1958 – 1973
This paper is supposed to answer the question, How the Agrarian Reform affected in the loss of democracy in Chile?, in 1973 after Allende`s government.
I will make a little description of the historical development of the agrarian reform, the principal precursorsof it, the reasons why it was created and carried out and finally the reasons why I think it affected the democracy in Chile.
The agrarian reform can be divided in 2 parts, first between 1925 and 1958 and the second part between 1958 and 1973.
The first glimpsing of the agrarian reform was during the constitutional reform of 1925 during Alessandri Palma´s government. Therethe president called people from both sides. The land owners and the people who want to make it effective.
The problem in Chile was that we started to be an importer of agricultural importers because the internal production wasn’t enough for the demand that the country had. The 45% of the usable lands for agriculture belongs to 4% of the richest people in the country.
These lands belong to thesepeople from the time of the Spanish colony and the lands were a gift of the Kings to the persons who were loyal to them.
Finally after some days of discussions they decide to maintain the legitimacy of the private property but “the right is subject to limitations or rules that require the maintenance and progress of the social order”1 so it means that the government could take some lands tomaintain the development and the calm in the country. Some years after, there was another important fact for the reform. They create the “Caja de Colonización Agraria”; the idea of this was to "Acquire rural properties, subdivide and sell, to eventually form a segment of middle land owners"2
The problem with “la caja” was that in 1929 the Black Tuesday happened so it doesn’t have any money to buy thelands and resell them so the reform was suspended until 1958 but during the period happened a lot of things related with the reform.
One of those things was that during the 50th decade the CORFO promoted the mechanization and the workers capacitating but despite this effort the production didn’t have any improvement.
Some years before the government signed an agreement with the United States toimprove the technologies used here and some financial programs but once again there wasn’t any improvement in the production.
On the other side there was the social problem in Chile. The society was divided in two parts, on one side there was the land owner`s who where the person who belong the lands and in the other side was the tenant who received the right to work a piece of the land and allthe production they made was for the owner of the lands and as payment they received a house, some food and a little portion of the money made by the owner.
So it called the attention of the communism because they were really interested in the problems of the poor people and they said that it couldn’t continue this way.
But in 1953 the law of “minimal salary for the peasant” was the first realchange in the relation between the owner and the peasant and if the owner wanted to dismiss any of his workers he has to pay for the years worked.
Then in 1958 Alessandri Rodriguez was elected and he started again the reform.
His first action was to change “la caja” and he created the “CORA”3 and the idea of this corporation was to expropriate the non used lands or the bad used lands that could beused for the production of food and were given to the peasants. The problem with this was that the peasant has the lands but the big land owners received all the production and the prices they paid were not that fair.
The other problem in this period was that the majority of the lands expropriated belong to the state so there wasn’t really a big change on the big land owner’s property.