Mexico: The Land-Reform Lesson

Start a Latin American reformer talking, and he will begin reciting the region's needs almost by rote: schools, houses, hospitals — and, always, land reform. As his example of land reform, he invariably points to Mexico, where land and liberty, tierra y libertad, was the war cry of Emiliano Zapata when his peasant army sacked the giant haciendas and occupied Mexico City in the bloody 1910 revolution. In those days, 835 rich families controlled 97% of the country's cultivated land. But not for long. In 1913, leading a band of armed riders,...

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