Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics, History and Political Science

The Annals is a forum for the free exchange of ideas
among scholars working in the field of social sciences
Volume LVI 1 - 2022

Ejidatario and Bracero: The Troublesome Relation Between Land and Mobility in Mexico (1940s-1950s)

Claudia Bernardi,
pp. 101-128
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This paper aims to investigate the role of the land reform and labour recruitment systems in governing farmworkers mobility and immobilisation, in particular the practices of mobility of Mexican peasants in the aftermath of the agrarian reform, and during the guest workers program between Mexico and the United States (1942-1964). Under the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940), agrarian reform, expropriation of large land estates and its redistribution in cooperative and collective holdings (ejido) constituted an important trajectory of peasantries’ transformation and set off an era of prosperity until the 1960s. In this context, farmworkers’ transnational mobility was the outcome of different strategies that shaped the relation between land possession and labour mobility. Through the use of sources collected in the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City, the essay investigates the relation between peasant’s mobility and forms of land possession by: describing the forms of land possession and their juridical framework after the agrarian reform; focusing on the management of Mexican workers’ mobility; assessing the desires and practices of mobility of ejidatario and other peasants that interacted with the politics of immobilisation within Mexico