Enclosed: Conservation, Cattle, and Commerce Among the Q’eqchi’ Maya Lowlanders

Paperback | January 24, 2012

byLiza GrandiaForeword byK. Sivaramakrishnan

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This impassioned and rigorous analysis of the territorial plight of the Q'eqchi Maya of Guatemala highlights an urgent problem for indigenous communities around the world - repeated displacement from their lands. Liza Grandia uses the tools of ethnography, history, cartography, and ecology to explore the recurring enclosures of Guatemala's second largest indigenous group, who number a million strong. Having lost most of their highland territory to foreign coffee planters at the end of the 19th century, Q'eqchi' people began migrating into the lowland forests of northern Guatemala and southern Belize. Then, pushed deeper into the frontier by cattle ranchers, lowland Q'eqchi' found themselves in conflict with biodiversity conservationists who established protected areas across this region during the 1990s.

The lowland, maize-growing Q'eqchi' of the 21st century face even more problems as they are swept into global markets through the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) and the Puebla to Panama Plan (PPP). The waves of dispossession imposed upon them, driven by encroaching coffee plantations, cattle ranches, and protected areas, have unsettled these agrarian people. Enclosed describes how they have faced and survived their challenges and, in doing so, helps to explain what is happening in other contemporary enclosures of public "common" space.

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This impassioned and rigorous analysis of the territorial plight of the Q'eqchi Maya of Guatemala highlights an urgent problem for indigenous communities around the world - repeated displacement from their lands. Liza Grandia uses the tools of ethnography, history, cartography, and ecology to explore the recurring enclosures of Guatema...

Liza Grandia is assistant professor of Native American studies at UC Davis.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.99 × 5.98 × 0.77 inPublished:January 24, 2012Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295991666

ISBN - 13:9780295991665

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Table of Contents

Foreword by K. SivaramakrishnanPrefaceAcknowledgementsQ'eqchi' Language and OrthographyNotes on MeasurementsMaps

Introduction: Commons Past

1. Liberal Plunder: A Recurring Q'eqchi' History

2. Maya Gringos: Q'eqchi' Lowland Migration and Territorial Expansion

3. Commons, Customs, and Carrying Capacities: The Property and Population Traps of the Peten Frontier

4. Speculating: The World Bank's Market-Assisted Land Reform

5. From Colonial to Corporate Capitalism: Expanding Cattle Frontiers

6. The Neoliberal Auction: The PPP and the DR-CAFTA

Conclusion: Common Features

GlossaryAcronymsNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

This impassioned and rigorous analysis of the territorial plight of the Q'eqchi Maya of Guatemala highlights an urgent problem for indigenous communities around the world - repeated displacement from their lands. Liza Grandia uses the tools of ethnography, history, cartography, and ecology to explore the recurring enclosures of Guatemala's second largest indigenous group, who number a million strong. Having lost most of their highland territory to foreign coffee planters at the end of the 19th century, Q'eqchi' people began migrating into the lowland forests of northern Guatemala and southern Belize. Then, pushed deeper into the frontier by cattle ranchers, lowland Q'eqchi' found themselves in conflict with biodiversity conservationists who established protected areas across this region during the 1990s.The lowland, maize-growing Q'eqchi' of the 21st century face even more problems as they are swept into global markets through the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) and the Puebla to Panama Plan (PPP). The waves of dispossession imposed upon them, driven by encroaching coffee plantations, cattle ranches, and protected areas, have unsettled these agrarian people. Enclosed describes how they have faced and survived their challenges and, in doing so, helps to explain what is happening in other contemporary enclosures of public "common" space.A compelling read and a significant scholarly contribution to our understanding of indigenous communities dealing with the destructive but also seductive penetration of global corporate interests. - Eugene Hunn, author of A Zapotec Natural History: Trees, Herbs, and Flowers, Birds, Beasts, and Bugs in the Life of San Juan Gbee