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From the Grounds UpBuilding an Export Economy in Southern Mexico$
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Casey Marina Lurtz

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603899

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603899.001.0001

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Fixing the Border

Fixing the Border

(p.45) 2 Fixing the Border
From the Grounds Up

Casey Marina Lurtz

Stanford University Press

This chapter draws on local stories of violence and instability to explore the lived experiences of international debates over sovereignty. Like many countries in Latin America, Mexico and Guatemala lacked a border treaty until the 1880s. For the national government, the absence of clear territorial bounds countered Mexico’s assertions of itself as a modern nation. For planters in the Soconusco, the lack of territorial fixity made it difficult to define and defend their property. Yet, for laborers and villagers from the Soconusco and Guatemala, the porous border provided access to land and opportunities for seasonal work. This chapter demonstrates how all of these interests came into play in the negotiation and implementation of the 1882 border treaty. While international aspirations spurred confrontation between national governments, local experiences of and knowledge about the border formed the basis for negotiating their resolution.

Keywords:   Guatemala, Mexico, border, borderlands, diplomacy, treaty negotiation, Justo Rufino Barrios, Matías Romero

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