Migrazione temporanea guatemalteca e lavoro nelle piantagioni di caffè: uno studio esploratorio alla frontiera sud del Messico/Temporary Guatemalan migration and plantation work of coffee: an exploratory study on the southern border of Mexico

Frédéric Décosse


Based on an exploratory study using a qualitative methodology (about twenty interviews and in situ observations carried out in the regions of origin), this article describes the professional and migratory dynamics related to commercial agriculture on the Southern border of the North American Free Trade Area. It focuses on the articulation between work and mobility within this productive system, an articulation that is built at the confluence of the logic of accumulating the capital of Chiapas farmers on the one hand and of reproducing the life of Guatemalan peasant families on the other. Through the study of the current condition of migrant agricultural workers and the survival within it of “authoritarian forms of extortion of productive activity” characteristic of the early accumulation phase, the author intends to highlight the relationship between the plantation economy at the root of the first globalized market capitalism and the modern agro-export capitalism in the peripheral regions of the world system.


Keywords:Mexico-Guatemala Border; Coffee Plantations; Migrant Farm Workers; Work and Labour; Political Economy.

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