s e f u l pasture may increase. E j i d a t a r i o s are not able to c l e a r plant and maintain an area s u f f i c i e n t to keep any number of c a t t l e on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s , and no i n d i v i d u a l appears to be d i r e c t i n g a co-operative e f f o r t . No one i n Nuevo Coahuila p a r t i c i p a t e s i n the jpr*o ^ r* 3. nun 6 A more subtle problem of the emphasis on c a t t l e production i s the i n s e c u r i t y i t i s c r e a t i n g among' some c o l o n i s t s . There are e j i d a t a r i o s who do not wish to be i n v o l v e d i n r a i s i n g c a t t l e . Yet the government a i d , which f o s t e r s that production, coupled w i t h the Banco Agropecuaria's emphasis on the same, has l e f t these people to b e l i e v e they have no f u t u r e i n Nuevo Coahuila unless they are involved i n c a t t l e production. This f e a r may be unwarranted, but i t i s found to e x i s t . I t i s weakening some of the u n i t y that has been s l o w l y developing i n the community. A g r i c u l t u r a l Landscapes Land Area C u l t i v a t e d Upon i n i t i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and development of Nuevo Coahuila, approximately 5 hectares of land were cle a r e d f o r each head of a household. These parcels formed one f i e l d but were f a r too l a r g e t o be maintained adequately and kept i n continuous c u l t i v a t i o n . Rapid f o r e s t take-over soon rendered l a r g e p o r t i o n s of the area unusable f o r mechanized a g r i c u l t u r e . In an attempt to c o n t r o l the f o r e s t take-over of c l e a r e d lands, the maiz and r i c e groups were provided w i t h t r a c t o r s t o a i d i n plowing, weeding and c l e a r i n g as part of the c r e d i t bank's t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e . But, when membership i n the groups d e c l i n e d , so too d i d the land area c u l t i v a t e d w i t h the a i d of t h i s t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t -ance. Tables I and I I show that the area i n maiz c u l t i v a t i o n has f a l l e n from 270 t o 87 hectares i n 1972, and r i c e production f e l l from 135 to 84 hectares i n 1971 . To be sure, former group members have not discontinued c u l t i v a t i o n a l t o g e t h e r , but i t i s l i k e l y t hat the lands maintained without t r a c t o r s and other bank a i d are some-what smaller i n area than they would be w i t h bank a i d . A c t u a l departure from the colony by the e j i d a t a r i o s , a common occurrence, represents a complete l o s s f o r the colony as the t o t a l c u l t i v a t e d land area decreases. In 1973 , the amount of land farmed f u r t h e r decreased as r i c e group operations were discontinued by the Banco Agropecuaria. As of J u l y , the same year, the m a j o r i t y of remaining members had not c u l t i v a t e d former r i c e f i e l d s because of the need f o r a i d to finance an a l t e r n a t e crop. The area of land i n pasture f o r c a t t l e owned by the ganadero group i s l e s s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to a c t u a l membership i n the group. This i s p a r t l y due to the f a c t that pasture maintenance i s not as demanding. Trees are allowed to stand i n clumps, stumps are acceptable, and weeds are t o l e r a t e d to a degree. A l s o , sums are loaned f o r maintenance, regard l e s s of the a c t u a l number of members i n the group. Therefore, a d e c l i n e i n membership does not imply a l o s s of a i d , i n terms of funds, f o r the operations of the group. I t does, however, increase the i n d i v i d u a l ' s share of the debt. In Nuevo Coahuila, the ganadero group's success has allowed f o r expansion of i t s herd. This has created a demand f o r more pasture area. In 1970, unoccupied n a t i o n a l land adjacent to the colony was annexed and earmarked f o r t h i s purpose, although i t was not yet developed at the time of t h i s study. The two new ganadero groups organized i n 1973 w i l l increase the acreage of land i n pasture as they acquire herds. Methods of A g r i c u l t u r e In the maiz and r i c e groups before 1972 and the maiz group a f t e r 1972, bank owned t r a c t o r s cleared and plowed a l l the land to be c u l t i v a t e d by c r e d i t group members. The bank suppli e d money f o r seeds, f e r t i l i z e r s , and some t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e . Several horses and mules and s t e e l plows were provided. Crops are planted i n even rows at r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s . The landscape has the appear-ance of a modern a g r i c u l t u r a l operation. ^Figures 2.6 and 2.7.) In contrast are the milpas c u l t i v a t e d by e j i d a t a r i o s not i n c r e d i t groups. Their land i s cleared employing the t r a d i t i o n a l t o o l s of slash/burn p r a c t i c e s , the machete and d i g g i n g s t i c k . (Figure 4.2.) Rows of crops are uneven, weeds tend to p r o l i f e r a t e and trees and stumps are not f u l l y c l e a r e d . The v i s u a l d i f f e r e n c e between the two landscapes i s s t a r t l i n g , but the economic d i f f e r e n c e i s not. The advantage f o r high y i e l d s appears to l i e w i t h the c r e d i t group members. However, c u l t i v a t i o n producing a f i e l d as i n Figure 2.6 i s a demanding task i n the t r o p i c s . Excessive l e a c h i n g and erosion r e s u l t due t o the l o c a l c l i m a t e c y c l e when surface s o i l s are broken and bared by machinery. Demands f o r f e r t i l i z e r i ncrease as does the need f o r t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r coping w i t h d e t e r i o r a t i n g s o i l s . Over a period of time, crop y i e l d s decrease, and often a d d i t i o n a l lands must be c l e a r e d . The decreasing y i e l d s , increased expense i n maintaining land w i t h machinery, f e r t i l i z e r and modern methods, and the l a c k of t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e , a c t u a l l y r e s u l t s i n l i t t l e p o s i t i v e d i f f e r e n c e between those using modern methods and those Figure 2 .6 The maiz group's f i e l d — a demanding task i n the t r o p i c s . Figure 2 . 7 The c a t t l e group's pasture. A f r i c a n grasses are planted and part of the area i s fenced w i t h barbed w i r e . who do not. T r a d i t i o n a l methods of slash/burn r e q u i r e l e s s i n i t i a l i n p u t . F i e l d s are not c l e a r e d as thoroughly. F e r t i l i z e r i s n a t u r a l l y provided through ash. Milpas are more e a s i l y abandoned when i n f e r t i l e as there i s l e s s investment i n them. More imp o r t a n t l y , s h i f t i n g t o a new milpa i s t r a d i t i o n a l and accepted when land i s a v a i l a b l e ; the change i s expected. The absence of s i g n i f i c a n t economic d i f f e r e n c e s i s summed up by one maiz group member who s t a t e s , " I f we could have c o n t i n u a l a s s i s t a n c e through-out the year and more f e r t i l i z e r s , we might be producing more than those e j i d a t a r i o s not i n the groups." The presence of modern t o o l s of a g r i c u l t u r e does not and probably can not compensate f o r the lack of ade-quate t e c h n i c a l guidance i n Nuevo Coahuila. As the s i t u a t i o n now e x i s t s , any increase i n crop production by c r e d i t group members i s c a n c e l l e d by the increase i n expenses: g a s o l i n e , f e r t i l i z e r s , parts f o r t r a c t o r s , e t c . Indeed, p r o f i t s are often i n s u f f i c i e n t to repay loans from the banks. The s i t u a t i o n i s d i f f e r e n t f o r the c a t t l e group sponsored by the Banco Agropecuaria. Techniques f o r handling c a t t l e , c a r i n g , feeding and breeding a l l come from bank o f f i c i a l s through an i n t e n s i v e programme of i n s t r u c t i o n and demonstration. Pastures have been planted, barbed fences erected, and c o r r a l s b u i l t . T h i s , as w e l l as s e l e c t i v e breeding and outside research on the best herding methods and maintenance of c a t t l e i n the t r o p i c s , has r e s u l t e d i n the c a t t l e group members meeting t h e i r loan payment schedule. I t seems that the presence of modern equipment i s h a r d l y necessary f o r s u c c e s s f u l production. An increase i n t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e , or perhaps more r a d i c a l l y , a r e -t h i n k i n g of the appropriateness of "modern methods" f o r the t r o p i c s i s r e q u i r e d f o r any degree of economic success. Products Produced Non c r e d i t group members c u l t i v a t e a greater v a r i e t y of crops than do c r e d i t group members. Maiz i s of primary importance, but i t i s planted w i t h chigua (a gourd f o r p i g f e e d ) , f r i . j o l e s , and often c h i l e . Kitchen gardens contain tomatoes, vegetables and u s u a l l y one or two f r u i t t r e e s , lime and banana being most common. Such gardens are found around the houses of both c r e d i t group and non c r e d i t group members. Every house a l s o has a v a r i e t y of chickens and pigs running i n the yard. The a c t u a l r i c e group i t s e l f i s discontinued and the area of e x c l u s i v e maiz production i s decreasing i n s i z e . As mentioned, Banco Agropecuaria o f f i c i a l s hope that f u t u r e maiz produced w i l l be f o r feed and that the a c t i v i t y of each e j i d a t a r i o w i l l be connected to c a t t l e production i n some way. Summary Nuevo Coahuila was new i n 1963. A l l the cinder block houses were i n e q u a l l y good c o n d i t i o n . (Figure 2.3.) F i v e hectares of land f o r each male c o l o n i s t had been cleared by machinery. Yet, ten years l a t e r , v a r i a t i o n s are v i s i b l e i n housing and i n a g r i c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s . Much of the cleared land i s now covered w i t h regrowth. A look at the colony's c r e d i t groups a i d s i n accounting f o r the d i f f e r e n c e s that have evolved. The c r e d i t groups of Nuevo Coahuila are capable of s i g n i f i c a n t l y a f f e c t i n g the economic success of the colony. C r i t i c a l f a c t o r s i n the operation of the c r e d i t groups have been s i n g l e d out due t o t h e i r overwhelming impact. Maiz and r i c e groups, formerly sponsored by the . Banco E j i d a l , s u f f e r e d from poor l e a d e r s h i p and l a c k of membership a l l e g i a n c e . Poor a d m i n i s t r a t i v e performance on the bank's part has f u r t h e r stunted development. However, i t i s important to note that the c a t t l e group has f a r e d much b e t t e r , b e n e f i t t i n g from the Banco Agropecuaria's more i n t e n s i v e t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c a p a b i l i t y . A l l e g i a n c e has developed, w i t h l e s s dependency on the bank f o r l e a d e r s h i p . As a r e s u l t the community has b e n e f i t t e d from t h i s p o s i t i v e achievement. Common to a l l groups i s the problem of member discouragement w i t h the e j i d o system i t s e l f and the s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n sensed by the r e s i d e n t s of Nuevo Coahuila. These two f a c t o r s are probably important i n accounting f o r some poor group performance. The people d i s l i k e the r e s t r i c t i o n of the e j i d o system, p a r t i c u l a r l y the l a c k of t i t l e to land, and the s e t t i n g i n which they f i n d themselves. The e f f e c t of the c r e d i t groups and the government framework w i t h i n which they operate appears to be r e f l e c t e d i n the landscapes of the colony. The decreasing membership i n the r i c e and maiz groups r e s u l t s i n a l o s s of land area devoted t o the c u l t i v a t i o n of those crops, and l o s s of what a i d the banks do provide. The f a i l u r e of s u f f i c i e n t t e c h n i -c a l a i d has kept % o d e r a a g r i c u l t u r e " economically i n s i g n i f i -cant d espite the s t a r t l i n g v i s u a l contrast w i t h slash/burn methods. The f e d e r a l government has become discouraged w i t h i t s i n a b i l i t y to motivate people i n the programmes i t spon-sors ( c r e d i t groups, c a t t l e programme) and "washes i t s hands of the p r o j e c t " . 7 T h e community i s remote from a l l that i s f a m i l i a r . I r o n i c a l l y , the r e l a t i v e p h y s i c a l i s o l a t i o n of Nuevo Coahuila has probably f o s t e r e d the development of some community s p i r i t . Men and women do s o c i a l i z e at the two s t o r e s , a t h l e t i c teams have been organized, and the whisky s t i l l does create a bond by v i r t u e of i t s pseudo-clandestine operation. These a c t i v i t i e s do i n f a c t c o n t r i b u t e to a growing community i d e n t i t y i n Nuevo Coahuila, and a community t r a d i t i o n i s g r a d u a l l y forming. FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I I ^•The Banco E j i d a l organized s e v e r a l prototype groups i n 1966-67. These groups were experimental i n nature and records f o r t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s are incomplete. 2Siemens, "New A g r i c u l t u r a l Settlements," p. 28. ^ E r i c h Fromm and Michael Maccoby, S o c i a l Character  i n a Mexican V i l l a g e (Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-H a l l , 1970), p. 208. V l b i d . ^Interview w i t h a bank manager, Banco Nacional Agropecuaria, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, 28 J u l y 1974. 6 l t was found that f i v e men had sons p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the c a t t l e group a c t i v i t i e s . 7Interview w i t h Michael Nelson, D i r e c t o r , Ford Foundation, Mexico, Mexico C i t y , 20 December 1972. CHAPTER I I I VENUSTIANO CARRANZA Community D e s c r i p t i o n In design, Venustiano Carranza i s much l i k e Nuevo Coahuila. A l a r g e c e n t r a l square or plaza dominates the zona urbana. In t h i s plaza are the school,'playground, h e a l t h s t a t i o n , water tower, bandstand, and church. The whitewashed cinder block houses surround the square, a l l l a i d out according t o a re c t a n g u l a r g r i d p l a n . (Figure 3.1.)' Today, the c e n t r a l square only vaguely resembles the 1966 p i c t u r e . Instead of being w e l l maintained, weeds choke most of the area. L i t t l e attempt i s made to c o n t r o l them, except along the two roads that t r a v e r s e the p l a z a . A b a s k e t b a l l court constructed ten years ago i s ba r e l y r e c o g n i z a b l e . There are no hoops and much of the paved surface has d e t e r i o r a t e d beyond r e p a i r . The school and bandstand need a t t e n t i o n badly. Even most of the tre e s planted around the bandstand have d i e d , t h e i r weathered, grey trunks adding to an already gloomy atmosphere. 63 (Figure 3.2.) The c l i n i c i s the only b u i l d i n g which i s reasonably i n t a c t . Because of the community's p r o x i m i t y to Candelaria, t h i s c l i n i c i s f r e q u e n t l y v i s i t e d by a doctor from that town. The square does not serve as a f o c a l area f o r the community. Men seldom gather to smoke or t a l k at the bandstand. Fewer women use the laundry tubs, p r e f e r r i n g the r i v e r c l o s e by. Even the c h i l d r e n do not pla y i n the square. There are b e t t e r places f o r such a c t i v i t i e s — a l o n g the road t o Candelaria, or even i n that nearby town. E l e c t r i c i t y i s a v a i l a b l e to the community, and e l e c t r i c l i g h t standards surround the plaza and l i n e the roads. How-ever most of these have t h e i r bulbs broken out. Walking t o the houses i n the community from the square can be troublesome. Most of the o r i g i n a l roads are now only footpaths, and even these can be treacherous during the r a i n s . (Figure 3.3.) Mud i s t h i c k and bother-some. Many of the houses one passes are i n poor r e p a i r , w i t h windows and screens broken; p o r t i o n s of roofs and even w a l l s are tumbled down. Twenty-four houses are abandoned a l t o g e t h e r . Few of the occupied houses have outdoor kitchens or gardens. The average yard d i s p l a y s f r u i t t r e e s , some vegetables (but not always), weeds, chickens and p i g s . Only one home had a fenced yard w i t h s p e c i f i c areas f o r animal pens, weeded gardens, and a complete outdoor k i t c h e n . The m a j o r i t y of the houses r e f l e c t a l a c k of care. Figure 3.1 Venustiano Carranza i n 1966. The Candelaria R i v e r i s i n the background. The rec t a n g u l a r g r i d pattern of the community tha t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a l l the NCPE's along the Candelaria i s c l e a r l y v i s i b l e . The road to the town of Candelaria i s i n the foreground. (Courtesy A. H. Siemens.) Figure 3.2 The bandstand i n 1 9 73— crumbling and seldom used. Figure 3 .3 Zona Urbana, Venustiano Carranza, J u l y 1973 To NCPE's (Under construc-t i o n ) To Milpas & F i e l d s To Milpas — & F i e l d s X 0 X 0 X X X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 X X 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 X 0 X 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 X 0 X X 0 0 C e n t r a l -Square To Candelaria X X 0 0 X 0 0 0 X X 0 0 0 X 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Road from Dock & R i v e r 0 = Occupied houses — = RSadsUSslble°byemachinery (Not to Scale) i\iortn I t i s p o s s i b l e to walk south t o the f i e l d s o r i g i n -a l l y c l e a r e d f o r c u l t i v a t i o n . No longer i n use, these f i e l d s are now w e l l covered w i t h re-growth. Mismanagement r e s u l t e d i n erosion and l e a c h i n g of n u t r i e n t s from the s o i l . In t h e i r stead i s a s m a l l e r cleared area southeast of the zona urbana. This land was intended f o r use as i r r i g a t e d land, and an i r r i g a t i o n system does provide water to i t d u r i n g the dry months. However, only members of the a g r i c u l t u r a l c r e d i t groups use the i r r i g a t i o n system: t h e i r money, through loans from the bank, maintains i t . The remaining e j i d a t a r i o s p r a c t i c e slash/burn a g r i -c u l t u r e i n milpas surrounding these f i e l d s . The ganadero group's pastures are a l s o near the i r r i g a t e d area. On the western side of the zona urbana l i e s the road t o Candelaria, w i t h a l l the passable roads of the colony l e a d i n g t o i t . There i s a continuous flow of pedestrian(,;and c y c l i s t t r a f f i c to Candelaria where r e s i d e n t s of Venustiano Carranza shop, v i s i t or spend t h e i r l e i s u r e time. The only s t o r e i n the colony i s poorly stocked; few people p a t r o n i z e i t f o r anything more than the o c c a s i o n a l s o f t - d r i n k . C r e d i t Group H i s t o r y The development of c r e d i t groups i n Venustiano Carranza c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l s that of the groups i n Nuevo Coahuila. In 1966, the Banco Agropecuaria began funding c a t t l e groups. In 1968, the Banco E j i d a l terminated i t s MAP 5 : Venustiano Carranza i n 1973 Candelaria • Zona Urbana I r r i g a t e d Maiz F i e l d , C r e d i t Group Operated ^xjxj M i l p a s , Operated Wi Without C r e d i t Aid 1973 Vacant Land, U t i l i z e d by S h i f t i n g C u l t i -v a t o r s Pasture A Kilometers North experimental groups and commenced i t s formal operations i n the e j i d o . The h i s t o r y of these groups i s summarized i n Tables IV-VI. Trends to be noted from t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n are, f i r s t l y , that membership has been v a r i a b l e i n a l l groups. The r i c e group, disbanded i n 1969 a f t e r one year, was again discontinued i n 1972 a f t e r two years of ope r a t i o n . The c a t t l e group has added new members a f t e r a sharp de-c l i n e between the years 1967 and 1971. Secondly, w i t h the exception of the c a t t l e group, land area i n c u l t i v a t i o n i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the s i z e of the groups. T h i r d l y , repayment ra t e s have been e r r a t i c i n the Banco E j i d a l groups, on schedule i n the c a t t l e group as of J u l y , 1973. O f f i c i a l s of the Banco Agropecuaria have not been s a t i s f i e d w i t h the growth and progress of the c a t t l e group. Commitment t o the group i s not as strong as d e s i r e d and the group has f a i l e d to make a s i g n i f i c a n t economic impact on the colony. S i m i l a r l y , Banco E j i d a l o f f i c i a l s were never s a t i s f i e d w i t h the r i c e groups, being of the opinion that t h e i r p r o d u c t i v i t i t y was too low. C a p i t a l investments, such as r i c e d r y i n g f a c i l i t i e s , were not made i n Venustiano Carranza. However, the bank b e l i e v e s the p r o d u c t i v i t y of the maiz group has been good enough t o warrant investment i n the i r r i g a t i o n system through loans t o maiz group members. TABLE IV MAIZ GROUP, VENUSTIANO CARRANZA Cycle Number of Members Quota Per Hectare Area Operated Cr e d i t Extended % Cr e d i t Repaid 6 8 - 68 6 9 - 69 7 0 - 70 7 1 - 71 7 2 - 72 30 17 2 5 20 $ 7 9 0 . 0 0 M 7 9 0 . 0 0 7 9 0 . 0 0 7 9 0 . 0 0 7 9 0 . 0 0 70 l°l 67 8 5 $55 ,300M 94^800 4 7 , 4 0 0 5 4 , 9 3 0 7 8 , 1 5 0 100 96 100 91 100 TABLE V RICE GROUP, VENUSTIANO CARRANZA Cycle Number of Members Quota Per Hectare Area Operated C r e d i t Extended % Credit Repaid 68- 68 69- 69 72-72 9 0 15 14 0 $1800.OOM 0 1800.00 1800.00 0 20 0 45 32 0 $36,OOOM 0 81,800 57,600 0 93 0 100 98 0 TABLE VI CATTLE GROUP, VENUSTIANO CARRANZA Year Number of Members 1966 81 1967 82 1971 16 1972 28 As of J u l y 1973 , the c a t t l e group has r e -paid $ 2 5 , 0 9 7 . 0 7 , f u l -f i l l i n g the amount due i n 1972, but needs t o pay $ 9 , 8 9 4 . 9 3 to f u l f i l l i t s 30 Oct 73 o b l i g a t i o n . Modified Payment Schedule Date Due 30 Oct 72 30 Oct 73 30 Oct 74 30 Oct 75 30 Oct 76 30 Oct 77 30 Oct 78 30 Oct 79 30 Oct 80 30 Oct 81 30 Oct 82 30 Oct 83 30 Oct 84 30 Oct 85 30 Oct 86 Amount $13, 1 6 , 16, 30, 50, ?°» 60, 80, 60 100, 80, 90, 90, 90, 212M 762 326 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 S o c i a l Factors A f f e c t i n g C r e d i t Groups and the E j i d o Background As i n Nuevo Coahuila, most of the r e s i d e n t s of Venustiano Carranza are from the northern s t a t e s i n Mexico where frequent contact w i t h the United States and urban Mexico was common. However, p e c u l i a r to Venustiano Carranza was f a c t i o n a l i s m which developed i n the community. This f a c t i o n a l i s m , r e s u l t i n g from s o c i a l f a c t o r s r a t h e r than from weaknesses i n the a g r a r i a n s t r u c t u r e , was based on f r i c t i o n between C a t h o l i c and Protestant r e s i d e n t s . P o l i t i c a l i n f i g h t i n g and s o - c a l l e d s u s p i c i o u s a c t s on the part of e j i d o leaders l e d to a great deal of d i s u n i t y . H o s t i l i t y between members of the r e l i g i o u s groups was severe enough to d i s r u p t the operations of the c r e d i t groups. The e f f e c t s of the events, p r i m a r i l y d i s u n i t y and d i s t r u s t , are s t i l l f e l t and have co n t r i b u t e d g r e a t l y to a deeply rooted d i s f a v o u r f o r Venustiano Carranza by many of the persons interviewed. C l e a r l y , t h i s has contributed to a poor working environment f o r a l l the c o l o n i s t s i n the community. Other s o c i a l problems are found i n Venustiano Carranza, but these are more l a r g e l y due t o weaknesses i n the s t r u c t u r e of the c o l o n i z a t i o n system f o r land s e t t l e -ment. As found i n Nuevo Coahuila, the absence of k i n and f r i e n d s h i p s has l e f t many r e s i d e n t s unhappy even a f t e r ten years. Few of the persons interviewed found s u b s t i t u t e s f o r the broken compadrazco t i e s nor had they forged new l i n k s among l o c a l r e s i d e n t s . As a r e s u l t , a p r a c t i c a l source of a i d and s e c u r i t y has been l o s t . E j i d a t a r i o s who were interviewed mentioned that they f e l t i s o l a t e d from mainstream Mexico and complained about the l a c k of s e r v i c e s a v a i l a b l e t o the colony. Consequently, the c o l o n i s t s spend as much time as p o s s i b l e i n C andelaria, one half-hour away by boat, f i f t e e n minutes by b i c y c l e , and l e s s by road i n a v e h i c l e . Candelaria o f f e r s a s o c i a l l i f e more s i m i l a r to what was known, w i t h i t s s t o r e s , market and c a n t i n a s . I t i s a s o c i a l l i f e t hat i s more complete than that o f f e r e d i n any of the other c o l o n i e s . However, the a t t r a c t i o n of Candelaria has f u r -t h e r impeded the development of u n i t y w i t h i n the e j i d o . Venustiano Carranza seems to have become l i t t l e more than the place to c a r r y on only the basic f u n c t i o n s of l i f e . As i n Nuevo Coahuila, the men of Venustiano Carranza complained about being f r u s t r a t e d by the lack of farm machinery i n the colony. One t r a c t o r serves a l l the c r e d i t group members and s e v e r a l mules are a v a i l a b l e f o r plowing. However, the machete and di g g i n g s t i c k are more often u t i l i z e d . The use of the l a t t e r t o o l s i s p a r t i c u l a r -l y onerous to those who have been bi^aceros i n the United States. At l e a s t three men are known to make the y e a r l y t r i p t o Texas to work on harvests. This occurs o"^ ren a f t e r ten years of residence i n the colony With the exception of a i d from the c r e d i t banks, f e d e r a l a s s i s t a n c e v i r t u a l l y disappeared i n t h i s colony, as i t d i d i n the others, a f t e r the f i r s t year of operation. In t h e i r study of s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Mexican peasantry, Fromm and Maccoby po r t r a y the peasant as possess-i n g a strong sense of p r i v a t e property and a d i s t r u s t of f e l l o w peasantry. 1 The peasant f i n d s i t d i f f i c u l t to p a r t i c i p a t e i n any venture which would threaten h i s se-c u r i t y . In the c o l o n i e s , the source of l i v e l i h o o d i s c h i e f l y from the crops grown on the e j i d o lands. I t would seem l o g i c a l that r e s i d e n t s of Venustiano Carranza would t r y to avoid the c r e d i t groups i n that colony, i n view of t h e i r h i s t o r y of t u r m o i l and turbulence. A l l e g i a n c e In Venustiano Carranza, Maiz and r i c e group mem-bers show l i t t l e a l l e g i a n c e to the r u l e s , r e g u l a t i o n s and even the very idea of c r e d i t groups sponsored by the Banco E j i d a l . One preponderant reason f o r t h i s has been the d e c l i n e of membership i n the groups. This a t t r i t i o n has r e i n f o r c e d the c o l o n i s t s ' b e l i e f that one's economic p o s i t i o n would weaken w i t h membership i n a group. Too often a member has l e f t the c r e d i t group without repaying h i s share of the group's debt. The burden of repayment becomes the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of a decreasing number of persons, w i t h a concomitant smaller crop y i e l d the only source of revenue to repay the debt. The absence of t a n g i b l e economic betterment of c r e d i t group members has discouraged a l l e g i a n c e to the maiz and r i c e groups. The c o n t i n u a l turn-over i n membership has a l s o hindered the Banco E j i d a l ' s s u p e r f i c i a l attempts to introduce new techniques of a g r i c u l t u r e to the e j i d a t a r i o . In Venustiano Carranza, many of these same f e a r s were a l s o expressed by members of the c a t t l e group. This i s i n contrast to what was found i n Nuevo Coahuila's c a t t l e group. O f f i c i a l s from the Banco Agropecuaria have not been as s u c c e s s f u l i n developing co-operation and commitment w i t h i n the group among group members. They a t t r i b u t e the d i s u n i t y found i n the e j i d o to be the main cause f o r these problems w i t h i n the c a t t l e group. As a r e s u l t , the o f f i c i a l s i n Villahermosa have had to en-courage new membership c o n t i n u a l l y , despite t h e i r mixed f e e l i n g s concerning the p o s s i b i l i t y that f r i c t i o n may de-velop between o l d and new members. I t i s a l s o obvious that the new members u s u a l l y w i l l not have the same knowledge of c a t t l e handling which the o r i g i n a l members have gained through experience. The development of enthusiasm and a l l e g i a n c e w i t h i n the c r e d i t groups has a l s o been retarded by the lack of t e c h n i c a l a i d and a s s i s t a n c e from the c r e d i t banks. The Banco E j i d a l was se v e r e l y c r i t i c i s e d f o r showing a l a c k of i n t e r e s t i n the membership and groups i t sponsors. Longer and more frequent v i s i t s by Banco Agropecuaria o f f i c i a l s favourably impressed the r e s i d e n t s of the colony and responses rated t h i s bank as the b e t t e r of the two. F i n a l l y , e j i d a t a r i o s showed l i t t l e a l l e g i a n c e to the community or e j i d o as a land tenure system. C r i t i c i s m s were based on the l a c k of a c t u a l t i t l e to land i n the e j i d o system and on the b e l i e f t h a t an improved economic p o s i t i o n was an unachieved g o a l . I t i s l o g i c a l that t h i s d isap-pointment w i t h the e j i d o , i t s e l f , has lessened the chances of success f o r the c r e d i t groups which must operate w i t h i n the framework of t h i s apparently unpopular system of land tenure. Leadership In Venustiano Carranza the c r e d i t groups are leader-o r i e n t e d i n that the leaders are r e q u i r e d to provide a source of motivation f o r the group members, as w e l l as to c a r r y out a d m i n i s t r a t i v e f u n c t i o n s . These tasks are p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t i n the Banco E j i d a l ' s groups, p a r t l y because of t h e i r s t r u c t u r e , i n that the e f f e c t i v e f u n c t i o n i n g of the maiz group and r i c e group r e q u i r e s l i t t l e co-operation between members. Although the use of the t r a c t o r may be shared, a c t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n throughout the c y c l e i s done on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s , w i t h each head of household assigned a p l o t of land. The leaders of the groups are required to l i a i s e between members, ensuring an e q u i t a b l e d i s t r i b u t i o n of seeds and f e r t i l i z e r s from the bank and equal time f o r the use of the t r a c t o r . Tasks accompanying the l e a d e r s h i p r o l e are therefore more d i f f i c u l t and thankless to perform, i n Venustiano Carranza's maiz group and r i c e group. In t h i s colony bank o f f i c i a l s have encountered d i f f i c u l t i e s i n developing co-operation between members of the c a t t l e group as w e l l . The f a c t that the ganadero group i n Nuevo Coahuila i s ahead of i t s payment schedule and that the group i n Venustiano Carranza i s not, r e f l e c t s t h i s problem. In the l a t t e r group, a dependency on bank s t a f f to make major and minor d e c i s i o n s appears to have retarded group development. O f f i c i a l s of both banks are aware of the problem and r e a l i z e that the c r e d i t group members expect them to d i c t a t e what to do, when, and how. They have not been able to shed the p a t e r n a l r o l e which they have i n a d v e r t e n t l y f i l l e d . Banco Agropecuaria o f f i c i a l s d i r e c t a great deal of the c a t t l e group's a c t i v i t i e s . While o f f i c i a l s of the Banco E j i d a l do not f u l f i l l the expected r o l e , t h i s i s due r a t h e r to neglect than.to a conscious e f f o r t to avoid i t . As a r e s u l t , maiz and r i c e group members have l i t t l e f a i t h i n the bank o f f i c i a l s ' l e a d e r s h i p a b i l i t i e s . The f e e l i n g e j i d a t a r i o s i n Nuevo Coahuila have toward the Banco E j i d a l i s e v i d e n t l y echoed i n t h i s colony. Various candid, but vague, comments have i n d i c a t e d that Venustiano Carranza has been plagued w i t h l e a d e r s h i p problems at both the c r e d i t group and e j i d o l e v e l s . Past e j i d o p residents and c r e d i t group leaders are accused of p o l i t i c a l skullduggery. The problems, not d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the s t r u c t u r e of the e j i d o system i t s e l f , apparently arose from the p o l a r i z e d f a c t i o n s w i t h i n the community as p r e v i o u s l y discussed. B i t t e r n e s s between e j i d a t a r i o s s t i l l e x i s t s . Again, i t must be emphasized that the d i s -r u p t i o n at the e j i d o l e v e l has penetrated to other l e v e l s of l i f e i n the colony. Weak and feuding c r e d i t group leaders have hindered the growth of the groups. They have a l s o made i t d i f f i c u l t f o r bank o f f i c i a l s to work i n the colony. The d i s u n i t y stemming from i n t e r n a l d i s r u p t i o n adds to the e j i d a t a r i o s ' d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h the c r e d i t groups. Complaining about poor leaders seems to have be-come a conditioned r e f l e x i n Venustiano Carranza, perhaps w i t h reason. Government P o l i c y The realignment of bank operations i n the Candelaria Colonies has l e f t the Banco E j i d a l sponsoring a l l c r e d i t groups i n Venustiano Carranza. This new p o l i c y seems to have had l i t t l e immediate impact i n the colony. The a g r i c u l t u r a l c r e d i t groups remain under the auspices of the Banco E j i d a l and as of J u l y , 1 9 7 3 , the Banco Agropecuaria was s t i l l heading the c a t t l e group. The l a t t e r w i l l remain the case u n t i l l o c a l Banco E j i d a l o f f i c i a l s f a m i l i a r i z e themselves w i t h c a t t l e production. Interviewed members of the maiz group f e l t the change would not a l t e r t h e i r group a c t i v i t i e s . C a t t l e group members were wor r i e d , and somewhat wary of the Banco E j i d a l ' s f u t u r e r o l e as leaders. In response to t h i s , the Banco E j i d a l has t r a n s f e r r e d personnel experienced i n c a t t l e production i n t o the area i n an e f f o r t to ease the t r a n s i t i o n . Several r e s i d e n t s of the colony are p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the federally-sponsored c a t t l e programme on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s r a t h e r than i n the Banco Agropecuaria's c a t t l e group. 2 • However, the r e s i d e n t s of the colony have l a b e l l e d t h i s programme as d i s o r g a n i z e d , l a c k i n g i n t e c h n i c a l a i d and l e a d e r s h i p , and r e q u i r i n g personal s a c r i f i c e on the part of p a r t i c i p a n t s . C u r r e n t l y , non-contiguous p a r c e l s of land are being c l e a r e d , which w i l l lengthen the time required to produce a v i a b l e pasture area. Reimbursement f o r par-t i c i p a t i n g i n the programme i s made a f t e r the land i s c l e a r e d . Thus, time spent away from milpas f o r pasture c l e a r i n g leaves the e j i d a t a r i o without an immediate source of income. Furthermore, no c r e d i t i s extended w h i l e preparatory work i s c a r r i e d out, as i t i s to c r e d i t groups. F i n a l l y , such payment has been l a t e , discouraging persons involved i n the programme. The few people i n Venustiano Carranza par-t i c i p a t i n g i n the programme do so grudgingly, seeing i t as the only a l t e r n a t i v e way to obtain herds without belonging to a c r e d i t group. A g r i c u l t u r a l Landscapes Land Area C u l t i v a t e d As i n Nuevo Coahuila, £ hectares of land was cleared f o r each household when Venustiano Carranza was e s t a b l i s h e d . These f i e l d s , part of the planned area f o r c u l t i v a t i o n as shown on Map 3, are now u n c u l t i v a t e d due to mismanagement and t h e i r inconvenient l o c a t i o n . Excessive l e a c h i n g l e f t the s o i l s i n f e r t i l e . I n s u f f i c i e n t means and lack of knowledge to cope w i t h t h i s problem forced abandon-ment of the f i e l d s . Further, many e j i d a t a r i o s objected to the d i s t a n c e that had t o be t r a v e l l e d (on f o o t ) to reach the f i e l d s , and cl e a r e d lands c l o s e r to the zona urbana. These l a t t e r p a r c e l s and the newly c l e a r e d and i r r i g a t e d f i e l d (Map 5) represent a departure, perhaps more p r a c t i c a l , from the 1963 plan f o r the community. The a c t u a l area of land c u l t i v a t e d by the maiz and sometimes-operating r i c e groups i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the membership i n the groups. Tables IV and V i l l u s t r a t e the v a r y i n g areas of land under c u l t i v a t i o n due to f l u c t u a t i n g membership i n the r i c e and maiz groups. With the current abandonment of the r i c e group, l e s s land was c u l t i v a t e d i n 1972 and 1973 than during previous years. Pasture area i s l e s s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to c r e d i t group membership. Acreage requirements must be met to maintain a herd of c a t t l e . A l so, the pasture i s maintained l e s s i n t e n s i v e l y than the maiz or r i c e f i e l d s . However, Banco Agropecuaria o f f i c i a l s s tated that another group would have to be formed before a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of new land would be devoted to pastures. I t i s be l i e v e d that the current requirements f o r the herd are being met, and no huge a d d i t i o n s to the herd are being planned f o r the present ganadero group. The bank o f f i c i a l s question the commitment of the members to the group and are h e s i t a n t t o make f u r -t h e r investment u n t i l the group's v i a b i l i t y and f i n a n c i a l s t a b i l i t y are more assured. Non-credit group members c l e a r only s l i g h t l y fewer hectares u t i l i z i n g slash/burn techniques. E j i d a t a r i o s interviewed placed the maximum p a r c e l s i z e at 2-3 hectares f o r those not r e c e i v i n g bank a i d . (Compare w i t h Table VII.) Most p a r c e l s are considerably l e s s . The a c t u a l departure from the colony by some e j i d a t a r i o s r e s u l t s i n a l o s s i n the t o t a l land area under some form of c u l t i v a t i o n i n the colony. Methods of A g r i c u l t u r e C r e d i t groups c o n t r i b u t e to the appearance of a modern a g r i c u l t u r a l landscape f o r one area i n Venustiano Carranza. F i e l d s c u l t i v a t e d w i t h a i d from the Banco E j i d a l are o r d e r l y , rows are evenly spaced and weeded, and are served by an impressive i r r i g a t i o n system. (Figure 3.4.) The bank has provided the c r e d i t group members w i t h a t r a c -t o r f o r land c l e a r i n g , plowing, and some r a k i n g and smoothing of the land s u r f a c e . Tree limbs, stumps and Figure 3.4 The maiz f i e l d farmed w i t h c r e d i t a i d . An i r r i g a t i o n trough i s i n the background, a barbed wire fence i n the foreground. l a r g e stones are absent from the f i e l d s . Mules and s t e e l plows a i d the c r e d i t group members i n weeding a f t e r the crops are planted. The bank provides t e c h n i c a l a i d f o r the maintenance of the i r r i g a t i o n system and dispenses seeds and f e r t i l i z e r to the c r e d i t groups. These t o o l s and aids are absent f o r non-credit group members, who r e l y on the s l a s h / burn method of a g r i c u l t u r e using the machete and the d i g -ging s t i c k . C a t t l e group members owe t h e i r knowledge of c a t t l e production to the s t a f f of the Banco Agropecuaria. As i n Nuevo Coahuila, the members had l i t t l e or no p r i o r ex-perience w i t h t h i s aspect of a g r i c u l t u r e . U n l i k e Nuevo Coahuila, however, the men have had n e i t h e r t r a c t o r s nor power saws t o help c l e a r and maintain pastures. The r e s u l t has been a l e s s c l e a r l y defined and smaller pasture ares, w i t h more t r e e s and bush. The modern appearance of a f i e l d does not imply increased p r o d u c t i v i t y . The w e l l c l e a r e d , annually cropped f i e l d r e q u i r e s a g r i c u l t u r a l methods u n a v a i l a b l e i n Venustiano Carranza. The knowledge some men gained as braceros loses much of i t s usefulness when the resources found on the American farm are not a v a i l a b l e . The prob-lems of l e a c h i n g and growing i n f e r t i l i t y of s o i l s there-f o r e become s e r i o u s . This i s evidenced by the f a c t that the milpas o r i g i n a l l y c l e a r e d i n Venustiano Carranza had to be abandoned w i t h a l o s s of considerable time and energy invested i n the i n i t i a l c l e a r i n g . This investment i s not as great i n the slash/burn f i e l d . Abandonment i s wise and not perceived as a l o s s to the e j i d a t a r i o . A l s o , the slash/burn f i e l d s do not r e q u i r e the inputs to maintain t h e i r f e r t i l i t y , s i n c e s o i l r e j u v e n a t i o n occurs n a t u r a l l y w i t h the p r a c t i c e of s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n . As slash/burn f i e l d s can and often do produce a s u r p l u s , the economic b e n e f i t s are not d i s s i m i l a r from those milpas the c r e d i t groups c u l t i v a t e i n Venustiano Carranza. Products Produced Maiz has always been planted i n Venustiano Carranza as the most important crop. One c r e d i t group has e x i s t e d each year to fund i t s production f o r the members of the group. Rice has only been planted by c r e d i t group members, but as p r e v i o u s l y noted, not every year. However, there are no plans to phase out i t s production e n t i r e l y , as i n Nuevo Coahuila. L i t t l e change i s l i k e l y i n c a t t l e production under the Banco E j i d a l ' s auspices. The bank, according to o f f i c i a l s i nterviewed, envisions no s p e c i a l emphasis on c a t t l e production, u n l i k e the Banco Agropecuaria's p o l i c y . Non-credit group members c u l t i v a t e a greater v a r i e t y of crops. Maiz i s s t i l l the most important, but i t i s i n t e r p l a n t e d w i t h chigua and f r i j o l e s . Some r e s i d e n t s a l s o grow c h i l e . A l l these products are u s u a l l y planted together, the seeds being dropped i n t o a common hole made w i t h a d i g g i n g s t i c k . Many of the e j i d a t a r i o s , though not as many as i n Nuevo Coahuila, have k i t c h e n gardens, producing some c h i l e , vegetables, a v a r i e t y of herbs, and u s u a l l y one or two lime t r e e s . Again, almost everyone has chickens and pigs running about the yard. Summary S o c i a l problems not d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the e j i d o system i t s e l f are perhaps the most important source of e j i d a l weakness i n Venustiano Carranza. The p o l a r i z a t i o n i n the community based on r e l i g i o n r e s u l t e d i n severe d i s r u p t i o n of community a f f a i r s . At one p o i n t , the a c t u a l s u r v i v a l of the community was i n question. Only r e c e n t l y has the i n -f i g h t i n g ceased. O f f i c i a l s from both c r e d i t banks have blamed t h i s s i t u a t i o n as being p a r t i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the slow development of cohesive c r e d i t groups. C l o s e l y l i n k e d to the above i s the poor l e a d e r s h i p that has c h a r a c t e r i z e d the e j i d o and c r e d i t groups of Venustiano Carranza. For too long, e j i d a t a r i o s d i s t r u s t e d leaders i n the e j i d o . D i s u n i t y f o s t e r e d by the la c k of lea d e r s h i p c r e d i b i l i t y has retarded the development of v i a b l e c r e d i t groups, and perhaps the v i a b i l i t y of the colony. A l e s s obvious f a c t o r , not r e l a t e d to the e j i d o system, has a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d to a la c k of community i d e n t i t y and cohesion. The geographic pr o x i m i t y of Candelaria and i t s amenities a t t r a c t s many.residents whenever there i s spare time. Some people, mainly women, work i n the stores and r e s t a u r a n t s i n Candelaria, and spend even l e s s time i n Venustiano Carranza than might be expected. L i t t l e p r i d e seems to be taken i n the colony as a community or as a f u n c t i o n i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n . The a g r a r i a n s t r u c t u r e has not been f a u l t l e s s . D i s -s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the e j i d o system appears to be widespread among r e s i d e n t s . There i s l i t t l e t o l e r a t i o n f o r i n e f f i c i e n t and i n e f f e c t i v e government programmes that are intended to help the c o l o n i s t s . The f a i l u r e to produce s u f f i c i e n t t a n -g i b l e success i n the community has d i s i l l u s i o n e d many. A l l of these f a c t o r s adversely a f f e c t c r e d i t group operations. As fewer people p a r t i c i p a t e i n the groups, l e s s land i s c u l t i v a t e d w i t h bank a i d . D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the e j i d o and c r e d i t system r e i n f o r c e s the p r a c t i c e of t r a d i -t i o n a l slash/burn a g r i c u l t u r e . The colony i s e v o l v i n g , v i s u a l l y , to resemble l e s s the modern a g r i c u l t u r a l community and more the t r a d i t i o n a l peasant v i l l a g e . This image would be f u r t h e r strengthened we're i t not f o r the cinder block houses and absence of community a c t i v i t y . Few economic d i f f e r e n c e s e x i s t between those i n c r e d i t groups and those who are not. Economic goals set f o r Venustiano Carranza are not achieved. FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I I I 1Fromm and Maccoby, p. 208. p. 2 U n f o r t u n a t e l y , no one seems to be keeping records of how many persons are involved or j u s t what e x a c t l y they are doing. CHAPTER IV EL TIGRE Community D e s c r i p t i o n E l Tigre has been growing and developing f o r more than twenty years. I t i s not a planned community as are Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza, hence i t s i n c e p t i o n cannot be pinpointed a c c u r a t e l y . The appearance of the community i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t w i t h respect to the p h y s i c a l l a y o u t , c o n s t r u c t i o n m a t e r i a l s , and types of s t r u c t u r e s . The houses i n E l Tigre f o l l o w the r i v e r shore r a t h e r than a r i g i d g r i d p a t t e r n imposed upon the land-scape. In s e v e r a l areas, second and t h i r d rows of houses are b u i l t along the escarpment next to the r i v e r . (Figure 4.1.) Various footpaths which meander between the houses f o l l o w no p l a n . They simply take the e a s i e s t , f a s t e s t route. At the top of the escarpment i s the v i l l a g e school w i t h a fenced-in playground. A l l of the houses i n E l Tigre are v a r i a t i o n s on a theme of thatched r o o f s , pole w a l l s , and d i r t f l o o r s . Although l e s s imposing i n appearance than the houses of 89 Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza, they are f a r b e t t e r s u i t e d to a hot, humid cli m a t e where ample v e n t i l a t i o n i s necessary. Only one house had the "l u x u r y " of a t i n r o o f , that of the school teacher. She, wh i l e a p p r e c i a t i n g the community gesture i n p r o v i d i n g the r o o f , r e g r e t t e d the absence of her cooler t h a t c h i n g . Few homes i n the v i l l a g e have outdoor k i t c h e n s . Instead, a corner i n the house i s set aside f o r cooking. The spaces i n the pole w a l l s and the t h a t c h i n g a l l o w f o r adequate v e n t i l a t i o n f o r cooking f i r e s . Most of the houses have small fenced-in k i t c h e n gardens where banana t r e e s , melons, sugar cane, a v a r i e t y of herbs and s p i c e s , and some vegetables grow. (Figure 4.2.) The fences keep out wander-in g animals and c h i l d r e n . While various people may be seen around the homes i n E l Tigre during the day, there are no s p e c i f i c f o c a l points f o r the e n t i r e community. There i s no s t o r e , church, band-stand or v i l l a g e square. However, boats u s u a l l y dock i n f r o n t of one Don Gregorio Gomez' home, and h i s yard i s some-what of a gathering place. Here, v i l l a g e r s w i l l t a l k , o c c a s i o n a l r e l i g i o u s s e r v i c e s w i l l be h e l d , and v i s i t i n g p o l i t i c a l leaders w i l l be f e t e d . The main exchange of news i s between f a m i l y members—brothers, s i s t e r s , s i s t e r s - i n - l a w , et c . A number of paths lead from the v i l l a g e to the milpas which l i e behind the houses. (Map 6.) 1 One of these paths Figure 4.2 A fenced-in k i t c h e n garden. MAP 6: E l Tigre ?m Milpas , 1973 F l o o d p l a i n and Forested T e r r a i n • Swales North Fallowed Milpas (5 One Kilometer 1 leads through an impressive s i t e of Mayan r u i n s which contain three l a r g e pyramids and many smaller mounds. The milpas themselves are farmed w i t h slash/burn techniques. There are no pastures i n E l T i g r e . E l Tigre i s not a community of great i n t e r n a l con-t r a s t s . The houses present a s i m i l a r aspect; a l l are subject to l o s i n g p o r t i o n s of a r o o f during s t r o n g winds or having poles i n the w a l l s broken. M a t e r i a l s f o r r e p a i r are a v a i l -able t o a l l people, regardless of income, from the surrounding f o r e s t s , although adequate s u p p l i e s of t h a t c h i n g can be p r o b l e m a t i c a l . There are no c r e d i t groups i n E l T i g r e . However, there are i n t e r e s t i n g comparisons to be made between E l Tigre and the c o l o n i e s , regarding the backgrounds of the e j i d a t a r i o s , a l l e g i a n c e to the e j i d o , l e a d e r s h i p i n the e j i d o , and the impact of government p o l i c y on the v i l l a g e . S o c i a l Factors A f f e c t i n g the E j i d o Background Although there i s some f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h the government, f e e l i n g s of gloom or discouragement do not pervade the a t -mosphere i n E l Tigre as they do i n Venustiano Carranza and, to a l e s s e r degree, i n Nuevo Coahuila. The primary reason f o r t h i s a t t i t u d e i s the f a c t that the people do not f e e l i s o l a t e d from mainstream events of Mexico or uncomfortable i n t h e i r present environment. Settlement of E l Tigre took place approximately .20 years ago. The m a j o r i t y of the r e s i d e n t s were from Campeche. Few of the people had experienced urban Mexico. Over the years, c h i l d r e n grew up, married, and mostly remained i n the community to r a i s e c h i l d r e n of t h e i r own. Contacts w i t h Mexican c i t i e s remained i n f r e q u e n t , and only two men had gone so f a r as to work i n the United States. During the period of growth and development of the community, an extended-type f a m i l y u n i t i s emerging which now appears to provide a b a s i s f o r co-operation i n the e j i d o . 2 A s i g n i f i c a n t amount of a i d i s exchanged by r e l a t i v e s ; brothers help t o c l e a r , plant and weed each others' milpas. S i s t e r s co-operate i n domestic chores, help care f o r a i l i n g c h i l d r e n and at times, cook together. A l l these mutual a c t i v i t i e s provide f a m i l y u n i t y and s e c u r i t y which i n turn are r e f l e c t e d i n the community s p i r i t . As the c h i l d r e n of the i n i t i a l s e t t l e r s matured i n E l T i g r e , f r i e n d s h i p s were e s t a b l i s h e d , both w i t h i n the e j i d o and w i t h people i n the older sur-rounding e j i d o s . A r e s u l t of these f r i e n d s h i p s has been the formation of compadrazco t i e s . These f a m i l i a l and e x t r a - f a m i l i a l t i e s have eased some of the i n s e c u r i t y that seems to accompany the settlement of new lands. They provide a basis f o r co-operation and u n i t y which i s obviously to the community's advantage. How-ever, E l Tigre has had 10 a d d i t i o n a l years f o r these t i e s to develop. In Nuevo Coahuila, i t i s p o s s i b l e that s i m i l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i l l e x i s t a f t e r 20 years. In Venustiano Carranza, more time may be r e q u i r e d due to f a c t i o n a l i s m . Thus, to a degree, the presence of b e n e f i c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n E l T i g r e , and t h e i r absence i n the c o l o n i e s , may become l e s s evident i n the long term. The r e s i d e n t s of E l Tigre do not f e e l i s o l a t e d from " c i v i l i z e d " Mexico. Again, many ad u l t s spent the l a t t e r part of t h e i r youth growing up i n the e j i d o , and i t i s the only v i l l a g e t h e i r c h i l d r e n have ever l i v e d i n . They describe t h e i r e j i d o as one w i t h "a healthy c l i m a t e , pure a i r , pure water, and f r i e n d l y people". Perhaps the le n g t h of tenure i n E l Tigre has f o s t e r e d the development of these sentiments. More l i k e l y i s the f a c t that E l Tigre's environ-ment was never r e a l l y f o r e i g n t o the m a j o r i t y of r e s i d e n t s . E l Tigre's r e s i d e n t s ' long i s o l a t i o n from mainstream Mexico has probably i n f l u e n c e d the extent of t h e i r expec-t a t i o n s of governmental a i d . C e r t a i n l y there i s an awareness that the government can help them, and the i d e a l s of the Revolution are not t o t a l l y absent from the minds of the older persons. However, the absence of government a i d f o r years has apparently kept the people from a n t i c i p a t i n g much a s s i s t a n c e . As one o f f i c i a l i n Candelaria r a t h e r con-descendingly s t a t e d : "They don't know what they are m i s s i n g . " Unlike the c o l o n i s t s , the r e s i d e n t s do not expect t h e i r l i v e s to be suddenly and s i g n i f i c a n t l y improved. Thus, a p o t e n t i a l source of discontent i s diminished. A l l e g i a n c e At present, the r e s i d e n t s of E l Tigre are s q u a t t i n g on land belonging to another e j i d o . An independent v i l l a g e l i f e has been maintained and the l o c a l people i n Candelaria and along the r i v e r consider E l Tigre to be an e n t i t y and not part of another e j i d o . Recently, E l Tigre's r e s i d e n t s have decided that i t would be t o t h e i r advantage to organize the lands they squat on, as an e j i d o i n i t s own r i g h t and obtain r e c o g n i t i o n from DAAC as a separate e n t i t y . With r e c o g n i t i o n , they would be e l i g i b l e to r e c e i v e e j i d o b e n e f i t s from the f e d e r a l government, most notably a g r i c u l t u r a l c r e d i t . (See t h i s chapter's d i s c u s s i o n under "Government P o l i c y " . ) Interviews w i t h the r e s i d e n t s d i d show that the e j i d o i s recognized as having some d e f i c i e n c i e s , notably the absence of t i t l e to land. However, t h i s was b e l i e v e d t o be s u f f i c i e n t -l y countered by the a b i l i t y to r e c e i v e c r e d i t when r e c o g n i t i o n from DAAC i s obtained. In con t r a s t to the c o l o n i e s , there i s a pr i d e i n the current achievements of E l T i g r e , f a i t h i n the e j i d o system, and optimism f o r the f u t u r e . The people of E l Tigre are deeply committed to t h e i r community as a working u n i t already i n f o r m a l l y organized under e j i d o g u i d e l i n e s . The le n g t h of tenure by many r e s i d e n t s has f o s t e r e d some a f f e c t i o n towards E l Tigre. However, the f a c t remains that the r e s i d e n t s have v o l u n t a r i l y chosen to organize as an e j i d o . This framework has not been imposed upon them, as has been the case w i t h the c o l o n i e s . Leadership The current needs f o r l e a d e r s h i p i n E l Tigre are d i f f e r e n t from those i n the two c o l o n i e s . There are no c r e d i t groups r e q u i r i n g l e a d e r s , and the f u n c t i o n s of the president of the e j i d o are d i s s i m i l a r . In Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza, the e j i d o president must act as a l i a i s o n between the community and the f e d e r a l government agencies. This i n c l u d e s the c r e d i t banks, medical and h e a l t h o f f i c e r s , education a d v i s o r s , e t c . The president of the zona urbana i s i n v o l v e d w i t h o r g a n i z i n g s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s i n the community, and must at times s e t t l e d i s p u t e s among r e s i d e n t s . In E l T i g r e , the d u t i e s of the e j i d o president are s i m i l a r to these l a t t e r f u n c t i o n s . He organizes work p a r t i e s to maintain community property such as paths, the school, the teacher's house, arranges f e s t i v a l s , and mediates disputes between r e s i d e n t s . In a d d i t i o n , E l Tigre's president has been o b t a i n i n g outside work f o r E l Tigre's men. Recently, such jobs have been c l e a r i n g land f o r pasture and h e l p i n g adjacent c o l o n i e s and e j i d o s i n rodeos. A f i f t h r o l e w i l l be to o b t a i n e j i d o r e c o g n i t i o n f o r E l T i g r e . As of J u l y 1973 though t h i s task had proceeded only to the stage of t a l k i n g about going to Mexico C i t y to see the r e q u i r e d o f f i c i a l s Lack of funds prevents the a c t u a l t r i p Residents of E l Tigre p r a i s e t h e i r president h i g h l y . He i s a long-time r e s i d e n t , well-known, and knowledgeable of the community's past and i t s p o t e n t i a l . He has r e c e i v e d much p r a i s e due t o h i s s u c c e s s f u l e f f o r t s i n f i n d i n g a d d i t i o n a l sources of revenue f o r the r e s i d e n t s . Further-more, he i s b e l i e v e d to be trustworthy and honest. The s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the l e a d e r s h i p of the e j i d o e l i m i n a t e s a p o t e n t i a l source of problems i n community a f f a i r s . This r e s p e c t , coupled w i t h apparent a b i l i t y , should a i d i n E l T i g r e T s development, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t gains government r e c o g n i t i o n . Government P o l i c y E l Tigre's r e s i d e n t s have not yet f u l f i l l e d the government requirements f o r separate e j i d o r e c o g n i t i o n . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e d e t a i l s which must be completed i n v o l v e pro-v i d i n g proof t h a t a l l r e s i d e n t s are Mexican c i t i z e n s , that age requirements are met by the heads of households, and that the lands requested f o r i n c l u s i o n i n the new e j i d o should i n f a c t form an e j i d o . This l a t t e r requirement i s complicated by the f a c t that E l Tigre's lands are already i n a recognized e j i d o . Thus, E l Tigre must prove that the establishment of another e j i d o i s necessary and l o g i c a l . As i t now stands, the r e s i -dents are no more than squatters on government land. The f u l f i l l m e n t of these requirements i s d i f f i c u l t and c o s t l y . An a d d i t i o n a l obstacle i s that the r e s i d e n t s are apparently i n t i m i d a t e d by the prospect of having to go to Mexico C i t y . The t r i p w i l l be expensive and w i l l e n t a i l f i n a n c i a l s a c r i f i c e . A l s o , the r e s i d e n t s , and the p r e s i d e n t , have qualms about f a c i n g the educated powerful o f f i c i a l s i n the c a p i t a l . U n t i l the requirements are f u l f i l l e d , E l Ti g r e i s i n e l i g i b l e f o r much f e d e r a l a i d . The r e s i d e n t s cannot p a r t i -c i p a t e i n the f e d e r a l l y sponsored c a t t l e programme, nor can they r e c e i v e s e r v i c e s such as h e a l t h f a c i l i t i e s , pumped water and e l e c t r i c i t y , which are extended to some e j i d o s i n the Candelaria area. A planned telephone and e l e c t r i c i t y trunk to the e j i d o E l C h i l a r w i l l pass d i r e c t l y through E l Ti g r e , but w i l l not s e r v i c e i t . Perhaps most important to the r e s i d e n t s , the people cannot form c r e d i t groups. The r e s i d e n t s are a c u t e l y aware of the disadvantages they face f o r l a c k of r e c o g n i t i o n . They f i r m l y b e l i e v e that r e c o g n i t i o n , once obtained, " w i l l make a l l the d i f f e r e n c e i n g e t t i n g ahead". In essence they b e l i e v e t h a t ' t h e i r experience i n the area coupled w i t h c r e d i t a i d w i l l provide the advantage needed to make success a c e r t a i n t y . A g r i c u l t u r a l Landscapes Land Area C u l t i v a t e d There are no accurate s t a t i s t i c s a v a i l a b l e to det e r -mine the area of land under c u l t i v a t i o n i n E l Tig r e . The re s i d e n t s have a vague notion of how many hectares each i n d i v i d u a l c u l t i v a t e s at present, but i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine whether present acreage under c u l t i v a t i o n i s re p r e s e n t a t i v e of the norm. A v i s u a l examination of a e r i a l photos taken over successive years would a s s i s t c o nsiderably i n the estimation of areas c u l t i v a t e d at present and i n the past. Such photos, however, are not a v a i l a b l e f o r the area. The sole i n d i c a t o r to compare past and present land areas c u l t i v a t e d i s that a l l persons interviewed agreed that i t i s "about the same". Today, the average area of a milpa f o r the a d u l t male i s s l i g h t l y l e s s than two hectares. This s i z e u s u a l l y increases s l i g h t l y when two or more men work c o - o p e r a t i v e l y to c l e a r l a r g e r p a r c e l s . In 1973, there were about 30 milpas under c u l t i v a t i o n , t o t a l l i n g approximately 60-70 hectares. This i n d i c a t e s that the average amount of land c u l t i v a t e d i n E l Tigre does not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from that c u l t i v a t e d i n the c o l o n i e s which b e n e f i t from c r e d i t group a i d . Methods of A g r i c u l t u r e Slash/burn techniques are p r a c t i c e d i n E l Tigre as they are i n Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza by persons not p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n c r e d i t groups. Without mechanization, i t i s impossible t o c l e a r the land t o t a l l y of t r e e stumps, la r g e limbs and r o c k s . T h i s , however, i s not a goal. 3 (Figure 4.3.) Once the area f o r the p o t e n t i a l milpa i s determined, the s i t e i s burned. Machetes are then used to cut remaining underbrush and s m a l l e r t r e e s . F i r e s , the ashes of which w i l l act as a n a t u r a l , although chemically l i m i t e d , f e r t i l i z e r , are then set again to c l e a r t h i s d e b r i s . The new grass shoots a t t r a c t deer as w e l l , and a supply of venison i s u s u a l l y r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e when milpas are burned. Digging s t i c k s are used to make holes i n the ground f o r seeds. (Figure 4 . 4 . ) Several of the men possessed metal bars, which are p r e f e r r e d as they are heavier and e a s i e r to t h r u s t i n t o the ground. Seeds are planted i n rows as much as i s p o s s i b l e , but rocks and limbs make t h i s d i f f i c u l t . Forked branches cut from t r e e s are used i n the weeding process. The crop i s p u l l e d out of the way w i t h the forked s t i c k , and the weeds at the base of the crop are cut w i t h the machete. There are no plows or mules to help i n weeding. When c h i l e i s planted, ashes from burnings do not provide adequate amounts of f e r t i l i z e r . A d d i t i o n a l f e r t i l i z e r i s purchased w i t h savings the e j i d a t a r i o has managed to accumulate e i t h e r through s a l e s of h i s crops or, more l i k e l y , w i t h wages earned f o r supplemental work such as the c l e a r i n g of pastures i n nearby e j i d o s . The f e r t i l i z e r i s poured onto a t r i a n g u l a r piece of cotton, which forms a pouch when the ends are t i e d together. This pouch i s shaken over the ground where the seed i s placed, and over the young plant when i t breaks through the ground. The shaking e f f e c t i v e l y dusts the plant w i t h the f e r t i l i z e r . The slash/burn method w i l l e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t i n the l o s s of f e r t i l i t y i n the milpa. A f t e r a period of years, three i s u s u a l l y the maximum, the milpas are l e f t to l i e Figure 4 .3 Reburning and c l e a r i n g a milpa w i t h machete and f i r e . Figure 4 . 4 P l a n t i n g maiz w i t h a digging s t i c k . f a l l o w and regain t h e i r f e r t i l i t y . In t h e i r stead, new milpas are c l e a r e d on land that has been l e f t f a l l o w . Products produced Maiz i s the most important crop grown and i t i s r a i s e d i n every milpa. I t i s the only a g r i c u l t u r a l product that i s s o l d on the market by the m a j o r i t y of the people. The average investment f o r the product i s $400M ($32U.S.) per milpa. Most are able to make t h i s expenditure. The average r e t u r n , b a r r i n g i l l - l u c k such as poor weather or i n s e c t plagues, can be $2,000M ($160U.S.). Maiz crops a f f o r d the l e a s t number of r i s k s , a l l o w f o r some p r o f i t , and are a part of l i f e . Chigua, some watermelons, and f r i j o l e s may be planted i n the same milpas. Seeds f o r these p l a n t s are placed i n the same hole w i t h the maiz seeds and the vines from the chigua and watermelon p l a n t s p r a c t i c a l l y cover the milpa f l o o r , a good p r a c t i c e f o r h e l p i n g to c o n t r o l weeds, conserve humus, a and r e t a i n moisture during r a i n - s c a r c e months by shading the milpa f l o o r . F r i j o l e s are not as e x t e n s i v e l y grown as might be expected. This i s l i k e l y due to l o c a l chemical d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the s o i l . The main v a r i e t y that i s grown i s used as feed f o r p i g s . I f one i s able to accumulate enough c a p i t a l , an investment i s often made i n c h i l e xalapena. This crop r e -qu i r e s an investment of about $5,000M (J400U.S.), but can gross between $25-30,OOOM ($2 ,000-2,40011. S. ) per hectare. The investment costs are p r i m a r i l y i n f e r t i l i z e r s , of which the plant r e q u i r e s s i g n i f i c a n t amounts. The seeds cannot be planted w i t h other seeds, and the r i s k s f o r the crop are great as i t has l i t t l e t o l e r a n c e f o r extremes i n temperature as experienced w i t h nortes. The plant i s a l s o p a r t i c u l a r l y s u s c e p t i b l e to b l i g h t s . Only two hectares i n E l Tigre were planted i n c h i l e xalapena. As mentioned, a v a r i e t y of vegetables and f r u i t s are grown i n k i t c h e n gardens. These products are p r i m a r i l y f o r home use, and are r a r e l y s o l d outside the community. Every householder a l s o r a i s e s the usual pigs and chickens. No bank p o l i c y d i c t a t e s which crops w i l l be planted, or i n what q u a n t i t y . This i s an i n d i v i d u a l d e c i s i o n . How-ever, economic r e a l i t i e s u s u a l l y serve as a c o n s t r a i n t . There i s always a market f o r maiz, and i t s c u l t i v a t i o n e n t a i l s the fewest r i s k s . For most, t h i s i s the product that i s planted. Few people are able to accumulate the c a p i t a l necessary f o r i n v e s t i n g i n products l i k e c h i l e xalapena or r i c e . Summary E l Tigre i s v i r t u a l l y unaffected by government a i d . I t s a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes resemble the milpas i n Venustiano Carranza and Nuevo Coahuila that are c u l t i v a t e d without c r e d i t a i d . Slash/burn methods are the only ones employed.. However, the r e s i d e n t s are proud of t h e i r community and the f a c t that they have chosen to organize themselves as an e j i d o . Disappointment w i t h the lack of government a i d e x i s t s , but not d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . Instead, there i s an optimism t h a t once the e j i d o i s recognized, the economic w e l l -being of the community w i l l be enhanced. A l l e g i a n c e t o the community i s not diminished t o date by a lack of a i d . E l Tigre's u n i t y derives from two main sources. The long-term residence of most people and the k i n s h i p t i e s i n the community enhance a communal sense of s e c u r i t y . This has f o s t e r e d a u n i t y which provides a good p o t e n t i a l b a s i s f o r E l Tigre's f u t u r e development. The v o l u n t a r y adoption of the e j i d o o r g a n i z a t i o n a l framework f o r the community has c o n t r i b u t e d t o the a l l e g i a n c e r e s i d e n t s have f o r E l T i g r e . The system i s not regarded as imposed, thus no hindrance to community operations e x i s t s i n t h i s r e s p e c t . S a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the l e a d e r s h i p i n E l Tigre negates another p o t e n t i a l l y d i s r u p t i n g i n f l u e n c e . E l Tigre has few problems which could cause d i s u n i t y . The e j i d o d i f f e r s i n appearance and ambience from the c o l o n i e s , and the most s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i s i n the sanguine s p i r i t of i t s r e s i d e n t s . The people are content w i t h t h e i r community. In the c o l o n i e s one of the biggest obstacles to the develop-ment of any s u c c e s s f u l c r e d i t group appears to be the o v e r a l l d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the working environment. Because E l Tigre i s not thus hindered f u t u r e government a i d has the p o t e n t i a l of being b e n e f i c i a l to that community. FOOTNOTES CHAPTER' IV courtesy of Warren Sommer. Information i s based on 1948 a i r photo mosaics w i t h 1971 a i r obliques to update. 20ne notable f a m i l y i s that of Don Gregorio Gomez whose members comprise almost one-quarter of E l T i g r e T s p o p u l a t i o n . 3See J . C. Dickson, I I I , " A l t e r n a t i v e s to Mono-c u l t u r e i n the Humid Tropics of L a t i n America" The Pro-" f e s s i o n a l Geographer 24 (August 1972: 217-22 and Emil B. Haney, J r . The Nature of S h i f t i n g C u l t i v a t i o n i n L a t i n America, no. 45 (Madison: The Land Tenure Centre, May 1968). CHAPTER V SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The humid t r o p i c a l lowlands of Southeastern Mexico have been considered by the Mexican government as e x c e l l e n t areas f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l e x p l o i t a t i o n by l a n d l e s s peasants i n the overcrowded upland areas. However, the co l o n i e s es-t a b l i s h e d along the Candelaria R i v e r by the government have not achieved the goals set by f e d e r a l o f f i c i a l s . They have not prospered s u f f i c i e n t l y to make a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on Campeche's economy, much l e s s on the Mexican economy. High r a t e s of abandonment have f r u s t r a t e d attempts to d i s t r i b u t e land t o the l a n d l e s s ; those who leave the colony tend to go back to t h e i r homes i n the crowded uplands. F i n a l l y , the co l o n i e s have s c a r c e l y created a showplace f o r the govern-ment. Rather, o f f i c i a l s i n Mexico C i t y are r e l u c t a n t to discuss the c o l o n i e s or to r e l e a s e any s i g n i f i c a n t data r e -garding t h e i r development. As the c o l o n i e s are organized as e j i d o s , c r e d i t groups had to be formed to secure c a p i t a l f o r the a g r i -c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s of the c o l o n i s t s . Their formation was n e c e s s i t a t e d as the c o l o n i s t s themselves had l i t t l e i f any c a p i t a l and no c o l l a t e r a l w i t h which t o secure loans from p r i v a t e banks. The c r e d i t groups have the p o t e n t i a l of becoming an important part of production i n the c o l o n i e s . The i n t e n t of t h i s study was to f i n d how these c r e d i t groups a f f e c t e d the a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes i n the c o l o n i e s . To examine the groups two of the c o l o n i e s — N u e v o Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza—were st u d i e d . As somewhat of a f o i l , a t h i r d community, E l T i g r e , was s t u d i e d , wherein both c o n t r a s t s and p a r a l l e l s were discovered. This community i s organized as an e j i d o , but i s not yet recognized as such by DAAC. Thus, i t has no c r e d i t groups and i t s a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes r e f l e c t e f f o r t s unaided by funds from the c r e d i t banks. Land area c u l t i v a t e d , methods of a g r i c u l t u r e , and crops grown by c r e d i t : group members and the e j i d a t a r i o s i n E l Tigre were examined to assess the impacts of the c r e d i t groups. The r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e that the c r e d i t groups do not play a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n f o s t e r i n g the socio-economic development of group members. The most s i g n i f i c a n t d i s t i n c t i o n between the c r e d i t groups' f i e l d s and the milpas of the e j i d a t a r i o s i n E l Tigre i s a v i s u a l one, r e s u l t i n g from the d i f f e r e n t methods of a g r i c u l t u r e employed. As seen i n f i g u r e s 2 .6 and 3 .4 versus f i g u r e s 4 .3 and 4 . 4 the f i e l d s of the c r e d i t group members resemble those of North American a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s . Rows are s t r a i g h t , almost weedless, and f r e e of any d e b r i s l e f t from c l e a r i n g . In both c o l o n i e s , c r e d i t group members have the a i d of t r a c t o r s , s t e e l plows and mules to achieve these r e s u l t s . In E l T i g r e , the slash/burn method i s prac-t i c e d w i t h machete and di g g i n g s t i c k s being the only t o o l s used. These l a t t e r methods make i t impossible to c l e a r a f i e l d t o t a l l y , to keep i t weed f r e e , and to create the modern a g r i c u l t u r a l landscape. This, however, i s not des i r e d by the r e s i d e n t s of E l Ti g r e . In f a c t , i t i s questionable whether modern methods are appropriate f o r the humid t r o p i c s . S i g n i f i c a n t damage to s o i l s can occur unless tremendous investments are made to maintain s o i l f e r t i l i t y . S h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n may be the more reasonable approach to a g r i -c u l t u r a l production i n the Candelaria environment. Another v i s u a l d i f f e r e n c e r e s u l t s from the types of crops grown i n the f i e l d s of c r e d i t group members and i n the milpas of e j i d a t a r i o s i n E l Ti g r e . In the c o l o n i e s , the c r e d i t group members plant one crop, maiz or r i c e . Un-f o r t u n a t e l y , these neat, well-tended f i e l d s do not appear t o y i e l d a f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n that i s commensurate w i t h the expenditure of time, e f f o r t and money required to maintain them. On the other hand, i n E l Tigre maiz, chigua, f r i j o l e s and melon are often planted i n the same f i e l d . Many agronomists view t h i s method as more e c o l o g i c a l l y sound i n the t r o p i c s . Ground cover prevents r a p i d l e a c h i n g of s o i l s , r e t a i n s moisture during the d r i e r months and aids i n pre-s e r v i n g humus. The t i e r e d crops make maximum use of the milpa. The t h i r d obvious d i f f e r e n c e i s the presence of pastures i n Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza, and t h e i r absence i n E l T i g r e . This d i f f e r e n c e i s a t t r i b u t a b l e only to the existence of c r e d i t groups, regard l e s s of the s i z e or standard of the pastures. Without the a i d from c r e d i t banks, the maintenance of c a t t l e herds i s impossible. Although the f e d e r a l government i s t r y i n g to provide an a l t e r n a t i v e to group membership, the programme has been unsuccessful i n the c o l o n i e s , and E l Tigre's r e s i d e n t s are i n e l i g i b l e . C r e d i t groups do not appear to a f f e c t the a c t u a l area of land under c u l t i v a t i o n , despite the t e c h n i c a l and monetary a i d t h e i r members r e c e i v e . I t was found that the average milpa s i z e per c u l t i v a t o r i n E l Tigre was two hectares. As summarized i n Table VII t h i s i s approximately the same as the average f o r c r e d i t group members i n Venustiano Carranza and Nuevo Coahuila. Were the y i e l d s from c r e d i t group members' f i e l d s l a r g e r than those from milpas, the a c t u a l s i z e of the f i e l d would be l e s s important. Unfortunately, both the Banco E j i d a l and the Banco Agropecuaria refused to d i v u l g e data showing y i e l d s per person, making the u n l i k e l y c l a i m that such f i g u r e s are not recorded. 1 However, a b r i e f review of Tables I , I I , IV and V w i l l show that more often than not, r i c e and maiz group members were not able to repay t h e i r loans. The c r e d i t bank withholds a s u f f i c i e n t p o r t i o n of the harvest to recover i t s loan to the c r e d i t group. I f TABLE VII AVERAGE NUMBER OF HECTARES/PERSON CULTIVATED BY CREDIT GROUP MEMBERS Cycle NUEVO COAHUILA VENUSTIANO CARRANZA Maiz Maiz 68-68 f i 72-72 Persons 97 83 1 Hectares 270 130 143 Average 2.78 Persons 30 45 17 25 20 Hectares 70 % Average 2.33 2.26 m 4.25 TOTAL 338 794 2.34 137 384 2.80 68-68 II 72-72 Rice Rice 70 47 40 33 0 135 115 75 74 1.92 ?:8 1.94 9 0 15 14 0 20 45 32 2.22 3.00 2.28 TOTAL 195 399 2.04 38 97 2.55 the harvest i s too small to cover the loan, the remaining amount of the debt i s c a r r i e d over to the next a g r i c u l t u r a l c y c l e and the next season's harvest has t o cover the out-standing debt as w e l l as any new loan from the bank. I f the c r e d i t a i d d i d increase y i e l d s as Banco E j i d a l o f f i c i a l s would lead one to b e l i e v e , the costs of investment s t i l l o v e r r i d e the value of the harvest. E j i d a t a r i o s do not, then, seem to b e n e f i t economically from the a i d . I t appears, t h e r e f o r e , that the c r e d i t groups do create a g r i c u l t u r a l landscapes that d i f f e r v i s u a l l y from those found i n E l Tigre. However c r e d i t group membership i s s t e a d i l y d e c l i n i n g i n a l l but a few instances. Those who do leave the groups, but not the colony, r e v e r t to t r a d i t i o n a l methods of a g r i c u l t u r e . Thus the v i s u a l d i f f e r e n c e i s r e -duced. Of more importance, though, the economic d i f f e r e n c e s between c r e d i t group members and E l Tigre's r e s i d e n t s do not appear to be s i g n i f i c a n t . C r e d i t group members are often unable to repay t h e i r loans w i t h t h e i r harvests. In an e f f o r t to f i n d out why the groups have not been s u c c e s s f u l , t h i s study has examined three c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which lend u n i t y t o a group. These are the background of membership, the a l l e g i a n c e to the group, and leade r s h i p w i t h i n the group. The background of the c o l o n i s t s has had a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on the operation of the c r e d i t groups and the e j i d o s i n which the c r e d i t groups f u n c t i o n . Most notable i s Venustiano Carranza's case, where d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s of o r i g i n and d i f f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s l e d to f a c t i o n a l i s m and near abandonment of the e n t i r e e j i d o . Nuevo Coahuila has not s u f f e r e d from the above, but does share other problems w i t h Venustiano Carranza. R e s i -dents of both e j i d o s have experienced d i f f i c u l t y i n ad-j u s t i n g t o the new p h y s i c a l environment, the l o s s of f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , and the sense of i s o l a t i o n f e l t i n the c o l o n i e s . The absence of t r u l y modern farms as known i n the United States has caused great disappointment, however u n r e a l i s t i c the hope f o r t h i s type of farm u n i t was. A l l e g i a n c e to the goals and norms of the c r e d i t groups i n both Nuevo Coahuila and Venustiano Carranza i s low p a r t l y because of the b e l i e f s that one's economic p o s i t i o n could be weakened by group membership. Only i n Nuevo Coahuila's c a t t l e group has t h i s been shown to be f a l s e . D i s t r u s t of f e l l o w peasants i n h i b i t s co-operation i n the groups and t h e r e f o r e hinders the development of a l l e g i a n c e . The b e l i e f that one man may work l e s s w h i l e sharing e q u a l l y i n the p r o f i t s of the group remains f i r m l y entrenched. Problems of l e a d e r s h i p a b i l i t y have impeded e f f e c t i v e c r e d i t group operation. In Venustiano Carranza, extremely poor l e a d e r s h i p i n the e j i d o and c r e d i t groups f o s t e r e d the already-present f a c t i o n a l i s m . In both c o l o n i e s , the great dependency on the bank o f f i c i a l s f o r decision-making has slowed the development of capable leaders w i t h i n the c o l o n i e s . The e j i d a t a r i o seems r e l u c t a n t to place himself i n any r o l e where major d e c i s i o n s must be made, e s p e c i a l l y when a bank o f f i c i a l w i l l do i t f o r him. Thus, the groups are not as independent as some government and bank o f f i c i a l s would wish. Current government p o l i c y i s doing l i t t l e to s t i m u l a t e the growth and development of the c o l o n i e s along the Candelaria. One year a f t e r the establishment of a colony, most t e c h n i c a l a i d from various governmental agencies ceased. I t has been s a i d that the f e d e r a l o f f i c i a l s of DAAC have now "washed t h e i r hands" of the Candelaria Colonies, because of the costs involved to date and the f a i l u r e to achieve the hoped-f o r goals. The government's recent d e c i s i o n to r e a l i g n the c r e d i t banks' areas of j u r i s d i c t i o n has a l s o r e s u l t e d i n some problems. The Banco Agropecuaria's l a c k of i n t e r e s t i n anything but c a t t l e i s f r i g h t e n i n g to some c o l o n i s t s i n Nuevo Coahuila. In Venustiano Carranza, the spectre of the Banco E j i d a l running a l l groups i s e q u a l l y d i s t u r b i n g , as that bank i s viewed as being inept and i n e f f i c i e n t . Thus the p o l i c y has created a degree of disappointment and d i s -couragement . A much broader source of disappointment i s the a c t u a l e j i d a l framework i n which the government r e q u i r e s the c o l o n i s t s to operate. While i t i s true that the c o l o n i s t s knew beforehand that land would be held v i a the e j i d o system, and that some had been i n e j i d o s previously,, that knowledge has not abated t h e i r disappointment w i t h the system. The o v e r a l l d i s l i k e f o r the e j i d o that was observed i n both c o l o n i e s studied i s not conducive to s u c c e s s f u l c r e d i t group operation w i t h i n that framework. In E l Tigre, many of the above problems appear to be absent. In t h i s e j i d o , the s i m i l a r s o c i a l background and the length of time the r e s i d e n t s have been i n the community have allowed f o r the development of f r i e n d s h i p s and f a m i l i a l t i e s upon which the r e s i d e n t s can depend. The f a c t that most of the e j i d a t a r i o s are from the Campeche region has eliminated obstacles such as a f o r e i g n p h y s i c a l environment, homesickness, and the f e e l i n g of a l o s s of a l l that was known and f a m i l i a r . To the r e s i d e n t s of E l T i g r e , the v i l l a g e i s home. I t i s perceived as a pleasant, healthy place i n which to l i v e . The r e s i d e n t s choose t o organize themselves as an e j i d o and d e s i r e e j i d o r e c o g n i t i o n from MAC. They b e l i e v e that through the e j i d o they can best improve t h e i r economic s i t u a t i o n . The a l l e g i a n c e to the community and f a i t h i n the e j i d o system helps t o f o s t e r the u n i t y that i s present i n the community. E l Tigre's l e a d e r s h i p a l s o r e c e i v e s p r a i s e from the r e s i d e n t s . The leaders are long-time r e s i d e n t s , well-known and respected. This respect enhances the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r development of the e j i d o , e s p e c i a l l y i f r e c o g n i t i o n should be gained and c r e d i t group operation begun. I m p l i c a t i o n s I t i s p o s s i b l e that minor v a r i a t i o n s have been introduced w i t h i n the c r e d i t groups of the Candelaria Colonies i n the form of new or amended r e g u l a t i o n s since the p e r i o d of the f i e l d observations on which t h i s study i s based. Never-t h e l e s s , t h i s study i s not obsolete. I t s conclusions ad-vocate a major r e - s t r u c t u r i n g e f f o r t , r a t h e r than the b i t s of p l a s t e r that have been a p p l i e d to the cracks of the e x i s t i n g e d i f i c e . Of the three communities s t u d i e d , E l Tigre probably has the greatest p o t e n t i a l f o r development. I t i s the most cohesive and u n i f i e d community. However, the government's p o l i c y of w i t h h o l d i n g a i d from e j i d o s l a c k i n g o f f i c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n prevents E l Tigre from r e c e i v i n g much b e n e f i c i a l f e d e r a l a s s i s t a n c e . With r e c o g n i t i o n , i t appears th a t the proposed c r e d i t groups would have f a r fewer obstacles to e f f i c i e n t o p e ration. E l Tigre's population has a shared, s i m i l a r background w i t h more than twenty years of common t r a d i t i o n , a l l e g i a n c e to the community and t r u s t i n i t s l e a d e r s . These people are committed to t h e i r v i l l a g e and to the e j i d o system. At t h i s p o i n t , then, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to prog-n o s t i c a t e c o n d i t i o n s which could create favourable s o c i a l environments i n f u t u r e c o l o n i z a t i o n p r o j e c t s . One must f i r s t accept that the e j i d o system w i l l continue to play an important r o l e i n land settlement. The system does come under a t t a c k f o r i t s f a u l t s , but abandonment of the e j i d o as a means of d i s t r i b u t i n g and hol d i n g lands i s u n l i k e l y i n the near f u t u r e . Therefore, c r e d i t groups w i l l a l s o continue to play an important r o l e . However, to be e f f e c t i v e , changes must take place i n the groups. Credit groups, p a r t i c u l a r l y those sponsored by the Banco E j i d a l , r e q u i r e the Mexican peasant to work i n a confusing and u n f a m i l i a r way. On the one hand, the peasant i s a l l o t t e d a p a r c e l of land to c u l t i v a t e . This s a t i s f i e s , to a degree, h i s need f o r independence. But, i n order to c u l t i v a t e the land s u c c e s s f u l l y and b e n e f i t from government a i d , the peasant must work wi t h a group where co-operation and sharing of equipment, t e c h n i c a l a i d , debt burden, e t c . , are r e q u i r e d . Fromm and Maccoby have shown that the Mexican peasant f i n d s i t d i f f i c u l t t o take part i n such ventures owing to a strong sense of p r i v a t e property. 2 Therefore, i t seems the current c r e d i t group framework needs to be changed. Perhaps the most s a t i s f y i n g change from the peasant's viewpoint would be to allow loans to be made to i n d i v i d u a l s and. forego the groups a l t o g e t h e r . This i s an u n l i k e l y p r o b a b i l i t y , due to the l a c k of s e c u r i t y the lending banks would have f o r loan repayment. Even the government sponsored banks do not want to los e money i n t h e i r t r a n s a c t i o n s and are a c t i v e l y encouraged to operate i n the black. Nonetheless, i f the peasant were able t o work on h i s own, w i t h super-v i s i o n , he might be more productive. Some i n i t i a l l o s s e s might have to be in c u r r e d before b e n e f i t s would accrue. The current system does not appear to be e l i m i n a t i n g s i m i l a r l o s s e s . Perhaps another a l t e r n a t i v e would be to organize groups to operate more l i k e those of the Banco Agropecuaria. In e f f e c t , t h i s would mean developing a framework where true co-operation would be necessary to succeed, as i t i s i n the c a t t l e groups. This would n e c e s s i t a t e the a n t i c i p a t i o n of severe group a t t r i t i o n and p o s s i b l e c o n f l i c t s , as the peasants are not used to co-operative groups. However wi t h a good working environment, i t i s p o s s i b l e that s u c c e s s f u l groups s i m i l a r t o Nuevo Coahuila's c a t t l e group could develop. Membership would l i k e l y be s m a l l , but t h i s would probably be advantageous, a l l o w i n g f o r increased f a m i l i a r i t y between members and thus f o r b e t t e r co-operation. Perhaps such co-operation might work only i n those groups where production i s d i f f i c u l t on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s , as i n the c a t t l e groups. I t might be u s e f u l f o r c o l o n i e s to concentrate on c a t t l e production i n areas w i t h s u i t a b l e environments, and a d v e r t i s e t h i s o r i e n t a t i o n p r i o r to c o l o n i z a t i o n . C o l o n i s t s would then be aware of a p o l i c y f a v o u r i n g one type of production. A c e r t a i n amount of r e - t h i n k i n g would be necessary on the peasant's p a r t . With any demonstrable degree of success, other groups would l i k e l y form: witness the two new c a t t l e groups that have formed i n Nuevo Coahuila, t h e i r members w i l l i n g to work c o - o p e r a t i v e l y . The c a t t l e groups are the only groups which seem to be economically v i a b l e i n the Candelaria Colonies. Another way to enhance the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r co-operation w i t h i n c o l o n i e s would be to encourage the movement of an e n t i r e community to a new area. This would preserve many k i n s h i p and compadrazco t i e s as w e l l as d i m i n i s h some of the d i s t r u s t and f e a r found i n c o l o n i e s of s t r a n g e r s . 3 Again, the process would r e q u i r e a great deal of convincing and p r e p a r a t i o n . I t would be expensive. However, the ex-pense might be l e s s than the c o n t i n u i n g costs now experienced w i t h present c o l o n i z a t i o n schemes. I t i s p a t e n t l y u n r e a l i s t i c to expect that a random s e l e c t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s of d i f f e r i n g o r i g i n s , expectations, experience and motivation, brought en masse i n t o an un-f a m i l i a r and i s o l a t e d environment w i l l , i n some miraculous f a s h i o n , k n i t i t s e l f i n t o a cohesive, group-oriented co-operative community. Such a community, by v i r t u e of i t s formation, i s a contrivance, inasmuch as i t i s an a r t i f i c i a l s o c i a l phenomenon. In place of planned settlement, areas such as the Candelaria region could be l e f t to develop spontaneously. Only those persons committed to a new l i f e i n the area would p a r t i c i p a t e , a l l e v i a t i n g problems of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , discouragement, and u l t i m a t e l y apathy which c u r r e n t l y beset the planned communities. I t i s p o s s i b l e that a f t e r a period of time r e s i d e n t s would v o l u n t a r i l y form e j i d o s , as has happened i n E l Tigre and elsewhere i n the T r o p i c a l Lowlands. I t i s at t h i s stage where i t seems that c r e d i t could be put to use more e f f e c t i v e l y . Problems of land agglomeration would undoubtedly a r i s e . Small numbers of i n d i v i d u a l s would t r y to gain con-t r o l of la r g e areas of land, c r e a t i n g a s i t u a t i o n incom-p a t i b l e w i t h Revolutionary i d e a l s . I t would seem that w i t h proper and e f f e c t i v e government s u p e r v i s i o n , these problems could be avoided. The cost f o r such s u p e r v i s i o n could be high, but as of 1972, the amount spent per f a m i l y i n s e t -t l i n g the unsuccessful c o l o n i e s has exceeded $6,000U.S. 4 Perhaps the lack of a common ideology which would u n i f y the pioneering venture has co n t r i b u t e d to the apparent f a i l u r e of the Candelaria c o l o n i z a t i o n p r o j e c t . The peasants do not f e e l i n s p i r e d to p a r t i c i p a t e and achieve as a com-munity. The p r o j e c t i s not an heroic venture and l a c k s a goal or an idea shared by the p a r t i c i p a n t s . The e j i d a t a r i o s act as i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n a framework that c a l l s f o r group co-operation. The Mexican government cannot continue to shore up the current weak system of s e t t l i n g unoccupied lands. The plans to move more people i n t o Quintana Roo, Yucatan and of past experiences such as those described i n t h i s study. Without tr u e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of a l t e r n a t i v e s , the present and proposed settlements are l i k e l y to end up as f a i l u r e s , w i t h the government doing more handwashing. FOOTNOTES CHAPTER V •^-Problems of informat i o n c o l l e c t i o n are common when resear c h i n g the l e s s s u c c e s s f u l aspects of Mexican a g r a r i a n p r o j e c t s . As Michael Nelson notes i n The Development of  T r o p i c a l Lands: P o l i c y Issues i n L a t i n America (Washington: Resources f o r the Future, 1973), government agencies con-nected w i t h a f i a s c o are r e l u c t a n t to di v u l g e i n f o r m a t i o n regarding the f a i l e d p r o j e c t . Such was the case encountered by t h i s researcher when d i s c u s s i n g the Candelaria Colonies w i t h DAACT the Banco E j i d a l , and t o some degree, the Banco Agropecuaria. 2Fromm and Maccoby, p. 208. 3The p o s i t i v e b e n e f i t s of maintenance of f a m i l y and compadrazco t i e s i n new communities i n Mexico has been noted by s e v e r a l authors, i n c l u d i n g Juan B a l l e s t e r o s , Matthew E d e l , and Michael Nelson, La Colo n i z a c i o n d e l Papaloapan (Mexico C i t y : Centro de Investigaciones A g r a r i a s , 1970), A l f r e d H. Siemens, "Recent Spontaneous Settlement i n Southern Veracruz, Mexico: The Development of an Untidy F r o n t i e r , " Occasional  Papers of the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n of Geographers. B.C. 153-72. ^Michael Nelson i n t e r v i e w . 5This proposal, s t i l l i n the planning phase, was not g e n e r a l l y known to the p u b l i c at the time of t h i s study. Conversations w i t h consultants working f o r the Departamento de Recursos Hydralicos revealed the proposals and the p r i v a t e b e l i e f that they would be doomed to f a i l u r e . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , the consultants were working i n Candelaria to examine the success of the c o l o n i e s from an a g r i c u l t u r a l point of view. S o i l c a p a b i l i t y , c l i m a t e , hydrology, e t c . , were being r e -examined, the government wanting to be sure that problems i n the Cand.elaria Colonies were not r e l a t e d to p h y s i c a l character-i s t i c s of the s i t e . No i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o the s o c i a l problems of the colo n i e s were planned. BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, Robert. Agrarian Reform i n L a t i n America. New York: M a c S i l l a n P u b l i s h i n g Company, 1974. Backstrom, Charles H. and Hursh, Gerald D. Survey Research. 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New York: Praeger P u b l i s h e r s , 1966. Coe, Michael D. Mexico. New York: Praeger P u b l i s h e r s , 1962. Crumrine, Lynne S. and Crumrine, N. Ross. "Mundo de l a Selva vs. Tractor: Sistema Economico Moderno de l o s / I n d i o s Mayos en e l Noroesto de Mexico." America Indigenia 27 (October 1967): pp. 715-733. Davis, James H. Group Performance. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley P u b l i s h i n g Company, 1969. D i c k i n s o n , J . C , I I I . " A l t e r n a t i v e s to Monoculture i n the Humid Tropics of L a t i n America." The P r o f e s s i o n a l  Geographer 24 (August 1972): pp. 217-222. Dorner, e t . a l . "Land Tenure and Reform: Issues i n L a t i n American Developments." Newsletter, Land Tenure  Center. Madison: Land Tenure Center, no. 29 (March-August 1969), pp. 1-10. E t z i o n i , A m i t a i . "Dual Leadership i n Complex Organizations." American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review 30 (October 1965): pp. 688-698. Fernandez y Fernandez, Ramo'n and Acosta, Ricardo. P o l i t i c a A g r i c o l a . Mexico C i t y : Fondo de Cul t u r a Econdmica, T % l 1 F e s t i n g e r , L. "An A n a l y s i s of Complaint Behavior." In Group Rela t i o n s at the Crossroads. Edited by M. S h e r i f and M. 0. Wilson, New York: Harper and Row, 1953. F e s t i n g e r , L. "A Theory of S o c i a l Comparison Processes." Human R e l a t i o n s 7 (1954): pp. 117-140. F i e d l e r , Fred E. A Theory of Leadership E f f e c t i v e n e s s . New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1967. Fos t e r , George M. Tzintzuntzan: Mexican Peasants i n a Changing World. Boston: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1967. Fromm, E r i c h and Maccoby, Michael. S o c i a l Character i n a  Mexican V i l l a g e . Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1970. G i l b e r t , E. W. and Ste e l e , R. W. " S o c i a l Geography and I t s Place i n C o l o n i a l S t u d i e s . " The Geographical Journa l 106 (September-October, 1945): 118-131. Haney, Emil B., J r . The Nature of S h i f t i n g C u l t i v a t i o n i n L a t i n America. Madison: Land Tenure Center, no. 45, (May, 1968). Heijmerink, Johannes J . M. "La Colonizacio'n de un Grupo de Ind£gehas en l a Mixteca Baja Estado de Oaxaca, Mexico." America Indigena 26 ( A p r i l 1966: 153-172). Houston, J . M. A S o c i a l Geography of Europe. London: Gerald Duckworth and Company, 1963. Huntington, C. C. and Carlson, Fred A. Environmental Basis  of S o c i a l Geography. New York: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1930. James, Preston E. L a t i n America. 4th ed. New York: Odyssey Press, 1969. K a r i e l , H. G. and P. E. K a r i e l . Explanations i n S o c i a l Geography. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley P u b l i s h i n g Company, 1972. Kluckholm, Florence. "The P a r t i c i p a n t - O b s e r v a t i o n Technique i n Small Communities." American Journa l of Sociology 49 (1940): 331-343. Lewis, Oscar. Pedro Martinez. New York: Vintage Books, 1964. Lundberg, George A. S o c i a l Research. New York: Longmans, Green and Company, 1942. Madge, John. The Tools of S o c i a l Science. Garden C i t y , New Jersey: Anchor Books, 1963, pp. 190-195. Moser, C. A. Survey Methods. London: Books, 1958, pp. 175-184. Heineman Educational McDavid, John W. and H a r a r i , Herbert. S o c i a l Psychology: I n d i v i d u a l s . Groups, S o c i e t i e s . New York: Harper and Row, 1968. Nelson, Cynthia. The Waiting V i l l a g e : S o c i a l Change i n Rural M e x i c o B£ito~n: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1971. Nelson, Michael. Ford Foundation, Mexico C i t y , Mexico. Interview, 20 December 1972. New York Times. "Mexico S e t t l e s a Jungle Region." New  York Times. 2 February 1964, p. 25. Perez, Mavan. "Candelaria C o l o n i a s . " F i l e , Centro de Investigaciones A g r a r i a , Mexico, D.F., O f f i c e of Juan B a l l e s t e r o s Porta. P o t t e r , Jack M., e t . a l . Peasant Society, A Reader. L i t t l e , . Brown and Company, 1967. Pozas, Ricardo. Juan, The Chamula. Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1969. Phipps, Helen. Some Aspects of the Agrarian Question i n Mexico: An H i s t o r i c a l Study. A u s t i n : U n i v e r s i t y of Texas Press, 1925. R e d f i e l d , Robert. The Folk Cult u r e of Yucatan. Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1941. Sawatzky, Harry Leonard. They Sought a Country. Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1971. Schaffer, V i c t o r M a n z a n i l l a . Reforma A g r a r i a Mexicana. Colima: Universidad de Colima, 1966. Scott, John Paul and Sco t t , Sarah F., eds., S o c i a l Control  and S o c i a l Change. Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1971. Shafer, Robert J . Mexico: Mutual Adjustment Planning. Syracuse: Syracuse U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1966. Siemens, A l f r e d H. "New A g r i c u l t u r a l Settlements Along Mexico's Candelaria R i v e r . " Inter-American  Economic A f f a i r s , 20 (Summer 1966): 23-39. Siemens, A l f r e d H. "Recent Spontaneous Settlement i n Southern Veracruz, Mexico: The Development of an Untidy Fron-t i e r . " Occasional Papers of the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n  of Geographers, B.C. D i v i s i o n , no. 6 (1964): 67-78. Siemens, A l f r e d H. and F u l l e r , Richard. "Transplanted Peasants: Some Perspectives on the C o l o n i z a t i o n of New A g r i c u l t u r a l Lands i n Southeastern Mexico," Paper presented at the Conference on Peasant S o c i a l and P o l i t i c a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n : A s i a and L a t i n America, Vancouver, B.C., 16 February 1973. Siemens, A l f r e d H. and Puleston, Dennis E. "Ridged F i e l d s and Associated Features i n Southern Campeche: New Perspectives on the Lowland Maya." American A n t i q u i t y 37 ( A p r i l 1972): 228-239. Simpson, E y l a r N. The E j i d o . Chapel H i l l : U n i v e r s i t y of North C a r o l i n a Press, 1937. Stavenhagen, Rodolfo, ed. Agrarian Problems and Peasant Movements i n L a t i n America. Garden C i t y , New York: Anchor Books, 1970. Taylor, James R. " A g r i c u l t u r a l Development i n the Humid Tropics of Ce n t r a l America." Inter-American Economic A f f a i r s 24 (Summer 1970): 41-49. T r i p o d i , Tony, e t . a l . S o c i a l Program E v a l u a t i o n . I t a s c a , I l l i n o i s : F. E. Peacock P u b l i s h e r s , 1971. Vernon, Raymond. The Dilemma of Mexico's Development. Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965. Warriner Doreen. Land Reform i n P r i n c i p l e & P r a c t i c e . Oxford: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1969. Whetteh, Nathan L. Ru r a l Mexico. Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1948. Wolf, E r i c and Edward C. Hansen. The Human Condition i n L a t i n America. New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1972. Wood, Harold A. "Spontaneous A g r i c u l t u r a l C o l o n i z a t i o n i n Ecuador." Annals of the A s s o c i a t i o n of American  Geographers 62 (December 1972): 599-617. APPENDIX SAMPLING OF QUESTIONS ASKED OF RESIDENTS IN THE FIELD AREA Group One: Questions r e l a t e d t o s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the groups. (a) How long have you l i v e d here? Where are you from? What d i d you do p r i o r to a r r i v a l ? Have you ever worked on an American farm?? Did your f a m i l y or f r i e n d s come here w i t h you? (b) Are you i n a c r e d i t group? Why/Why not? Do the groups help you? Are you glad you are i n a c r e d i t group? Do you know other group members? Are they your f r i e n d s ? (c) Do you l i k e your community/ejido? What could be changed to improve i t ? .Does the government/bank need to change? Do you need to change to make your community more suc c e s s f u l ? Should the e j i d o system be retained? (d) Who are the c r e d i t group/ejido/bank leaders? What do they do? Are they good at t h e i r jobs? Do you need these people?' Group Two: Questions to determine what government programs are a v a i l a b l e t o a i d the f i e l d area and what programs were i n use. (a) What government programs help you here,? Has a i d from the government increased or decreased over the past ten years? Do you know of any other programs i n use i n the community that could help you? Do you know of any other programs th a t could help you? (b) How do the banks/government help the c r e d i t groups/ejido? Is there a d i f f e r e n c e i n a i d f o r those who are i n c r e d i t groups and those who are not? Group Three: Questions to determine the impacts of the c r e d i t groups on the f i e l d area. (a) What are the advantages of being i n a c r e d i t group? Are c r e d i t group members b e t t e r - o f f economically than those who are not i n groups? What advantages do you have by being/not being i n a c r e d i t group? Do a l l people i n the community use the same farming methods? What are the d i f f e r e n c e s ? (b) What are d i f f e r e n c e s between d i f f e r e n t c r e d i t Do you t h i n k these make a d i f f e r e n c e w i t h i n the community? Between t h i s and other communities? How? (c) Would t h i s community be the same without/with c r e d i t groups? How? 

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