This chapter explores the structural difficulties faced by progressive reforms aimed at redistributing rural property through constitutional provisions. In different historical periods, legal scholars and activists have placed their faith in constitutional reforms and adjudication to attack rural property concentration in Latin America. The objective of this chapter is to analyze some of the limitations that constitutional law and judicial interpretation have had in Colombia. It argues that redistribution is stalled by the coexistence of different definitions of property; the concentration of public resources for economic development plans that privilege a liberal classical view of growth, property and distribution; existing conflicts between access to land, the right to work and the right to develop enterprises, as well as the contradictions between identities at the margins who may be provided with collective titles to property. In order to delineate the presence of these same contradictions in other contexts, the chapter ends with a short parallel to the Bolivian case.
Helena Alviar Garcia
Helena Alviar García
The chapter proposes to include in the term ‘authoritarian constitutionalism’ the set of provisions that fix neoliberal orthodoxy as the only policy choice available to public officials. It opposes the justification that economic policy should be protected from political deliberation and argues that constitutionally enshrining the agenda of fiscal austerity, free trade, export led growth and the protection of foreign investment is a form of authoritarianism. It provides examples from the Latin American context.