It is almost universally recognized that land reform in Latin America is of vital interest to all of the countries of the hemisphere, and that it is long overdue. The degree of concentration of landholdings in the great estates (the latifundios) is astonishing: in Brazil, it appears that 1.5 per cent of all landholdings account for over 48 per cent of the farm area; in Chile, 1.4 per cent of holdings account for over 68 per cent of the farm area; in Ecuador, 0.17 per cent of holdings account for 37 per cent of the farm land; in Venezuela, 1.69 per cent of holdings account for 74 per cent of the farm land; in Guatemala, 0.15 per cent of holdings account for 41 per cent of the farm acreage, and so on. For Latin America as a whole, it has been estimated that roughly 90 per cent of the land belongs to 10 per cent of the owners, and that holdings of over 1,000 hectares (over 2,470 acres) account for only 1.5 per cent of the farms, but comprise over 64 per cent of the farm land.7 By way of comparison, it is interesting to note that in pre-revolutionary Cuba, 1.4 per cent of all holdings accounted for 47 per cent of the farm area.
Roy L. Prosterman,
Land Reform in Latin America: How to Have a Revolution Without a Revolution,
42 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol42/iss1/7