Social implications of fair trade coffee in Chiapas, Mexico

Social implications of fair trade coffee in Chiapas, Mexico

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Social implications of fair trade coffee in Chiapas, Mexico toward alternative economic integration
Torok, Joseph J
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[Tampa, Fla]
University of South Florida
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International environmental policy
Social movements
Political organization
Fair trade certification programs
Dissertations, Academic -- Government and International Affairs -- Masters -- USF ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


ABSTRACT: The coffee trade in Chiapas, Mexico is a unique approach of sustainable development and economic integration, demonstrating that local social movements can change behaviors in international trade regimes. The Zapatista community of Chiapas, Mexico, has an impact on the global trade system, where resultant changes begin at the local level. In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, factors contributing to the Zapatista rebellion have led actors within civil society to form new socio-political organizations capable of changing participation, norms, and economic outcomes during the post-rebellion period (1994 - present). This study explores the dilemmas facing the autonomy of actors in broadening and deepening their roles in the fair trade movement. It argues that innovative practices of fair trade coffee production, originating at the local level in Chiapas from Zapatista reform measures, has a transformative effect on international trade regimes.The Zapatista social movement has aided Mayans and other groups in establishing new linkages where the impacts of fair trade are experienced beyond the local level. Social movement theorists provide an analytical framework necessary to examine these dynamic linkages between civil society, the state, and international trade regimes. However, contemporary Latin American social movement theorists do not seem to have adequately transcended the dualism between civil society and the state. The importance of this study is that it illuminates how, although the state remains the principle actor, these linkages formed by fair trade have important repercussions for the autonomy of indigenous groups in pursuing independent economic relations. Findings illustrate that fair trade is a viable means to socially re-embed international trade relations, attributing new rules, norms, and procedures to trade regimes.Reorganization in the face of state oppression has enabled a shift from anti-globalization tendencies toward an alternative form of economic integration which has become widely legitimized through a three-way dynamic between civil society, the state, and the international community.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Joseph J. Torok.

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Social implications of fair trade coffee in Chiapas, Mexico :
b toward alternative economic integration
h [electronic resource] /
by Joseph J. Torok.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 113 pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: The coffee trade in Chiapas, Mexico is a unique approach of sustainable development and economic integration, demonstrating that local social movements can change behaviors in international trade regimes. The Zapatista community of Chiapas, Mexico, has an impact on the global trade system, where resultant changes begin at the local level. In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, factors contributing to the Zapatista rebellion have led actors within civil society to form new socio-political organizations capable of changing participation, norms, and economic outcomes during the post-rebellion period (1994 present). This study explores the dilemmas facing the autonomy of actors in broadening and deepening their roles in the fair trade movement. It argues that innovative practices of fair trade coffee production, originating at the local level in Chiapas from Zapatista reform measures, has a transformative effect on international trade regimes.The Zapatista social movement has aided Mayans and other groups in establishing new linkages where the impacts of fair trade are experienced beyond the local level. Social movement theorists provide an analytical framework necessary to examine these dynamic linkages between civil society, the state, and international trade regimes. However, contemporary Latin American social movement theorists do not seem to have adequately transcended the dualism between civil society and the state. The importance of this study is that it illuminates how, although the state remains the principle actor, these linkages formed by fair trade have important repercussions for the autonomy of indigenous groups in pursuing independent economic relations. Findings illustrate that fair trade is a viable means to socially re-embed international trade relations, attributing new rules, norms, and procedures to trade regimes.Reorganization in the face of state oppression has enabled a shift from anti-globalization tendencies toward an alternative form of economic integration which has become widely legitimized through a three-way dynamic between civil society, the state, and the international community.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Advisor: Bernd Reiter, Ph.D.
International environmental policy
Social movements
Political organization
Fair trade certification programs
Dissertations, Academic
x Government and International Affairs
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


Social Implications of Fair Trade Coffee in Chiapas, Mexico: Toward Alternative Economic Integration by Joseph J. Torok A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Government & International Affairs College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Bernd Reiter, Ph.D. Steven C. Roach, Ph.D. Alison Ormsby, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 6, 2009 Keywords: International Environmental Policy, Regimes, So cial Movements, Political Organization, Fair Trade Certification Programs Copyright 2009, Joseph J. Torok


i TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Figures ii List of Tables iii Glossary of Terms iv Acronyms v Abstract viii Chapter One: Introduction 1 Chapter Two: The Legacy of Oppr ession and the Indigenous Awakening 12 Chapter Three: The Restructuring of Power Relations in Fair Trade 36 Chapter Four: Participatory, Social, and Economic Impacts of Fair Trade 56 Chapter Five: Conclusion 98 Bibliography 105 Appendices 111


ii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Three-way dynamic as applie d to Chiapas social movement 45 Figure 2 Fair Trade and Or ganic Premium Prices 58 Figure 3 Contractual relations between certifying agencies, inspectors, and certified parties 69 Figure 4 Yield by number of shade species 85 Figure 5 Average depth of litter and humus layer, by technology 86 Figure 6 Historical Events Impacti ng National and Regional Production 91


iii LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Commodity Chain – Plot to Consumer 66 Table 2 Certification Criteria Utilized in Chiapas 68 Table 3 Characteristics of Chiapas Organizations 71 Table 4 Average gross income from coffee per hectare of coffee 85 Table 5 Certification costs for Cooperative with membership of 300 87 Table 6 Returns to Labor 89 Table 7 Returns to Labor, with Subsidies 89 Table 8 Returns to Producer/Cost-Price Structures 90 Table 9 Increase in Coffee Productions 91 Table 10 Total Mexico Exports 93 Table 11 Chiapas Share of GDP by Year 93 Table 12 Percent of Purchase Price to Producers 94 Table 13 Additional Income to Farmer s and Producer Organizations, including Fair Trade Premium Reported by TransFair USA in Global markets from 1998-2007 95


iv GLOSSARY OF TERMS Cacique rural boss or agricultural middleman Campesino farmers comite de vivilancia oversight committee Consejos Supremos supreme counsul El Fondo de Estabilizacion de Precios Price Stabilization Fund Ejrcito Zapatista de Liberacin Nacional Zapatista National Liberation Army Ejidos a commonly ow ned and ministered piece of land acquired in form of a government land Grant, now increasingly privatized ejidatarios member of an ejido —basicos or derecheros EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Indigenismo essentialist view of peasants or rural Community held by policy-makers and/or intellectuals Indigenous inhabitants with early historical connection Ladino non Indian Mesoamerican Maya Communities strong centralized government with ancient connections Mestizo non Indian PRIsta those who took control of the operation of PRI, or members of PRI or EZLN Students of the Isthmus Coalition of Workers, Peasants, and students, a Mexican socialist political organization (COCEI)


v zapatismo Emeliano Zapato follower or EZLN member, rebels against Mexican state


vi ACRONYMS ATOs or FTOs alternative trade organizations CCCSM Consejo Civil pa ra la Cafticultura Sustentable en Mexico Mexican Sustainable Coffee Civic Council CEPCO Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de CESMAC Ecological Farmers of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas CLAC Latin America and Caribbean Producer Assembly—Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequenos Productores de Comercio Justo CNC Unin de Ejidos Lzaro Crdenas was founded in 1979 with the support of the Agrarian Department of the National Confederation of Campesinos/ National Peasant Confederation CNOC Nacional de Organizaciones Caftaleras National Coordinating Committee for CoffeeProducing Organizations CNPI National Council of Indian Peoples COCE Coalition of Workers, Peasants, COCOPA Commission for Agreement and Pacification COCEI Coalition of Workers, Peasants, and Students of the Isthmu, a Mexican socialist political organization CONAI Zapatistas’ National Commission of


vii CTO Community Technical Officer Certimex Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly inspection certification ECO-O/K Rainforest Alliance label United Nations Global Compact, World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, Transparency International and International Chamber of Commerce. EFTA European Fair Trade Association International EZLN Ejrcito Aapatista de Liberacin, the Zapatista Army of National FONASAES Bancrisa and the Fondo Nacional de Apajoa Empresas de Solidaridad FTO Fair Trade Labeling Organizations GMO genetically modified organisms the United ICO International Coffee Organization IEC Standardization International Engineering IMO Control for certification of organic products INMECAFE Mexican Coffee Institute IPI Community Technical Officer Peasant inspector ISMAM Indgenas de la Sierra Madre de Motozintla “San Isidoro Labrador” cooperative the) ISO International Organization for Consortium NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement NGO Non-governmental organization NII National Indianist Institute


viii NISO Internationa l Organization (Consortium) For technical standards NOP National Organic Program, affiliated with USDA OCIA Mexico Organic Crop Improvement Association (Organic Crop Improvement Association) OCIA-USA USDA National Organic Program (NOP) worldwide, and Naturland PAN Partido Accin Nacional, Party of National Action PAS Partido Alianzo Social/ Social Alliance Party PRD Partido de la Revolucin Democrtico, Democratic Revolutionary Party PRI Partido de la Revolucin Insticional, Institutional Revolutionary Party UCIRI Unin de Comunidades Indigenas de al Region del Istmo, Union of indigenous communities of the isthmus region TCO Organized Communal Labor TTT Sociedad Cooperative Tzobolotic, Mayan Tzotzil People United WTO World Trade Organization


ix Social Implications of Fair Trade Coffee in Chiapas, Mexico: Toward Alternative Economic Integration Joseph J. Torok ABSTRACT The coffee trade in Chiapas, Mexico is a unique approach of sustainable development and economic integration, demons trating that local so cial movements can change behaviors in international trade regi mes. The Zapatista community of Chiapas, Mexico, has an impact on the global trade sy stem, where resultant changes begin at the local level. In the southern Mexican stat e of Chiapas, factor s contributing to the Zapatista rebellion have led actors within civil society to form new socio-political organizations capable of changing particip ation, norms, and economic outcomes during the post-rebellion period (1994 present). This study explores the dilemmas facing the autonomy of actors in broadening and deepening their roles in the fair trade movement. It argues that innovative practices of fair trade coffee production, originating at the local level in Chiapas from Zapatista reform measures, has a transformative effect on international trade regimes. The Zapatista social movement has ai ded Mayans and other groups in establishing new li nkages where the impacts of fair trade are experienced beyond the local level. Social movement th eorists provide an analytical framework necessary to examine these dynamic linkage s between civil society, the state, and international trade regimes. However, cont emporary Latin American social movement


x theorists do not seem to have adequately tr anscended the dualism between civil society and the state. The importance of this study is that it illuminates how, although the state remains the principle actor, these linkage s formed by fair trade have important repercussions for the autonomy of indige nous groups in pursuing independent economic relations. Findings illustrate that fair trad e is a viable means to socially re-embed international trade relations, attributing ne w rules, norms, and procedures to trade regimes. Reorganization in the face of stat e oppression has enable d a shift from antiglobalization tendencies toward an alternative form of economic integration which has become widely legitimized through a three-way dynamic between civil society, the state, and the international community.


1 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION The southern Mexican state of Chiapas had briefly solicited scholarly attention during 1994 in the setting of the Zapatista rebellion. Afte r a well-timed uprising against the state in protest of provisions for entr ance into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), continued conflict in th e post-rebellion period (1994-present) has led actors within civil society to form new so cio-political organizations with the intent of changing rules, norms, and procedures in in ternational trade regimes. This study explores the case of Chiapas and some of th e dilemmas facing the autonomy of actors in broadening and deepening thei r roles in the fair trade movement. It argues that innovative practices of fair trade coffee production, originat ing at the local level in Chiapas from Zapatista reform measures, ha ve a transformative effect on international trade regimes. The Zapatista social movement has ai ded Mayans and other ethnic groups of southern Mexico in establishing new linka ges where the impacts of fair trade reach beyond the local level. Social movement th eorists provide an analytical framework useful for examining these dynamic linkages between civil society, the state, and international trade regimes. However, es pecially concerning Latin American social movements, contemporary theorists do not s eem to have adequately transcended the dualism between civil society and the state. On the contrary, the cultural autonomy of the Mayans provided them with mobility to ente r the international level, thus bypassing the


2 state. In other words, because Mexican Ma yans could not convey their interests to the state through the public sphere, they opted to bypass it. To accomplish this, they channeled their concerns toward international regimes, similar to a domestic social movement, in which civil society impacts the st ate, except on a larger scale, in which the movement expands to th e international le vel. Hence, this case study of Chiapas differs from mainstream social movement literature, in that it extends the application of social movement theory beyond the dualism of state-soci ety relations to the international level. As such, this study has a strong exploratory component: A conceptualization of local social movements, and their impact on globa l trade regimes has not been sufficiently explored, let alone explained, by the relevant literature. In arguing that fair trade coffee produc tion, originating at the local level in Chiapas, Mexico, is impacting the international trade system, it is necessary to define the concept of regimes and the different dimensi ons of the international trade regime. The definitive concept of “regime” is subject to scholarly debate. International regimes can be defined as coordinated behavior cente red around “principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which acto rs’ expectations converge.” (Krasner, 1985, p. 4) These principles are the fulcrum around which ag reements result regarding finance, production, and distribution through bot h formal and informal organizations and networks. The definitive concep t of “regime” is subject to scholarly debate. According to John G. Ruggie, two classes of explan ation dominate literature on international regimes and their construction. The first s ees regimes as imposed by hegemonic state power. Under this traditional framework, states are perceived as either altruistic—that is, trade relationships may be mutually beneficia l; or pressing—where trade relations are an


3 expression of dominant states ’ narrowly defined interests on weaker actors. (Ruggie, 1998, pp. 64-66) This state-centr ic view argues that regimes continue to constrain the behavior of states toward one another through their most dominant actors. This view is problematic in that if hegemonic state intere sts are the impetus of regime formation, and sovereignty is the only defense working agai nst the fundamental ru les of international trade regimes, then scholars are ignoring the power of economic liberalism as a force which states have difficulty containing. It seems unreasonable to believe that statecentric theories of regime initiation are applicable in describing the contributions and interests of fair trade organizations and non-state actors. The vi ew relies heavily on “logical positivism” with a focus on states that is derived from international relations theory. Without the work of scientis ts, advocacy groups, and social and nongovernmental organizations, global trade agreem ents would not have come about. Those who ascribe to this state-centered appro ach, may include Kenneth Waltz, John G. Mearsheimer, and Robert Jervis, Steven Krasne r. Traditionally this school of thought has suffered from a serious “small-numbers” problem (small numbers of examples, small populations, lack of statistics, lack of studies ), where there are not many replications of states leading to regime formation. (Ibid.) It is necessary to move beyond “objectivist explanations” of regimes because “different approaches construe the social world differently” and regimes are “conceptual creatio ns rather than conc rete entitie s.” (Ibid., p.87) “Ultimately, there exists no external Archimedean poi nt from which regimes can be viewed as they ‘truly’ are”. (Ibid.) Ruggie explains a different conceptualiz ation of regimes which shows them as expressions of self-interest on the part of th e parties, which in terms of trade and the


4 environment, emanates from individual or group non-state actors. In other words, regimes are constructed, not of states, but of society. Ruggi e believes that regimes, like principles and norms, work not only in the cau sal sense of delivering injunctions against states, but that they also work in a broa der communicative and cons titutive sense. In other words, they encompass the dimension of meaning as well as causes. The efficacy of regimes, according to Ruggie, involves the intelligible exchange and acceptance of actions by using a framework based on principl es and norms—therefore, an interpretive epistemology remains central to how regi mes evolve and function. (Ruggie, 1998, p. 86) In other words, international regimes are not just about power, regulation and governance, about the interests, demands and n eeds of society. In effect, regimes are subject to transformation in te rms of power relations, as ne w actors have a greater role, and impact the level of openness toward con cepts of fairness, social justice, and ecological concerns. To describe how events in Chiapas ch anged dimensions of international trade regimes, it is necessary to assess their nature from the perspective of their contemporary actors and constituents; that is, to focus on them as normative social constructs not created by states. For the purpose of this study, I will try to demonstrate that this change is in part due to the influence of fair tr ade as promoted in southern Mexico. The dimensions of this transformation are ec onomic, including the growing volume of fair trade coffee as a portion of gl obal coffee market transactio ns; participatory, including how new actors are involved in negotiation and conduct of trading practices; and finally social, including the evolution, organization and networking of those engaged in fair


5 trade coffee and the legitimacy that comes fr om communicative action. The fair trade component of the intern ational trade regime is composed of several actors including local civil society, major trading houses, ecologi cally mindful compan ies including coffee roasters and distributors, certif ication organizations, and othe rs. These indicators will be operationalized through a combination of histor ical analysis of the origins of social opposition and contentious action against traditional state actors, the change from almost exclusively state actors toward non-state actors, and empirical evidence of economic impacts of organizational behavior on trade in southern Mexico. Perspectives for a changed trade regime may therefore trace back to practices that emanated from Chiapas during the period from 1994 to the present. The case of coffee provides a typical ex ample of fair trade. Coffee companies often claim to practice social and environm ental responsibility by utilizing the best available production methods, which suppor t biological diversity, sustainable development, and equitable rela tionships with small-scale producers. Fair trade coffee is often promoted in US establishments by de picting an image of a stereotypical Latin American community. Typically, these adve rtising images show several people of various skin-tones and features, representing different indigenous gr oups associated with Latin American cultural identities. All are dressed as typical farmers in work boots, trousers, and button-down collared shirts. On e is wearing a dirty cowboy hat. A row of females stand in the foreground, dressed more traditionally, with facial complexions suggesting a mix of European and indigenous backgrounds. But what exactly are the social risks and realities behind those claims? It can be viewed as both a highly symbolic guarantee of the conditions under which the coffee was produced, as well as a


6 representation of the conn ection between third-world producers and consumers in developed countries. “There seems little doubt that shoppers want to show concern and solidarity with growers through acts of generosity.” (Lue tchford, 2008, p. 3) However, the image leaves much to be desired in te rms of knowledge regarding a mystic culture and the true impact of a simple economic tran saction. This is an example of exporting identity in order to influence a link be tween producers in a developing country and consumers in the industrialized north. The relevancy of the widespread use of such images in contemporary advertising indi cates that Western and environmentally conscientious consumers have a growi ng interest in fair trade products. Economists differentiate between fair trade and free trade based on how trade liberalization affects economic growth and e fficiency. Free trade has been associated with unfairness due to its asymmetrical cost s and advantages, where developing countries typically experience lowering wages, greater unemployment, and reduced sovereignty. (Stiglitz, 2006, p. 62) Under free trade, deve loping countries are not permitted to enact protectionist policies such as import or expor t tariffs, restrictive quotas, or other actions which may be considered barriers to trade and pose an unfair advantag e to participants. Rather, each country shares a “comparative a dvantage” where trade is based on relative, rather than absolute, strengths (Ibid., p. 73). Proponents of free trade believe it would ideally benefit both locations, or individua ls, dependent upon whether they make the correct choices among trade alternatives. Howe ver, unequal growth in the global north at the expense of the global south has raised doubts about the benefits of free trade, especially for peasants in the developing world, as they experience difficulties competing with technical production me thods of rich countries.


7 Fair trade, on the other hand, is most fre quently defined as the alternative effort to “link socially and environmentally consci ous consumers in the north with producers engaged in socially progressive and environmentally sound farm ing in the south. It is an attempt to build more direct links between consumers and producers that provide the latter with greater benefits from the ma rketing of their products than conventional production and trade have allowed, while br eaking down the traditio nal alienation of consumers from the products they purchase .” (Murray et. al., 2006, p 180) While the movement does have potential to become an exponentially larger portion of coffee trading transactions, it absolutely does not claim to solve or replace the current neoliberal trade regime. From a political power st andpoint, fair trade has potential to become part of what Peter Evans calls a “counter hegemonic network” which can be used to stimulate globalization from the beneath. (Evans, 2000, p. 230) Thus, in a social movements context, fair trade is wo rthy of inquiry by its own volition. Social movements can be considered incl usive organizations co mprised of various interest groups, which contain the significan t strata of civil society, bound together by a “common grievance” which in most cases is the “perceived lack of democracy in a specific political setting.” (Tilly, 2004, p. 1) This definition was introduced in Tilly’s text Social Movements 1768 to 2004 which becomes less useful as he adds what he considers necessary qualities for social move ments, which can be considered limiting factors. Tilly later criticized that “activists” extend and dilute the term to explain all forms of collective action. His co-authors in Dynamics of Contention Sidney Tarrow and Doug McAdam take a more inclusive view of what qualifies as a social movement, building on the basis that Ti lly provides but focusing on th e “processes” emphasizing the


8 various forms of mobilization and contentious action. (McAdam et. al., 2001, p. 314) In view of these reviews, both the Zapatista re bellion and subsequent fair trade movement can be considered social movements. Fair trade is not a regime, yet it is increasingly considered as part of the international trade regime. The traditional dialogue on international regime formation is predominan tly comprised of neorea lists and neoliberal institutionalists, who claim that the identity and interest of their constituent actors are exogeneous and given. These theorists do not adequately analyze regime formation because regime construction involves norms and subjective criteria, which can be “contestable” if based on “unreflective l ogical positivist premises.” (Ruggie, 1998, p. 8687) In addition, a positivist ap proach to regime analysis suffers from a “small numbers problem,” in that few regimes are formed a nd not easily replicated. (Ibid.) However, social constructivists have emerged providing empirical evidence that normative factors, in addition to collective identities, shape inte rests and political behavior in international trade regimes. This research illustrates that norms and identities are institutionalized in bureaucratic structures, not onl y by states, but as Keck and Sikkink suggest, by the growing role of non-governmental actors and civil society. (Keck and Sikkink, 1998) The central importance of this thesis is that it seeks to provide evidence for the fact that domestic actors are capable of r econstructing rules, norms, and procedures in international trade regimes. While the state remains the principal actor, the impact of civil society as new actors ha s important repercussions for st ates in pursuing independent economic relations. Furthermore, this rela tionship between international and domestic politics impacts indigenous cultural autonomy and identity, and the degree to which the state-society relationship has transformed after periods of conflict, such as the Zapatista


9 rebellion. The coffee trade in Chiapas, Me xico is a unique approach of sustainable development and economic integration driven pr incipally by identity politics and a desire to strengthen cultural autonomy. It illustrates the capacity to change international approaches to economic development by expre ssing actors’ varied identities, cultures, and worldviews. Fair trade as promoted by the Zapatista community in Chiapas, Mexico, has an impact on the global trade system wh ere resultant changes are experienced beyond the local level. This thesis will explain the evolution of fair trade organizations in Chiapas, Mexico. An emphasis will be placed on orga nizational behavior, as well as the dynamic between state, civil society, and interna tional community in or der to explain how organizational practices of fair trade have resulted in an effect on international trade regimes. Chapter 2 illustrates the legacy of oppre ssion in Chiapas, Me xico, and stresses the social origins of political and economic organization. Chiapas has a diverse population with a rich and complex cultural history, yet the numerous ethnic groups have been characterized under the umbrella term of “indigenous peoples”. This chapter will examine this characterization and illustrate state challenges and peasant activism which led them to constitute a group. In addition, th is chapter introduces historical factors that influence organizational behavior including land tenure and cons titutional reform, as well as recent trade agreements and economic co nsiderations. Identity and “groupness” as defined by Rogers Brubaker, and “nationalism” as defined by E. J. Hobsbawm will be familiarized in a social movements context.


10 Chapter 3 further examines the construction of international solidarity with Chiapas by describing the role of the state and civi c participation in forging nationalism. Colonialism and the role of the state in ethnopol iticization, as well as the strengthening of identity-based claims which are made through civic participation, are part of Hobsbawm’s “National Question” and a dialog ue of civic recognition. In this dialogue the issue of agency is examined, where nationalism and civic recognition involve a struggle between macroeconomic progress and resource claims. Cultural identity and autonomy can be used (from above) by governme nt elites as a substitute for economic progress; as well as from below, where differentiation along economic lines allows groups to lay claim to resources, strengthen au tonomy, and establish direct linkages with other nations. This chapter shows how th e struggle between nati onalism and community often leads to ethnic regimes in the maki ng. Myths of nationalism and ethnicity are created by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) which help to build political structures for opportunity – doors to the international community. Second, Chapter 3 examines Judith Tendler’s explan ation of a national le vel dynamic which can be extended to the international level. Thir d, it describes how Jeffr ey W. Rubin’s theory on decentralization impacts regime formati on and how it facilitates Chiapas’ economic entrance into the international arena. Chapter 4 discusses the participatory, so cial, and economic impacts of Chiapas’ participation in fair trade. Chiapas farm ers established a comm on ground to challenge domestic policies and focus on lesseni ng the gap between coffee producers and consumers. The common ground is their participat ory variables: their conscious effort to use entities outside the state and the insurgent struggle of the Ejrcito Zapatista de


11 Liberacin Nacional (EZLN), Zapatista National Liberation Army, to socially re-embed themselves and focus their indigenous norms and agricultural traditions on sustainable and organic agriculture and distribution. First, re-emb eddedness results from new linkages between southern producers and norther n consumers, through the five principles fair trade, which impact regional organi zed co-ops, statewide organizations, and transnational linkages with civil society (ATOs and NGOs). Second, the vehicles influencing producers and consumers are labe ling and certification rules, which, through a “Commodity Chain,” enable farm fam ilies to overcome marketing, language and cultural barriers due to the creation of inte rnational homogeny and eq uity. Third, the intraand inter-collectivity is build on “syncretic’ identity which impacts new group frameworks to nurture fair trade particip ation for marginalize groups globally. The social variables involve the global exchange of ideas in order to address problems of ecological, economic, and cultural sustainabilit y. Addressing these security concerns allows for a global exchange of ideas, which impact international trade norms and procedures, and add deeper consideration of local conditions to the processes of negotiation. The economic va riables involve the exchange of knowledge, logistics of northern support of fair trade coffee, the econom ic impacts of fair trade on growers, and how Chiapas fair trade impacts others. The chapter describes the processes of linking growers and consumers and the indicators of Chiapas function in fair trade. Chapter 5 sums up the principal findings of this thesis, and attempts to show that fair trade in Chiapas has impacted intern ational trade regimes through participatory, social, and economic means.


12 CHAPTER 2: THE LEGACY OF O PPRESSION AND THE INDIGENOUS AWAKENING In order to fully understa nd the impact of local, i ndigenous organizing and its impact on global trade regimes, one needs to first understand the st rength of indigenous organizing in Chiapas. Chiapas is the sout hernmost state of the United Mexican States and inhabited by predominately indigenous groups Indigenous strength is a direct result of resisting the state for over five hundred year s. ChiapasÂ’s history illustrates that the colonial period is characterized by the Spanis h taking control of e xportable resources and cultural fractures for the sake of establis hing trade routes betw een the Lacandn jungle and the Belizean coast. Reestablishment of geographical sector s by replacing and relocating small indigenous groups, in order to take advantage of the large labor forces of self-sufficient villages, caused mulattos and Africans to replace Indians in the lowlands, Indians to migrate to the highlands, where shade-grown coffee flour ishes, of eastern Chiapas and the Yucatan, and caused indige nous populations to migrate to highland regions, and Europeans and mestizos to dominate the plateau re gions. (Farriss, 1992, p. 32) These movements at the time both uprooted and destabilized the Indians; but in later periods they were able to recover from the colonial invasion and reorganize along ethnic lines. (Ibid., 1992, p. 38) By the seventeenth century, Chiapas was devoid of indigenous governance, despite the fact that the Spanish were lo cated in urban areas, and were financially controlled by SpainÂ’s economic goals. Chiapas farmers were at the bottom of the social


13 hierarchy. According to Natividad Gutierrez, sociologist at the Na tional University of Mexico, it is significant that they did not succumb to total Hispancizaton : “Historians have commented on the easy assimilation….into Spanish structures, but this social group did not survive the eighteenth century; decu lturation, loss of influence, and mortality account for their disappearance…. If the construction of mest izo and Indian identity ran parallel, and both were exposed to the in creasing effects of Spanish territorial organization, immigration, and evangelization….the more durable basis of identity for the people who did not become mestizos was the fervent embracing of Catholic iconography, acquired along with other important traits…” (Guttierrez, 1999, p.36) Their underlying, traditional, pre-Colombian ethic of self-sufficiency, and the marketability of Mayan crafts and products, were reasons the culture was not totally replaced by Spanish influences. This latter fact or was economically important to international trade (Ibid. p. 39), and assisted in the preser vation of their identity. Thei r ethnic traditions combined with Christianity enforced their propensity for “community leadership”. The traditional Mayan philosophy of man’s “bond with the sacred at the corp orate level was a collective enterprise”. (Farriss, p. 318) One example of Chiapas’ rise above the Spanish attempts to control “all access to the sacred,” is that, in 1610, they asserted their Mayan identity by capturing the power to ordain their own Maya clergy. Anothe r example is that, in 1712, Chiapas instituted their own image of the Virgin. These exemplified the attempt to control their identity in the face of state challenges. They also established that there is a link between religious leadersh ip, though it is part of “rit ual office”, and “community leadership”. (Ibid. p. 318 ) Thus it is established that Ch iapas identity has been faced with state challenges, which have been conf ronted through indigenous organization.


14 Indigenous Groups, State Cha llenges, and Peasant Activism This section explores some of the st ate’s challenges to th e autonomy of actors which helped generate the broadening and deepening the fair trade movement. In examining the greater argument that innovative practices of fair trade coffee production, originating at the local level in Chiapas from Zapatista reform measures, have a transformative effect on international trade regimes, we must examine the origins of organizational behavior which has effectuated this transfor mation. The Zapatista social movement has aided indigenous Mayans and other groups in establishing new linkages where the impacts of fair trade are experien ced beyond the local level. However, these linkages between groups are the result of colonial masses a nd state influence on civic belonging and civic organizations. Acco rding to Rogers Brubaker, “Although participants’ rhetoric and co mmonsense accounts tr eat ethnic groups as the protagonists of ethnic conflict, in fact the chief protagonists of most et hnic conflict—and a fortiori of most ethnic violence—are not ethnic groups as such but various kinds of organizations, broadly understood, and their empowered and au thorized incumbents”. (Brubaker, 2004, p. 14) This is primarily due to the fact th at they possess materi al and organizational resources, including “particul ar ministries, offices, law enforcement agencies, and armed forces units; they include terrorist groups, paramilitary organizations, armed bands, and loosely structured gangs; and they include political parties, ethnic associations, social movement organizations, churches, newspapers, radio and television stations, and so on”. (Ibid.) In the case of Chiapas, two forces of identity are in competition, “the self” and “the other” where “selfand other-identif ication are fundamentally situational and


15 contextual” (Ibid., p. 41). Opposition by the Me xican state is considered the protagonist for invoking the “ processual, interactive development of the ki nd of collective selfunderstanding, solidarity, or ‘gr oupness’ that can make coll ective action possible”. (Ibid. p. 34) Civic environmentalism is therefore th e result of an evolution of solidarity among indigenous groups, as well as the re-construction of identity and “groupness”, which will later be examined through a social movement context. (Brubaker, 2004, p. 4) Amid challenges from the protagonist state, organization was able to occur on the local level by civic initiatives during the rebellion itself a nd subsequent fair trad e organization. Civic champions and emerging intellectuals, both i ndigenous and non-indige nous, have played a key role in identity formation and creating the myth of nationalism. In sum, Brubaker’s claim is that states influence group form ation, whether directly or through polarizing forces, strengthening the identity of th e opposition. The state helped forge Mayan identity by oppressing them; Mayans later suc cessfully circumvented the state, still perceived as adversarial. Social and political changes, incl uding extensive land use and land tenure reforms, were incipient to organizational beha vior occurring in Chiapas. As one of the poorest states in Mexico, subsistence agri culture based on the collective land-holding system known as ejido has been vital to economic secur ity. Security was threatened by the influx of foreign investment and Mexico ’s inclusion into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1992, to facili tate that inclusion, the federal government reformed Article 27 of the constitution to allow ejido land to be purchased by corporations and foreign invest ors. Article 27 was original ly established in 1917, leading to an expropriation of land to indigenous groups for collect ive purposes beginning in the


16 1930s under President Cardenas. The original intent was to solidify the euro-Mexican elite’s positions and keep indigenous peopl e tied down where they were. (Rus et. al, 2003, p. 3) The influx of migratory Guat emalan farm workers, accompanied by a doubling population between 1970 and 1990, drove Mayans deeper into the Lacandn jungle as well as toward urban centers in Chia pas, including the cities of San Cristbal, Tuxtla Guterrez, and Tapachula. The ejido lands which were once considered inalienable to indigenous popula tions, were gradually ransacked by the state and sold to or absorbed by corporations. Thousands of families, with permission negotiated by the Red Cross, took refuge in the hills of Chiapas, during 1994, where they formed the basis for the EZLN (Zapatista Nationa l Liberation Army), declari ng war against the state. (Bellinghausen, 1995, p. 134) In approximate ly 30 years, land tenure and the economic foundations of Chiapas’s indigenous societies were swept away. This led to a credit crisis and court st ruggles over indigenous pe ople’s land tenure. Peasant workers’ vulnerability to threat of losing their land further shaped the level of production for remaining producers, making them less likely to receive credit. Crop diversification, inter-cr opping and the scattering of plot s were technical options which reduced the risk, yet the problem continued. Historically, credit has been made available mostly to the largest producers, but not extended to small-scale farmers and women due to a perceived lack of reliabili ty. Moreover, credit usually aids in the purcha se of “Green Revolution” technologies that carry an extreme level of risk to those without mechanical knowledge or maintenance capabi lities. The perception of po wer that peasant groups and individuals believe they possess to deal with changes in the “environment, market, and/or political organization inevitably alter the abilit y of different actors to earn a livelihood”.


17 (Bacon et al., 2008, p. 72) Therefore, indi genous people reorganized in order to strengthen their economic and political standing. Coffee cooperatives, church -based organizations, and ejido unions including campesinos or peasant farmers, which took hold in Chiapas in the 1930s and 1940s, were now united in the 1980s by common economic goals rather than discrete identities. It began a pattern of community organization wh ich allowed civil society in Chiapas to overcome divisive state forces. (Rus et al ., 2003, p. 112) This pattern including the use of these organizations, is a manner of acti on in which people uti lize existing resources including “production means (land, environment, skills, technology, capital, market access), and social means (household members, kinship patrons, and political and/or business organization, religion and other social va lues that give them rights).” (Bacon et al., 2008, p. 72) The ultimate goal was to loca te their own economic standing and secure their cultural autonomy through solidarity. Th eir vital challenge wa s to take locally anchored organizations, groups, and individuals, and “articulate their concerns in such a way as to connect with distant actors and construct transnationa l networks and other forms of interaction.” (Olesen, 2005, p. 204) The Mayans from southern Mexico therefore hoped to get positive reaction from th e state as an ally, but instead lives were upheaved: “A campesino who had lost ever ything except his life commented, “We asked for a house and they sent planes we asked for piping and they sent canons, we asked for doctors and teachers and they sent us soldiers —this isn’t going to help us live…. They had been applauded by thousands of Mexicans and admired in many parts of the country and the world. They played hosts to thousa nds of visitors during 1994 and in preceding years, and like thousands of families in the ra inforests and hills of Chiapas, they formed


18 the support base for the controversial Zapatista National Liberation Army.’” (Bellinghausen, p. 134) Therefore, still being consid ered and treated as enemies of the state, instead of depending on the state, they looked for international agents to support their cause of autonomy and defe nse of traditi onal livelihoods. In addition to land tenure, the constituti on, NAFTA, and the credit crisis, there are historical factors which have influenced preliminary organiza tional behavior that led to indigenous groups. Mexico’s indigenous popul ation is not without cleavages, and is considered rather numerous and diverse. The 2000 census in Mexico identified “6,950,567 Mexicans who spoke an indigenous language – the measure by which the government defines a person as indigenous”. (Mattiace, 2003, p. 1) Anthropologists, however, consider this figure to be an undere stimation, and would rather cite Mexico’s fifty-six different categories of Indian peoples, approximately 14 categories in Chiapas. (Gutierrez, 1999, p. xviii) It is documented that Spanish is not the first language of the majority of the population of Chiapas. The ethnic diversity of the region early in the 1520s was evidenced by four spoken “indi genous language families: Mixe-Zoquean, Oto-Manguean (the Chiapanec),” several distinct Maya la nguages, and “Uno-Aztecan” (speakers of Nahua, who occupied certain to wns). (Cahill and Tovias, 2006, p. 118-119) By 1982, bilingual education became nece ssary and was sanctioned by the Mexican Constitution in 1991: the entire populati on of primary school aged students spoke indigenous languages. (Gutierrez, ibid. p. 64) Notwithstanding perspectives, it evidences that native Mexicans were ge ographically dispersed, and th at there was very little communication and coordination between them Currently, visitors to Chiapas are mainly aware of Tzotzil (291,550 speakers) and Tzeltal Maya, (278,577 speakers).


19 Besides these, (according to the 2000 census) the next largest groups in Chiapas spoke Chol (10,806), Zoque (41,509), Tojolabal (7,667 ), Kanjobal (5,769), and Mame (5,450). (Schmal, 2004) The question of how Indians be came actors in the political system during the 1990s is deeply rooted in history, not only in cultural and linguistic modeling representing a diversity of cultures and di fferent natural environments, but by primary activities including agriculture and services. (Gutierrez, 1999, p. 6) A major transition point in understanding groupness in Mexico occurred during the 1970s, prior to which scholars from Mexican universities, largely Marxist, focused on grand schematics rather than particular di fferences among ethnic identities. They questioned the anthropological focus on the study of individual communities, insisting that they rather be placed in the larger context of Mexican nati onalism. (Nash, 1995) However, the structural orga nization of indigenous groups has revolved around the social challenges during the rebellion period, and ha s gradually strengthened communities on the local, regional, and global level. In many respects, indigenous communities in the Lacandn jungle were already autonomous fro m the state, since the state was not providing social services. Aut onomy was thus not simply strategic resistance to the state, but a survival alternat ive to state-sanctioned organizati on. As corporate infrastructure developed and migration took place, the is olation and homogeneity which ensured the mestizo campesinosÂ’ cultural integrity of indigenous communities was threatened and autonomy from state intervention had become fractured. Linkages of ladino (mixeddescent mestizos) became evident as highways connected markets and people migrated between rural and urban areas and the Lacan dn forest. Developm ent agencies, state intervention, protestant convers ion, political parties, and fema le participation led to the


20 pluralization of communities. By the 1980s communities had virtually “exploded” wherever economic, political an d cultural interests collide d. (Ibid. 1995) Peasant, human rights, and international NGOs, organized on regional and local levels since the mid1980s, took full advantage of the political vacuum opened wide by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in order to mobilize peasants. Therefore as the condition of peasant activ ists is deeply rooted in historical events, so is their belonging in terms of groupness, identity, and as a nation. On January 1, 1994, the EZLN seized power across much of Chiapas, comprised almost entirely of ingenious peoples, and asserted a declaration of war, entitled Ya Basta! or Enough! on the Mexican government, encouraged by the ch arismatic leadership of Subcomandante Marcos. Public demands were directed to ward the state, primarily requesting the provision of basic needs: housing, healthcare, and food. It remains difficult to believe that these public demands were all that was desired, since it seems unrealistic to both declare war on the Mexican state and expect ag ricultural subsidies a nd aid. Rather, these statements were geared toward the greate r cause of uniting peasant Mexicans, while drawing international attention to the current “plight” of indigenous peoples. Throughout the 20th century the Mexican state has attempted to assimilate these groups into mestizo society through policies called “indigenismo”, an active attempt to categorize different and specific ethnic groups as indigenous. (Mattiace, 2003, p. 7) Al ong ethnic lines, the fifty-six Supreme Councils of Ethnic Gr oups were founded in 1975. In light of the character of these groups, the discourse on indi genous rights “could have the potential to be radicalized”; therefore, before the st ate grouped them, they tried to keep them separate. (Mattiace, 1995, p. 62) Thus, in studying the Zapatista social movement,


21 ethnic conflict should not be understood as conflict betwee n groups, but rather as a process of politicization of ethni city, initiated by the state, or as the rebellious response the stateÂ’s stimuli. A review of the literature will affirm that a shift in indigenous identity has resulted following the Zapatista conflict in which people of diverse ethnicities emphasize solidarity among one another in vindication of et hnic politicization pro cesses by the state. The identities which they carry have resu lted from a shared history of oppression stemming from fundamental redirections of el itistsÂ’ nationalist prog rams for statecraft, and the establishment of an ethnic regime. Because of state oppression, the indi genous people of Chiapas managed to consolidate identity and achieve solidarity. The beginning of this chapter presented the importance of group identity, nationalism, and the intersection of identity group formation and politics, supplemented by bac kground information and key terms, in order to facilitate understand ing of postmodern ethnopolitical th eory in Mexico. Postmodern ethnopolitical theory will be ope rationalized through a critical analysis of the literature, providing evidence that state oppression aff ects solidarity among indigenous groups. Finally, the conclusion will link postmodern ethnopolitical theory to the outcome of a constructed indigenous identity. National Projects: A Question of Agency While contemporary ethnopolitical theorist s focus mainly on participation within local civil society, by which people aim to strengthen identity-based claims, such as indigenous rights, other scholar s add that conflict has resu lted from an ecological and


22 economic crisis for which the Mexican state is responsible. In accordance with E. J. Hobsbawm’s idea of nationalism, the term “nati on” is directly attach ed to the concept of citizenship and sovereignty. In the context of economic crisis and weakening state corporatism in Chiapas, struggles of citizen recognition emerged and continue as a result of a political stalemate with th e state. Hobsbawm’s national question lies in the issue of agency: cultural identity a nd autonomy can be used (from above) as a substitute for economic progress; as well as from below, where differentiation along economic lines allows groups to lay claim to resources, strengthen autonomy a nd establish direct linkages with other nations. Hobsbawm be lieves that groups mobilize around specific interests. (Hobsbawm, 1990) Differences be tween indigenous groups become salient when specific organizations or individuals, including ethnopolitical entrepreneurs, are behind group formation. However, commun ities in Chiapas were forged around specific interests. This can be attributed partly to Subcomandante Marcos, an iconic figure of the EZLN movement. It is also attributable to the state and increased networks within peasant society. Proto-nationalism has given wa y to opposition of the state. Nations can also be considered the product of overcoming cultural divisions. In Imagined Communities Benedict Anderson points out the problem of communities, in that nationalism is a deep horizontal relationship where the citizens conceive images of one-another, citing Ge llner, providing a sovereign realm. (Anderson, 1991, p. 8) In Chiapas, communities were divided along sociocultural boundaries. Cultural exchanges between groups was limite d, therefore the expl osion of communities involved a project of social reconstruc tion surrounding indigenous and mestizo supporters of the uprising. I ndigenous alliances with mes tizos who share their poverty


23 simultaneously challenged control by cacique s—indigenous leaders co-opted by the Partido de la Revolucin Insticional Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) officials. Hence, the boundaries of indigenous identity have widened from putative homogeneity to ethnic plurality. The people of Chaipas overcame their et hnic divisions by social organization and opposition against the state. They overcame their language divisions. They therefore became a social movement agai nst the state oppression to which they had been subjected since Spanish colonizat ion. As a result, they became a pan-ethnic community, as explained by Anderson. In the context of nationa lism, there are two distinctions, according to Anthony D. Smith, ethn ic and civic. Since Chaipas is composed of multitude of indigenous ethnicities they ex emplify of civic nationalism. (Smith, A.D. (1987) Ethnicity and nationalism projects identity on people who are concerned with their social justice, ecological concer ns and equitable trade relationships. Therefore, Chiapas ethnicity has the capacity to transform the fair trade regime. Anthony Marx also contributes to th e framework by explaining that race and ethnicity are merged with national projects in order to create ethnic regimes. The Mexican government has focused primarily on maintaining stab ility and fostering economic growth as part of that regime. (E arle and Simonelli, 2005, p. 23) This regime is facilitated through organizations and the stat e. In turn, the state provides the impetus giving people reason to organize and create a political consciousness that promotes mobilization and radicalization. (Marx, 1998, p. 265) In the case of Chiapas, once the Mexican state did not duly represent them, the indigenous groups began to circumvent state authority and make direct linkage s with the international community.


24 Subcomandante Marcos, Indigenous Groupne ss and the Onset of Identity Politics Since 1994, the Ejrcito Zapatista de Liberacin Nacional (EZLN), Zapatista Army of National Liberation, has been pres ented as a political organization with collective democratic principles, reminiscent of MexicoÂ’s revolutionary past, as well as a hierarchical organization based on author itarianism, focused on projecting its own political interests onto its cons tituent population in the name of their own views regarding neoliberal economics or NAFTA. One lens is based on a democratic view of participation, and the other on orthodox Ma rxism, with the goal of dissolving the Mexican State. Although the EZLN engaged in a discourse which seems to have shifted from leftist socialist toward nationalist and re volutionary in a traditional sense, neither the EZLN nor its leader, Subcomandante Marc os, explicitly utilized a discourse of identity. Following the Zapa tista rebellion, autonomy becam e the principal discourse which the high command seemed to be derive d from scholarly advisors, rather than indigenous sources. Zapatista leadership was comprised of mestizos, and did not include indigenous leaders until immediately before the uprising with mediatin g civilian recruits called the Clandestine Indigenous Revolu tionary Committee (CCRI), primarily for negotiation and relations between societal leve ls. Resulting from this discourse was the press, which played a central role in engagi ng in identity politics. The aim of the Zapatista leadership was to create its own mythology of indigenous nationalism and establish a leftist agenda under the guise of indigenous rights. Groupmaking has thus become a project which is defined by external factors, while groups were not previously defined in the sense they were during the conflict period. In this case, ethnopolitical


25 entrepreneurs were able to utilize the available social base. Although the EZLN was largely connected to pre-existing peasant orga nizations, it appeared to be “the armed expression of deep social conflict” at the regional level. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 9) Although its discourse has evolved, it operated based on a pre-existing agenda of political self-interest. In Ethnicity Without Groups Rogers Brubaker says th at “by reifying groups, by treating them as substantial things-inthe-world, ethnopolitical entrepreneurs can... ‘contribute to producing what they apparently describe or designate ”. (Brubaker, 1991, p. 10) Opposition to the state is the response to state pressure. By drawing on indigenous organizations they control, the Zapatista rebe ls are able to reach both a global audience through media relations and further legitimi ze their role as actors among their own constituency. He further explains that poli tical actors interpret acts of conflict and violence in ethnic terms, taking advantage of the “generalized le gitimacy of ethnic and national frames”. (Ibid., 17) Utilizing schema s, narratives, and environmental indicators they cognitively advance a construction of their perspective on the world. The case of Chiapas illustrates that th e pursuit of groupism is according to individually defined interests, rhetorical claims based on those interests in th e name of other groups, selfawareness of the divergence of interests, and th at groupness changes with identity and legitimized perception. In addition, Thomas Ol eson states that “resources often come to social movements via the participation of ‘conscience constituen ts’”. (Olesen, 2004, p. 33) They have material and psychological resources permitting them to facilitate organizations with little or no bearing for them personally. They also provide structures and organization for communi cation and mobilization.


26 While there is generally disagreement among scholars about the origins and political aims of the EZLN, there is very little argument that Chiapas has undergone a period of serious economic problems which s purred reorganization in society, opening the opportunistic door for people to sta nd behind Subcomandante Marcos. These problems include an increase in Guatemalan migrants beginning in 1983, and a sudden drop in coffee prices in 1987, which resulted in an increase in undocumented workers, ecological problems due to over-intense land us e, and rising poverty le vels. (Rus, 2003) Additional challenges included rising inpu ts, unobtainable credit, and unbalanced exchange rates discouraging exports. Many of these events resulted from constitutional reforms which hit ChiapasÂ’s indigenous societies in 1970, sweeping away their agricultural foundations and forci ng them to look for an altern ative base of identity and community. In the search for solidarity, they turned to expectations based on an international human rights framework, which em erged from a global consciousness of the human condition. (Olesen, 2004, p. 38) It demons trates that solidar ity can be derived from transnational movements built on iden tity and understanding which exists in informal organization and previous solidar ity activism. (Ibid., p. 40) Solidarity is therefore a social construction, based on tr ansnational framing and communicative action, which includes that of human rights and the human condition. A signif icant part of this mobilization structure was the Catholic Church, which served to strengthen the community base against struggles for justic e, civil rights, land, and democratization, while simultaneously providing an organizatio nal framework with an ideological basis for the re-conceptualization of ethnic identity.


27 Role of the State As independent peasant organizations began to emerge in Chiapas during the 1930s and 1940s, to make up for the lack of state funding, indige nous groups began to fight against local caciques, rural bosses who serve as agricultural middlemen, and Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) offi ces to control munici pal budgets (Mattiace, 2003, p. 16). The state response was a policy of co-optation and selective repression of community leaders and radical peasants. Anal ysts and scholars of Mexican indigenous movements believe that the state response was pa rt of a larger effort to weaken the PRI, traditionally associated with land-owning elites and both Indian and ladino party bosses. In sum, the context of economic crisis and weakening corporatism, coupled with agricultural challenges, signale d a form of state-sanctioned repression, which was key to constructing the consciousness of peasant activi sts. As part of a strategy to silence peasant organizations, the Indi genous Conference was held in San Cristobal de Las Casas in 1963. (Harvey, 1998, p. 123) Governor Suarez of the state of Chiapas used it as an attempt to lure church officials into co-opt ation and bind the church and state, thereby expanding the stateÂ’s apparatus in Chiapa s. This plan backfired by providing a networking forum for community leaders, peas ant academics, and others to voice their shared complaints to state officials. (Washbrook, p, 13) Anthony Marx (1998) noted that national projects are define d in order for states to mobilize ethnicity for the sake of constructi ng national identities. Agrarian reform was the single most important instrument for crea ting a state institutional framework in order to generate further legitimacy among ChiapasÂ’ peasant population. Statecraft and


28 agrarian reform had led to the emerge nce of “zapatismo”, indigenous Zapatista communities, in the Lacondon forest. The m ovement emerged on the outskirts of statecontrolled areas primarily because constitutio nal reforms spurred by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had alienated peasants, inciting support for the EZLN. In the 1970s, a long history of state cor poratism had begun, through which agricultural subsidies were intended to k eep peasant populations dependent, while peasant leadership and local elites which might be potential adve rsaries could be co-opted into government programs. The state embarked on a process of colonization, rather than redistributing the existing land; therefore, most of the agrari an reform involved uninhabited federal areas protecting elite land owners at the expense of the rainforest. Agrarian reform was concentrated in certain areas. Fr om 1950-59, 46.1% of national land suitable for cultivation were distri buted to 12 cities, mainly in the Lacondon rainforest. During 1970-79, 28% of land grants to ejidatarios and 12% in 1980-84 was in the same colonization area. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 20) Immediately following the initial reforms, the government attempted to political ly reconcile with peasants for the brutal repression of a 1968 student movement regard ing land tenure. In 1982, conservative elite land owners elected Miguel de la Madrid president and Absalon Castellanos Domingues state governor of Chiapas, which resulted in further repression of peasants, as both endeavored utilizing peasant organizations to promote elite interests by militarism and graft in favor of prominent landowners In 1992, the CNC or National Peasant Confederation, was supported by Mexico’s government and PRI leaders in order to fracture and co-opt the peasant uprising. While CNC members obtai ned land preferences and government subsidized credit lines, stat e actions only deepened polarization between


29 the state and civil society. Ultimately, as a result of agricultural policies, the 1990s saw an escalation of conflict be tween land-owning elites and the state on one hand, and the Catholic diocese of San Cristobal, peasant groups, and indigenous peoples on the other. Along with fights to control municipal govern ment funds, the politicization of ethnic identity continued. (Ibid. 2007) In 1992, land reform and the corporatist policy were en ded in order to appear more economically liberal to other memb ers of NAFTA, under President Salinas, triggering the rebelli on. In the aftermath of the rebel lion, the EZLN cont ributed to end the PRI party majority in the legislature duri ng 1997 and aided in the election of Vincente Fox to Party of National Action (PAN) in 2000. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 34) Even though the EZLN opposed constitutional reforms on indi genous rights, it is credited with placing them on the agenda. According to anthr opologists, George and Jane Collier, “Civil society has flourished, responding to the Zapatistas’ call to revitalize Mexico’s democratic life and social organization. The Zapatistas ha ve sparked new attention to gender rights. The independent labor moveme nt, to which Zapatista had ties before the rebellion, has advanced Peasant and indigeno us Mexico, which appeared at risk of extinction in after the 1992 ‘reform’ of the agrarian law, has been reinvigorated in a new national movement for indigenous rights and aut onomy.” (Ibid.) However, the economic crisis continued, resulting fr om state-sponsored oppression as well as the appearance of de-facto municipal governments which operate autonomously from the state, and reject its governing principles. The politicization of ethnicity continues, but with a decreasing emphasis on peasant issues and a greater emphasis on women’s rights. (HernandezCastillo, 2001) Although the EZLN rejects state elections, polit ical pluralism has


30 emerged in many municipalities Municipal governments ope rate functionally and free from the state, with many incor porating additional autonomy by the San Andreas Accords explained later. In sum, while the EZLN contributed to the democracy and rights of women and indigenous peoples, in many ways it ha s replicated the abusive institutions of the Mexican state by deve loping political imagery and organizational practices geared toward maintaining power and transboundary relati ons like a nation, as well as developing parallel structures to th e state with a national and global reach, in order to gain further legitimacy. Greater legi timacy inspires a wide range of actors with autonomy. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 87) Recalling Hobsbawm’s argument that states make nations, the official nationalism in Mexico is the state’s l ong-term project aimed at c onstructing a nation which is culturally and linguistically uniform, through methods of integration policies and frameworks. Indigenismo is the nationalist pr oject of racial homogenization which aims at reclassifying divers e Indian groups into mestizos – a combination of the best of the Spanish and Indian peoples th at is “quintessentially Mexi can”. (Mattiace, 2003, p. 55) Indigenismo has evolved over time as the stat e has changed from assimilation and racial homogenization, to “participatory indige nismo” during the 1960s, using the National Indigenist Institute (INI), a federal state agency, and finally toward an independent Indian movement and hostile government which threat ens to dismantle the INI. (Ibid.) Under participatory indigenismo, traditional dances and plays were performed at national government functions which had not been practic ed in years, that were unique to minority ethnic groups in Chiapas. Alt hough the state tried to promot e those activities in a manner


31 which was devoid of political intent, it still provided the peasantry with a place to seek further autonomy. (Ibid, p. 72) As part of indigenismo, the state created organizations along ethnic lines, such as the Patzcuaro Congress and the Consejos Supremos in 1975. The congress was where indigenous groups first articula ted demands for self-determina tion, in describing the role of the new National Council of Indian Peoples (CNPI). Th e goal was to unify indigenous peoples in various ways, including propos ing to communities solutions for the land tenure debate which included ethnic and cultural considerat ions, without attempting to separate their identity from the state government. These fora signify the seeds of modern communities described by June Nash as th e location where interests converge in dialogue. (Nash, 1995) The state also initiated the Solidaridad (Solidarity) Program, which served to target social spending towards three groups : indigenous groups, the peasantry, and the urban poor. It was designed by Salinas in December of 1988 around social services and infrastructure to alleviate impoverishment. (Mattiace, 2003, p. 75) However, Solidaridad sought to replace sectoral organizations like the Confederacion Nacional Campesina (CNC) with territory-based organizations, bypassing lower-le vel bureaucrats. Although this maneuver kept them from rent-seeking, it also attempted to consolidate state power. Ultimately indigenismo was a policy designed from the top-down by elites, to keep groups separate. It continues to fail b ecause indigenous groups believe that national heroes, art, dance, and culture, once encourag ed by the state, was tied to tradition, and cannot be separated from demands for land, indi vidual rights, and autonomy. As a result: “The revolt in Chiapas made Mexican society at large pay attention to backward rural


32 Mexico, a Mexico replete with nostalgic images and evocati ons, and reminded the rest of the population that poverty, social exclusion and inequality not only had not disappeared but had tended to increase as a result of neoliberal ec onomic restructuring”. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 99) It created a “war of imag es” spurred by repression. (Ibid.) The dialogues begun by the Zapatistas and the government re sulted in no actual satisfaction until after the first Lancandon invasions. The Zapatistas’ National Commission of Mediation (CONAI) and th e government Commission for Agreement and Pacification (COCOPA) attempted to find solutio ns to the violence and insurgency in the village of San Andres Larrainzar at the same time as the National Congress of Indigenous (CNI) in Mexico City, a series of national, state, and local meetings, outlined four areas of concern: Indigenous Rights and Culture, Democracy and Justice, Welfare and Development, and Women’s Rights, which they took to San Andres. The agreements regarded the topic of Indige nous Rights and Culture. Thes e San Andres Accords were signed by the EZLN and the Mexican Govern ment; however the Mexican government did not attend the next negotia tion meeting, and the negotiati ons were suspended by the Zapatistas. The Agreement r ecognized indigenous autonom y and “self-determination in areas ranging from development and language, to women’s rights, education and health practices…the move to recover traditiona l indigenous agriculture, promote organic production, control production and marketing, and eliminate commercial middlemen.” (Earle and Simonelli, 2005, p.95) The reason the Mexican government did not address the issue of rights is because of seventy-five year domination by the PRI pa rty, which is based on socialist ideology. Socialism has no concern for ethnicity or autonomy. Socialism doesn’t allow for


33 particularism, it only allows rights for peasan ts or workers, not i ndividual rights. The PRI offered no resolutions to address issues of racial descrimination, poverty, destruction of human dignity, and it rest ricted ethnic languages in schools; therefore, childhood education was hindered as well as social, political and economic equality. The change in political party, incited a renewal of a dial ogue on indigenous right s. The election of President Vicente Fox, in 2000, the president of the Partido Accin Nacional Party of National Action (PAN), a conservative, Christian, democratic party, provided the opportunity for negotiations between the EZLN and the Mexican government. The San Andreas Accords were cancelled unilate rally, by 2000, because the government failed to implement the necessary constitutional reforms and legislation. Officials argued that indigenous autonomy re presented an unacceptable threat to true national unification. Immedi ately thereafter, the government began a silent remunicipalization policy without the participat ory consent of Zapatistas. The government tried to render zapatismo unnecessary, claiming that the state effectively responded to demands of indigenous and mestizo peasants in Chiapas. To the Zapatista community, the San Andreas accords were the last opportunity to culturally integrate into the national political system. Since then Subcomandante Ma rcos ceased to participate in the national discourse, choosing to end commu niqus and sacrifice his place at the political pulpit. The EZLN was replaced by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which brought considerable, but unequal capital to the peasantry. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 105) Despite some degree of economic progress, the EZLN co ntinues to equate Indians with poverty. Under the new post-rebellion economic c onditions, indigenous peoples have been transformed into citizens, and are now dema nding individual rights. The San Andreas


34 accords fell short of successful. Zapatista id entity has developed through processes of social integration and grassroots solidarity. The value of both individual and collective existence which resulted reflects the two predominant discourses presented above, and that personal collective history is rooted in cultural dignity. Conclusion: Multiple Origin s of Sub-national Organization By establishing a new relationship be tween the state and indigenous groups, indigenismo was centered on libe ration of groups, not individua ls. It represented change that occurred from civil society below, rather than the paternalist authoritarian ideology of the state. It represented claims to autonomy and recognition which have enabled ethnic citizenship. Ethnic citi zenship was formed from the solidarity of networks based on those claims. As a concept, it evolve d from debates concerning the relationship between cultural belonging a nd identity, thus rooted in cu ltural citizenship. Cultural citizenship recognizes that there may be sepa rate origins to a single existing identity, based on the assumption that “no universal truth defines citizens hip”. (Washbrook, 2007, p. 141) It acknowledges that citizenship, participation and rights are subject to reconstruction and redefinition. Citizens may then have allegiances to various nations, and it is often unclear who nationalism bel ongs to. By eroding cultural “otherness”, neoliberal state policies have fuelled th e emergence of what is essentially a subnationalism, with indigenous subjects who favor the indigenismo project of reproducing the peasant economy through grassroots organization. June Nash notes that ethnic identity once divided indigenous communities from one another, but now, in the aftermath of the Zapatista conflict, diverse groups with


35 different indigenous backgrounds are more so emphasizing what they share, cognitively perceiving a resultant indigenous identity. This new solidarity has been forged by transformations which resulted from fundamental redirections of Mexico’s social policy for nationalism. These transformations marked the end of Mexico’s economic, political, and cultural statecraft. Changes in globa l markets and finance including structural adjustment, as well as agrarian or land tenu re reform, have gradua lly set aside social contracts, uniting peasants against the state. Mexico’s corporatis t approach, managing peasants and indigenous groups as institutionalized sectors ha s tended to “naturalize” differences among indigenous communities wh ile simultaneously differentiating them from non-indigenous peasants. Class and pow er divisions have made way for a new democratic discourse on beha lf of those living in poverty. Historically subordinate groups now have the opportunity structure to reco nstruct ethnicity from the bottom. Therefore, solidarity is not the result of historical continuity common to a heterogeneous population, but rather takes root in a shared experience, recent in history, by the mestizo majority. It is this solidarity which allows indigenous groups to pursue their own alternatives to the state corporatis m on which they were fully dependent prior to the elite’s concessions for NAFTA negotiation s. As new structures are set into place, the people of Chiapas find the capability to network through organizations, reaching themselves and the international community.


36 CHAPTER 3: THE RESTRUCTURING OF POWER RELATIONS IN FAIR TRADE This chapter examines three topics to understand the impact of innovative practices of fair trade in Chiapas on internati onal trade regimes. The first is Hobsbawm’s (1990) arguments about the origins of nati onalism as a negotiated concept constructed from historical evidence. Second, the chapter explores the origins of a three-way social dynamic, according to Tendler (1997). It then provides an alternative argument or explanation of a three-way dynamic of civ il society, state, and international trade regimes. It also describes how social practices in Chia pas aided in negotiations and restructuring power relations in order to achieve stability, repl ace corporatism, and achieve decentralization of a state-centered model of power, as argued by Rubin (1997). The variables of international trade regime s, defined earlier in Chapter 2, will be operationalized by illustrating the arguments of these three authors. They will demonstrate that new actors, namely peasan t coffee cooperatives, are capable of changing the dimensions of international trade. I will focus on coffee as a typical fair trade practice, although the fair trade regi me is not limited to coffee. Both “groupness” and “nations” are pr oducts of history and are created or constructed. Chiapas coffee producers reflect this process. The actors themselves, without being sanctioned or designated by “powerful agents such as the state”, engendered “groupness” and solidar ity. (Brubaker, p. 41) In the terms of Brubaker’s


37 definition and historical events, the Chiapa s identity among fair trade actors was not based on ethnicity, religion, or geography, but on a “commonality” and “connectedness”. ‘Commonality’ denotes the sharing of some common attribute, ‘connectedness,’ the relational ties that link people. Neither commonality nor connectedness alone engenders ‘groupness’—the sense of belonging to a distinctive, bounded, solidary [sic] group….A strongly bounded sense of groupness may rest on categorical commonality and an associated feeling of belonging together with minimal or no relational connectedness. This is typically the case for large-scale collectivities such as ‘nations.’ (Ibid. p. 47) Therefore, collective interests of actors which were not part of powerful corporations and state corporatism – Chiapas growers – entere d the international coffee market system with a minimum of government intervention by combining their perceptions of history, identities, resources and common interests, to attain historic al relevance as a group. Similarly, Hobsbawm instructs that, just as “groupness”, “nations” are a historical product, constructed and negotiated. There is a difference between the two analysts: Hobsbawm expands the implications of history by emphasizing that “states make nations.” These dialogues are relevant to Chiapas’ integration to the global economy via fair trade. The state-centered model, as in troduced above, reflects tr ansitions in the study of Chiapas’ impact on the fair trade regi me. Three other concepts are noteworthy: Hobsbawm’s discussion of state centered model and “proto-nationalism,” Tendler’s “three-way dynamic,” and Rubin’s analysis of “decentralization”. They have relevance to each other, the practices of civil society in Chiapas, a nd its impacts on fair trade.


38 Hobsbawm’s discussion of “nationalism” is useful in understanding how the members of civil society – a body of citizens, with collective sovereignty, unifying for public welfare, political expression, commo n interests, and claim of resources, developing national projects – constitute a nation. (Hobs bawm, 1990, p.19-21) His main premise is that “states make nations” (I bid. p.44) by attempting to classify groups according to “some ways primary and fundament al for social existence, or even the individual identification.” (Ibid. p.5) Commonalities su ch as ethnicity, language, religion, race, icons, symbols, or poli tical bonds, thought to be objective and fundamental, always pose exceptions. Hobs bawm presents evidence of attempts to construct a definition primarily by “historical association with a current state,” “the criterion…of…cultural elite,” or “the Darwinian proof of evolutionary success as a social species” (conquest). (Ibid. p. 738) Relative to these criteri a, large nations were largely constructed by elites because of their heterogeneity and their desire to unite them under a common identity. Usually elites create nati onalism from above, catering to the masses, sponsoring special interests of civil society, and proposing national projects, anchored by the media—they have the literary and moneta ry means, interact and “intercommunicate” (Ibid., p. 59) across geographical boundaries, and substitute cultural identity and autonomy for economic progress. As discussed in chapter 2, the Mexican state’s attempt to create a mestizo nation failed and instead contributed to the affirma tion of pan-Mayan identity, especially in Chiapas, where strong proto-nationalism sw ays Mayan’s toward their deep historical roots.


39 Nationalism can also occur from below, in which case civil society differentiates according to economics in order to maintain their cultural identity, strengthen their autonomy, lay claim to resources, and form in ternational linkages, without the state. Therefore in order to justify the premise that “It is the state whic h makes the nation and not the nation the state,” (Ibid. p. 44) Hobsbawm poses as part of his argument that some semblance of nationalism pre-existed. He terms it “proto-nationalism.” He attempts to clarify that proto-nationalism: made the task of nationalism easier, ho wever great the differences between the two, insofar as existing symbols and sen timents of proto-national community could be mobilized behind a modern cause or a modern state. But this is far from saying that the two were the same or even that one must logically or inevitably lead into the other. For it is evident that proto-nationalism alone is clearly not enough to form nationalities, nations, let alone states. The number of national movements, with or without states, is patently much smaller than the number of human groups capable of forming such movements by current criteria of potential nationhood, and certainly smalle r than the number of communities with a sense of belonging together in a manner which is hard to distinguish from the proto-national. (Ibid., p. 77) The reason that certain groups attain nati onalism, while other large and pluralistic groups do not, is vague and indifferent to Hobsbawm’s definition. The case of Chiapas has relevance to both of Hobsbawm’s concep ts, both nationalism and proto-nationalism. Chiapas society displays evidence of a commonality of Mayan norms and civic environmentalism, despite ethnic diversity, its plurality of languages, migrations and state


40 challenges. Chiapas developed an identity through what Hobsbawm labels as a protonational symbol, its virgin ic on, which is important enough to “constitute a nation”, for example, the Olympic symbol. (Ibid., p. 72) It displays community leadership ties through religious and cultural linkages which engender collective unde rstanding of their identity. People in Chiapas formed groups an d agencies which resu lted in solidarity capable of movement toward preservation of their autonomy and trad itional livelihoods. It satisfies the historical criterion of “capacity for conquest” (Ibid., p. 38) by the indigenous peasants’ war against the state wh ich resulted in negotiations against elite concessions and state corporatism. Chiapas, therefore, fulfills Hobsbawm’s ideas of nationalism; but for the same reasons it fits his concept of prot o-nationalism. In response to the argument that “states make nations,” Chiapas has entered a realm of interaction with nations in the fair trade re gime without state legi timatization or sanction and without the elitist tradi tions and communicability. Second, Chiapas’ history of norms, religious and cultural linkages, solidar ity, and fight against state oppression fulfill Hobsbawm’s criteria that make a group a nation may have already existed – protonationalism – but that it is not enough to form nationalities, nations, or the states that make nations. This dialogue illustrates that the practices of the civil society of Chiapas displays a synergism with groups as nations and the states in which they function. The discussion of central or state govern ments in a synergistic relationship with civic movements is also relative to the practices which escalate civic actors to successful performers and movements. Judith Tendler (1997) makes a point concerning government and programs of civil societies. Sh e stresses the impacts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civi c associations on the effec tiveness of the actions of


41 “central government”, which she uses interchangeably with “state government”. (Tendler, 1997, p. 15) She first describe s a central government and community which “portrays local government and civil society as locked in a healthy two-way dynamic of pressures for accountability that results in impr oved government.” (Ibid.) In this model, civic associations and NGOs, including donors and organizers, become key actors in program development, have a closer relations hip to the citizens, a nd reduce the role of central government. She uses the example of successful programs in Cear, Brazil to illustrate that programs of public services in the area operate d more effectively with less involvement of central/state in terference. She later construc ted a model of a “three-way dynamic” for the success story of public movement programs. She based the model on an “activist ‘central governm ent’—in this case, the state government—as well as local governments and civil society…because state governments are powerfu l actors vis--vis municipal governments in Brazil’s federal system, and because to the extent that decentralization was involved in these pr ograms, it was from state to municipal government.” (Ibid., p. 15) In Tendler’s cas e study, although some activities proved to be a disadvantage to the state, the practices contributed to the “creation of civil society by encouraging and assisting in the organizing of civil associations including producing groups, and working through them. Th ese groups then turned around and ‘independently’ demanded better performa nce from government, both municipal and central, just as if they we re the autonomous entities po rtrayed by students of civil society.” (Ibid., p. 16) The points developed here ar e that states and society operate with synergy, that some civic associations and societal enti ties synergize in a positive way with the


42 government, new alliances form between govern ment and civil society, and that it is therefore possible for “reformist fractions of ci vil society to unite with reformist fractions within government, sometimes at both the local and central levels. In the case of small farmers in Brazil, the government encouraged and contributed to the emergence of an “independent” civil society. (Ibid., p. 157) In addition, Tendler states that effects of civil society on government extend to central and local government: “Some members of civic associations or nongovernment organizatio ns, moreover, migrated to government, making alliances with like-minded colleagues already within government. Once in government, they spanned the public-private di vide by continuing to relate to their outside networks.” (Ibid., p. 146) Tendler is saying that civil society and NGOs are autonomous instruments of improving loca l government, because their association “relocates government to a place where civil so ciety can work its magic better.” (Ibid., p. 145) In other words, Tendl er holds that government in association with civil organizations and NGOs may not be decentral ized but operating acco rding to the threeway dynamic, in that central government “caused” civil society to act, as an “alternative path” to improvement of local government. (Ibid p. 146-9) Tendler’s dynamic applies to Chiapas peasants. In Tendler’s example of Cear, the municipa lities appropriated benefits through highly trained ag ents who were sensitive to ethnic concentrations of the poor and peasants, who educated and couns eled recipients, and kept mayors and community leaders informed about needs of “remote and dispersed households.” (Ibid., p. 27) The agents, being memb ers of the community were personally impacted socially and economically, In addition to this point, Tendler observes in her Brazilian case study, as in Chiapas, concerning state municipal and civil associations, that the role of elites is


43 noteworthy: The elites, including mayors, large landowners, representatives from municipal departments, and rota ry leaders, were considered part of civil society, were sensitive to peasant needs as instrumental in their prosperity, and “introduced heterogeneity into elite influence on local government and sometimes helped generate fairer and more carefully craf ted decisions.” (Ibid., p. 68) Tendler’s three-way dynamic, therefore, consists of the st ate government providing the cr iteria for forming a “local decision making council” and choosing public projects, which invol ves “less consumer sovereignty”, and “more public-mindedness among local elites.” (Ibid., p. 69) To sum up, Tendler’s three-way dynamic model inspires an alternative approach to extending social movements beyond the dualism of state and civil society to impact the international system. In Chiapas, the stat e remained insensitive to the needs of local communities, which pushed coffee growers toward joining international networks. The alternative approach to extending social movements beyond the dualism of state and civil society that I propose consists of civil society, state, and international regimes. Networks created within Chiapas ci vil society, reinforced by fair trade labeling organizations and coffee certification programs, illustrate civic organization similar to Judith Tendler’s model, but include different entities. Tendler illustrates that civic associations impact central government or state government by bypassing traditional powerholders – mayors and municipalities – and that it was the consent of a strong governor that served as the impetus for civic demands to be met with greater accountability and transparency from government. In the case of Chiapas, it is the Mexican state which has played a powerful ro le in monitoring civic associations, but did not meet the demands and pressures for greater participation and accountability.


44 Traditional social movements as illustra ted earlier by Tilly, McAdam, and Tarrow, include what these authors believe is a h ealthy two-way dynamic between civil society and the state, where civil society channels its concerns – usually the lack of democracy within a particular setting – to the state through a medium called the “public sphere” or “public space”. However, when these demands are not recognized, civil society attempts to utilize new channels and create their own direct linka ges with others, who respond with greater legitimacy and accountability. In the case of Chiapas, civic associations seeking recognition decided to bypass th e state and look for responses by the international community, by engaging in the fair trade regime. This illustrates a move to become socially embedded on a much broader, deeper scale. The dua listic relationship was not necessarily synergistic – that is, th e distance between state and society was far from having state institutions embedded within society. Rather, a chasm existed between the two. The following figure illustrates the new model based on Judith Tendler’s three way dynamic.


45 Figure 1: Three-way dynamic as applied to Chiapas social movement. This figure illustrates that civic demands originating from civil society enter the public sphere, but a privileged few reach the state. Civil society has c hanneled these demands around the states, eliciting attention of members of the inter national trade regime. The regime responds, granting recognition and legitimacy, to actors in local civil society. This coincides with Hobsbawm, Tendler, and Rubin, who illustrate properties of this dynamic. Hobsbawm’s narrative expl ains how protonationalis ts can engage in governance on an international le vel without state legitimizat ion or sanction, and without the communication and support of traditional elitists. Tendl er illustrates that this governance is not the result of a “unidirectional transfer of power and funding from central to local.” (Tendler 1997, p. 147) Quite opposite, in that the state government would not effectively respond to civic demands It also differs from the “stylized portrayal of decentralization” in that add ition of a third element required and supported the formation of civic associations, yet did no t strengthen capacity of local clientelistic powerholders. The three-way dynamics described are associ ated with the solidarity of peasants, ethnic bonds, decentralization by means of NGOs and civil social movements. They are


46 the challenges shared by repressed regions wh ich lead to the dysfunction of state-centered power. Like Hobsbawm and Te ndler, Jeffrey Rubin addresse s the dynamics of historical changes throughout Mexico. R ubin acknowledges Mexico as “one of the preeminent enduring regimes in the world today.” (Rubi n, 1997, p. 12) He illustrates the history of Juchitn as parallel to that of Chiapas in its challenge to state centered power. His main reflection is that although the role of central state has been strong and efficient, it has been “uneven and incomplete” in diverse wa ys in different locations. He defines “decentering,” in Mexico, as “broadening” the concepts of regime and politics as “enduring regional counterweights to national power in Mexico; circuitous pathways of historical change, and locations of power outside formal politics, in people’s experiences of culture and daily life.” (Rubin, 1997, p. 11) Since his book analyzes regimes and “decentr alization”, Rubin brings to light the deep relationships of nationalism and the central authority that reaches beyond the country. He stresses that “the Mexican state and regime s hould be seen as parts of a complex and changing center that coexists w ith, and is indeed c onstituted through and embedded in, the diversity of regional and cultural constructions that have evolved throughout Mexico since the 1930s,” not a homogeneous national hegemony. (Ibid., p.13). He describes that “by balancing politic al constituencies on the left and right and then increasingly by exercising control over those opposed or harm ed by inegalitarian [ineffectual] forms of economic development, ” (Ibid. p.15) the cor poratism that came out of the ‘30s and ‘40s, maintained stability for thirty years, despite graft, economic favoritism of the elite, and which amounted to “nonmilitary authoritarianism”. (Ibid., p.


47 17) He further states that this history il lustrates how “regimes, as singular entities, controlled what were seen as the relative ly objective demands expressed by individuals and groups experiencing socioeconomic chan ge…and in the work that emerged in the late ‘70s, of political culture .” (Ibid., p. 18) He continue s that the contemporary Mexican regime is an “all-powerful state…without the old corporatism, and one describing complex state-society dynamics…made up of diverse actors, on a battleground somewhere between weakened corporatism and emergent pluralism.” (Ibid., p. 21) He suggests that the tension between ethnicity a nd nationalism is a relevant “fissure” in the regime providing the opportunity for ethnic identities to “maintain their distance from centers of political power.” (Ibid., p. 25) He explicitly states that the Zapatistas in Chiapas, as well as the Coalition of Work ers, Peasants, and Students of the Isthmus (COCEI), mobilized in Juchit n, are models for empowering indigenismo from below the state regime. The coinciding histories of Chiapas and Juchitn illustrate that ethnicity is fundamental in creating more effective selfgovernment. Rubin define s ethnicity as “the medium through which autonomy and difference, as well as allian ce and accommodation, were constructed historically.” (Ibid ., p. 24) From two centuries of history, Juchitn is notorious for resistance against the Spanish, French, duly inspired by women martyrs and rebels, their barbaric resistance dur ing the 1911 Che Gmez rebellion, violent confrontations in answer to murders of COCEI officials in the ‘70s, and inciting violence through radio broadcasts in the ‘90s. Though not legitimized by moral necessity, dignified attitude or democr atic methodology, the ethnic impri nt is established. Rubin states that “destabilization”, “in the context of the recurring recons truction of nation and


48 sovereignty in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries” is important in Mexico. (Ibid., p. 25) In other words, Rubin illustrates that “renegotiating” ethnic identity causes changes in political authority. Rubin constructs a state-centered model for creating state stability, where the state’s mission was to repress or “circumvent ” opposition. (Ibid. p. 16) He describes the origins of state centralization from the 1920s national party, beginning with the coerced backing of revolutionary generals, who b ecame or appointed politi cal bosses to create clientelism and influence negotiations, then restructuring by means of “corporatism” (Ibid., p. 20), during the next tw enty years, by means of stat e-formed organizations’ labor legislation, social-welfare and land reform, “e lite quiescence, and insign ificant elections.” (Ibid., p. 63) Rubin attributes decentralization or to elimin ating elite market control, engaging civil society’s disbandment of corpor atism, partly to media propagandizing of potential violent repercussions, while gras sroots peasant moveme nts attracted elite sympathizers concerned with agricultural pr oduction, marketing, credits and prices, in lieu of “ownership” itself. Thus, Rubin s ees the beginning of de centralization as the eliminating of elite market control, the pa ssing of cacique control of regions. Another important historical event, not expounded upon by Rubin, but which affected the nation’s stability was NAFTA’s repeal of Article 27, wh ich will be described later. Rubin also notes that the president of COCEI attended the Zapatistas’ National Democratic Convention, establishing Juchitn prominen ce in “grassroots autonomy” and “engaging civil society” in decentraliz ing the regime. (Ibid., p.193) The state-centered model, therefore, according to Rubin, reflects that re gimes and states are subject to civil impacts and changing ideologies between regions and centralized government, which provide


49 opportunities for political arrangements within a nd outside regimes. It follows, then, that his model provides for civil society to engage the fair trade regime. The means for the practices of Chiapas to enter fair trade and the impact that practices of fair trade has without sanction and management of the state have been illustrated. Hobsbawm’s narrative on nationalism provides an understanding of how actors like those in Chiapas have constructed an approach in opposition to the Mexican state, according to the theory of its proto-na tionalist roots, which enables them to enter the fair trade regime, without state legitima tization or sanction, a nd without the elitist traditions and communicability required by the theory of nationalism. Tendler’s “threeway” dynamic and my association of it with fa ir trade are models for peasant producers to bypass the state to en ter the fair trade regime. Rubin analyzes the decentralization of regimes, including state regimes, thr ough the strengths of group autonomy, which provide opportunities for change through civil society. The following give insight into facilitating group economic transforma tion to the international level. Regime politics in Mexico is characterized by rural conflict, changing instruments leading to state decentralization and legal land reform. The impact of land reform is centered on the reform of Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution, in an aftermath of the Mexican Revolution. The vagaries of the law resulted in loss of constitutional land rights for agrarian communities and a legacy of human rights violations It provided that land ownership is vested with the Nation, resu lting in land tenures, state control of land markets, land grants, land rest rictions, and a history of comp romises to redefine “small private property, not suscep tible to expropriation.” (S anchiz, 2008, p. 584) In 1992, the article was reformed. As a result, unresolved petitions for land in Chiapas, which had


50 gone on for as long as eleven years, were considered failed, so cial programs were eliminated, international invest ors and privatized state corpor ations threatened indigenous agrarian livelihoods, and the Zapatistas or ganized after the 1974 Indigenous Congress rebelled in violence on the same day as th e signing of the North American Free Trade agreement, between Mexico, the US, and Ca nada, 01 January 1994. Chiapas’ situation, after the amendment of Article 27 is described in Zapatismo Resurgent : Government programs were directed for peasants, not Indians; the National Indianist Institute (NII) and other programs were “designed more to assimilate indigenous people into the peasantry” (Collier, 2000, p. 2); the rural repression drew the attention of Amnesty International after the jailing of Chiapas’ j ournalist Jorge E. Hern andez Aguilar (Ibid. p. 4); autonomy according to Mexican law di d not include indigenous communities. Central Chiapas was characterized as “institutional revolutionary communities” because the government was able to infiltrate its civ il and religious hierarch ies; while northern Chiapas, due to its reformation of traditional lifestyle as ejidos were able to create linkages between local indigenous groups a nd regional government, while the federal institutions concentrated on the densely popul ated central highlands. (Sanchiz, 2008, p. 579) Chiapas’ hopes were in the San Andres ac cords, which were voted to take place by the Mexican population, but were cancelled. According to the amendment of Article 27, in 1991, ejido lands were permitted “full privatization”, which meant “free sale and free rent”. (Ibid. p. 590) Chiapa s lands were subjected to trus teeships and paramilitary group takeovers which “perpetuated in a way the ex istence of the State-regulated land market that had long been entwined with the ejido tenure. As in former decades, peasant land claimants continued to turn official cont radictions and complexities in agrarian


51 regulations to their advantag e.” (Sanchiz, 2008, p .l596) Ac ross Chiapas, land invasions and groups of land squatters as well as corruption continued until the dissolution of the PRI regime. Agrarian needs drastically changed as coffee prices collapsed, as uncontrolled amounts of Mexican coffee flooded the export markets, as did the governmental aid programs and subsidies. The Chiapas “recuperati on” of land and its autonomy are significant to Mexican regime politics and Chiapas’ validation as an actor in international trade regimes. A facet of regime form ation which reflects significantly on state role in international trade is described by Peter Evans as “embedded autonomy”. (Evans 1995) He reminds us that the state has a responsibil ity for maintaining itsel f and the interests of society. Furthermore, “as political survival and internal peace are more often defined in economic terms, states have become respons ible for economic transformation.” (Evans, Peter. 1995 p. 5) The state “autonomy” he de fines consists of independence of social pressures to attain a collective goal; yet having specific connections and linkages with specific social groups with syne rgistic relationships and goals (Ibid., p. 59) Evans states that “the new internationalization clearly comp licates the politics of state involvement.” To illustrate, he continues that “the politic al vacuum that allowed early ‘guerrilla’ initiatives from inside….the kind of aut onomous action that propelled the initial development” no longer exists. In the inte rnational realm of interaction, alliances between local producers and transnational firms, “no longer co mprise a political constituency as they did under the old greenhous es. Their interests are much less clearly bound with the growth of local demand an d the enhancement of local productive capacity”; and, “forces us to think anew about the political roots and economic


52 consequences of the state’s role.” (Eva ns. 1995. p. 205-6) Gr eenhouse politics is the state sanctioning of partnerships or incentives to promote a nd protect products beneficial to its interests or those of specific societ al groups, by means of protective regulations, tariffs, import prohibitions, investment rest rictions, or encourag ing “entrepreneurial groups to venture into more challenging kinds of production” (Ibid., p. 15). The extent that the old “greenhouse” alliance woul d satisfy local demand for growth and productivity places stress on the state to rein force the process. “This in turn demands more intimate connections to private economic agents, a state that is more ‘embedded’ in society than insulated from it.” (Ibid., p. 32) Modern trends, however, take the form of seeking “transnational capital,” in a sh ift to global markets. (Ibid. p. 184) Evans contrasts three cases for economic/i ndustrial transformation: Brazil, as an example of dependent development, driven by transnational corpor ate investors and the consumer needs that exhibited civil inequali ty; India, as a multinational society of a majority of agro-peasants; and Korea, where industrialization was the focus and peasants were a minority. Evans estimates that Br azil, is characterized by a fragmented and shifting bureaucracy (Ibid., p. 62), but a “tig ht symbiosis between the state and the traditional oligarchy” allowed for certain successful projects between state and industrialists (Ib id., p72-3); India “invented” private linkages to succe ssfully fulfill autonomous goals of large scale industrial projects. (Ibid.., p. 73); Korea, though having control of private capital, employed the benefits of “embeddedness” by private managerial linkages and entrepreneurship. In comparing the transformational abilities of Korean bureaucracy to Mexico’s, Evans critiques Mexican lack of traditional bureaucratic institution for select ing civil servants. He states : “This tradition is vital in


53 providing both legitimacy for state initiatives and nonmaterial incentives for the ‘best and the brightest’ to consider bur eaucratic careers.” (Ibid., p. 51 ) In these three examples, “embeddedness” is based off a state/society sy nergy. However in the case of Chiapas, the ‘embeddedness’ is based off locating th emselves in the international economic system, not the state. In the Fair Trade Regime, the traditi on of embeddedness exists between peasant and civic bureaucracies, and on a larger sc ale between democratic cooperatives and members of the international arenas. Sara h Lyon illustrates this through her case study on human rights in Guatemala. She notes: “U nlike other forms of local participation in the global economy (migration, service jobs in the tourist industry, drug trafficking, etc.) which often present alternatives to community based livelihoods, participation in the fair trade coffee market embeds members more deeply in local economics and social spheres since it is contingent upon individual member ship within the demo cratically organized cooperative….This cooperative structure reaffi rms existing cultural traditions of service and mutual aid common to many Mesoamerican Maya Communities…”. (Lyon. 2007. p. p.243) She also draws significantly upon Guat emala/Maya parallels and Chiapas. Another author attesting that Fair Tr ade success involves embeddedness is L. T. Raynolds, illustrated in a fair trade model fo r success that centers on developing linkages which facilitate deeper relationships internally and externally: “Fair Trade success requires producer groups to cr eate and maintain strong exte rnal ties with corporate buyers, development NGOs, and other organi zations. Cosmopolitan leaders typically facilitate these international links.” (Ibid., p. 116) In the st udy, since producers maintain participation through cooperatives, their power is enhanced by individual and collective


54 “empowerment and capacity build ing”. (Ibid., p. 116) Her UK study also states that though civic norms are not uniform within the regime of Fair Trade, trust and benefits practiced by the network acto rs facilitate, “re-embed trad e relations and shorten the distance between consumers and producers.” (Ibid., 2004, p. 420) This chapter has examined the success of fair trade practices of small coffee growers in Chiapas in entering the global market regime through a dynamic model which empowers from below the state. First, it reviews the Chiapas coff ee growers’ propensity as a national actor beca use of its success in maintaining its solidar ity and autonomy, in terms of Hobsbawm’s discussion of “nationa lism” and “proto-nationalism.” According to his definitions, Chiapas has fulfilled his criteria for nationalism because of its common identity, its capacity for conquest, and its abi lity to mobilize to achieve its goal without the powers of the state. Second, Chiapas’ mode l for independent actors to impact central or state government by bypassing traditional powers, coincide s with Tendler’s three-way dynamic: Chiapas bypasses the Mexican state th rough “public sphere” channels to create its own linkages with international actors that possess their own legitimacy and accountabilities. Beyond Tendler’s threeway dynamic is my model which extends Tendler’s into international regimes. Thir d, “regimes” are discusse d by Rubin’s analysis of Mexico’s decentralization and restructur ing of regimes and states, which provide opportunities and political arrange ments for market actors within and outside regimes. Peter Evans, Sarah Lyon, and L.T. Raynolds attribute the extension of Chiapas’ interaction into the international sphere to “embeddedness” between peasants and civic bureaucracies. Chiapas’ growers exemplif y that non-uniformity of civic norms, bureaucracies and politics among states and nations do not matter in a fair trade regime.


55 ChiapasÂ’ growers are re-embedded by trad e relationships which link producers to consumers globally, by bypassing the state.


56 CHAPTER 4: PARTICIPATORY, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF FAIR TRADE The capability of Chiapas growers to en ter an international commodity regime by reembedding themselves against conventiona l state, oligopolistic, and corporate governance, lessens the gap between coff ee producers and consumers. The common ground established between them is the realiza tion of their ability to challenge domestic policies and focus on the ne w concerns for sustainable and organic agricultural production and distribution. The strategic effo rts are not price orie nted but are based on ideologies shared by certain countries and groups, including produc ers and consumers, which elevate participants to enter small nich es in large market regimes from which they would be marginalized. The success of the i ndigenous organization resulted from the ties outside the EZLN (Ejrcito Zapatista de Li beracin Nacional), w ith individuals and entities outside the local and na tional linkages. According to sociologist Markus Schulz, “to explain how indigenous peasants from th e remote jungles of Chiapas linked up with individuals and groups in Mexico City, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Paris, and Sydney, it is necessary to examine the communicative praxis throu gh which these linkages were achieved”. (Schulz, 1998, p. 591) The traditional analysis of communicating beyond social bounda ries is described as “cons cious strategic efforts by groups of people to fashion shared understandi ngs of the world and of themselves that legitimate and motivate co llective action.” (Snow and Benford, 1988, p. 592)


57 The impact of the insurgent struggle fo r recognition and justice for indigenous peasants resulted in linkages and methods fo r establishing stable political and economic relations and building environmental and soci al reforms for changing rules, norms and procedures for entering the in ternational regime of fair trade. Through Fair trade, embeddedness results from cooperatives, producer networks created within Chiapas’ civil society, reinforced by fair trade labeling orga nizations and coffee certification programs. External producer-consumer linkages result from the creation of common grounds for dialogue on ecological ideas, sust ainable production, needs of so ciety, and fair trade. Fair Trade Fair trade is a coordinated internationa l network of organizations which combine market-based economic strategies, interests in the environment, and the concern for social justice. The principles fair trade prac tices are based on respect of cultural diversity: Fair Trade producers and organizations “are equal commercial partners and treat each other with mutual respect and support.” (Waridel, 2002, p. 65) The movement originated with the Max Ha velaar Foundation of the Neth erlands, in 1988, as a vehicle for alternative trade organizations (ATOs or FTOs) to designate their “seal of approval” for coffee producers. The principles contradi ct the free market relations which are based on buyers seeking the lowest prices rather than “long-term human relationships.” (Schulz, 1988, p. 31) The first principle of fair trade is to pur chase directly from cooperatives made up of small plot producers, and cut out any middl emen, the majority cultivating less than 30 hectares of coffee plants and who are considered to be equal partners, sharing mutual respect and informati on to aid each other in their pursuit of their


58 goals. The second principle is to fix fair prices which take into account the needs of southern producers and the de mands of northern consumers. For example, The Fairtrade Labeling Organizations Internat ional (FLO-International) ha s established the standard payment to cooperatives of $2.77 per kg ( $1.26 per lb) for Arabica coffee and $2.42 per kg ($1.10 per lb) for Robusta. In the case of high market prices, in excess of these guaranteed prices, a premium of $0.30 per kg ($0.05 per lb) is added. (Waridel, ibid., p. 65) Figure 2. Fair Trade and Organic Premium Prices Source: Calo, M. and Wise, T. A., 2005, p. 12. In addition, a higher price ($0.20) is paid fo r organic coffee. Third, the benefit of consistent sales enables growers to plan th eir operations to endure market fluctuations and cultivation problems such as drought, dise ase, etc.; therefore ensuring a long-term commitment. The fourth principle in fair trad e organizations is low interest credit in the form of prepayment for orders, in rare cases. The fifth principle is equitable division of profits, with all workers taking part in the decision-making process. Sixth, fair trade


59 organizations provide consumers with knowle dge of producer methods and reasons to support fair trade. The public should be able to access financial records of the fair trade organizations. Often fair trade coffee is also certified organic, which influences consumers who are environmentally and health conscious. Labeling: Building Bridges be tween Producers and Consumers There are two vehicles for consumers a nd producers to influen ce the international fair trade coffee market – labeling and agricu ltural certification – the former being more recognized and attractive to the coffee consum er. Coffee is an important model for alternative trade and “the export crop in wh ich alternative trade can make the most difference.” (Martinez-Torres, 2006, p. 36) It is said to make up about half of the alternative trade volume. Alternative trade and development groups based their relations and understanding on trust and subjective knowle dge of the producers of commodities by means of labeling. In 1990, the European Fa ir Trade Association (EFTA) created the TransFair label; formal labeling began in 1995 with Max Havelaar; and in 1997, influenced by the U.S. fair trade organiza tions’ movement for organic and fair trade coffee, the EFTA adopted the Fairtrade mark of the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FTO). (Ibid., p. 37-38) Th ese initiatives united international trade activities and are instrume ntal in the growth of fair trade products. Ho wever, fair trade is based not only on commercial market practices but also on “collective responsibility and evaluations of societal benefits” (Raynolds, 2002, p. 411) The FLO mission is restructuring the relationship between northern consumers and southern producers through norms of equality and tr ust. Labels and national or ganizations set the norms but


60 do not enforce rules and norms; certifying agen cies inspect and perp etuate adherence to norms but do not set them. (Mutersbaugh, 2008, p. 262) Coincidentally, certifying agencies protect the integrity of the labe ling system, even though trade labels do not guarantee adherence to rules and norms. Trade labels indicate the environmental and social conditions of the production of the commodity by specific criteria which must be met to satisfy specific consumer trends, demands, and interests. An example is th e Fairfood label, which includes “corruption initiatives” among its policie s, in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact, World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, Transparency International and Internati onal Chamber of Commerce. (Fairfood, 2008, p. 1) One anomaly in the conventions of the internationa l coffee market, is that many product labels are uncertified, including those of about $15 million in shade-grown coffee from Mexico and Central America. One other marketing pl oy is the effort of large corporations to sway consumers with such labels as “pr oduced by small-scale growers” or “peasant coffee”. (Martinez-Torres, p. 41) A third probl em is that corporations such as Sara Lee (Douwe Egberts) and Starbucks have advertis ing programs that deal with environmental and social criteria, such as “peasant grown” and “fair trade” to compete with accurate labels. In response to labeling problems, as an expansion to the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA, 1998), the Fair Trad e Labeling Organization International has specific agreements among its members on all fair trade pricing an d initiatives which serve to standardize some la beling terms and classifications hoping to give small coffee farmers a competitive advantage. To cha llenge the labeling competition, the Consejo Civil para la Cafticultura Sustentable en Mexico (CCCSM, Mexi can Sustainable Coffee


61 Civic Council), made up of eleven Mexi can coffee producer organizations, seven nonprofit organizations, three cer tification programs and various experts formed, in 2002, to channel information to consumers and the global coffee market. These labeling organizations focus on promoting fair trade ma rkets and licensing dist ributors. They do not produce or trade, but concentrate on increas ing “total sales and ma rket share for fair trade coffee by penetrating mainstream industr y channels”. (TransFair USA 2009) The TransFair label, as well as sp ecial interest indicators, such as the Rainforest Alliance label (ECO-O/K), indicates th at a commodity is endorsed by international organizations whose members promote viable economics, sustainable livelihoods for growers, and conservation. (Ibid.) Such labels ensure st rict and specific “Shade Regime” standards: For example, the Rainforest Alliance specif ies the number of species and distribution of native trees, the density of shade tree species per hectar e (1 hectare equals 2.47 acres), the, pruning management, and stratification of shade structures, in order to provide continuous habitat, control erosion, enrich so il, and maintain biodiversity. (Wunderlich, 2002, p. 35) Labeling, therefore, is a vehi cle for producing an image with legal implications that a product satis fies consumer expectations. Agricultural Certification: Perpetuating Standards and Norms There are considerable differences am ong certifications rega rding standards, claims, credibility, organizations involve d, and their impacts on the growers, management and consumers. The primary unit for the organic movement is the International Federation of Organic Agri culture Movements (IFOAM). Founded in 1972, it consists of more than 750 voting member organizations, including producers, retailers,


62 NGOs, and public information specialists from over 100 countries. Its General Assembly meets every three years to elect the World Board which directs and implements the strategies set by the Assembly and its c onsultants. The Board members come from Sweden, Germany, India, Australia, Senegal, Japan and the U.S., with backgrounds in organic agriculture. Another certification, Utz Kapeh, whic h is Mayan Quich for “good coffee,” is currently a not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands which is committed to “responsible coffee production” and includes issues of hired labor a nd small producers. (Courville, in Bacon, 2008, p. 292) In a ddition, an organic company owned by General Mills, with expertise in Cas cadian Farms, exemplifies the ra nge of linkages of sectors of the coffee industry and backgr ounds of the members. Linkages between coffee producers and c onsumers are established by labeling principles. Labeling is clos ely related to trademarks wh ich provide a “guarantee” to consumers of specific principles, particular ly concerning biodiversity of lands and resources. Also referred to as “ecolabeli ng,” it addresses reliabil ity of information, “rationality in resource use and consumpti on…(and) helps define legal parameters in national and international markets.” (Guerra, 2003, p. 1) The Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO), founded in 1997, united various fair trade labeling institutions in consumer countries. Am ong the 20 groups was Max Havelaar, in the Netherlands. Currently there ar e initiatives in 21 countries including the most recent participants Spain, Australia /New Zealand, and Mexico. They certify 422 producer groups and trading companies. Its board of directors includes representatives of consumer groups, producers from developing co untries, trade organizations, and national delegations. Two representatives of trader s are Oxfam Wereldwinkels of Belgium and


63 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont. Each representative group has two seats, but lacks decision-making power. Their effo rts are currently to influence policymaking in regional producer networks, through the fo rmation of Latin America and Caribbean Producer Assembly (CLAC—Coordinadora La tinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequenos Productores de Comercio Justo). (Bacon, 2008, p. 291) Primarily, the principles of labeling concern the conservation of landscapes biological sustainability, and promotion of cultural diversity. Environmental labeling standards were outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 1998, according to who verifies labeling claims, and were similarly complemented by other state and internatio nal organizations wh ich participate in international trade conferences, including th e World Trade Organization (WTO). “Firstparty verification” is self-promoting by marketer s to create an image, by means of selfregulatory peer associations and regulatory ci vic boards. “Third-party verification” involves independent agents, such as certi fication agencies, state regulatory and food safety agencies, environmental/scientific a nd nonprofit advisory groups. Labeling can be mandatory or voluntary, and tends to reflect po sitive, negative or neutral judgments. It can categorically refer to forestry, res ources, energy, or biotechnology, to name a few contemporary concerns. Examples of mandato ry labeling in the U.S. involve hazardous chemicals or pesticides. According to the WTO, many other countries are negligent in such labeling and the enforcement. Since this is a concern of the WTO, it is important that the agenda of developing regions and emerging economies promote mandatory ecolabeling and its enforcement, “not only to gain access to niche countries [and] niche markets, but for the environmental health of our own societies.” (Guerra, 2003, p. 2) In


64 terms of labeling standards, third party cer tification methods are burdensome for small coffee producers; however, coffee communities and organizations in Mexico, particularly in Chiapas, are moving into the forefront of the international organic and fair trade movement. These principles of fair trade and the identifiable prescriptions for honest and equitable trade are instrumental in ensuring that Chiapas coffee growers enjoy long-term benefits of global trade. Fair Trade Coffee in Chiapas Agricultural methodolog ies and certifications Chiapas production of coffee consists of another alternative strategy for competing in the broader market regime. Li ke free trade, and sometimes in combination with it, networks of organic producers form another alternative trade organization based on production methods. Organic farming is a traditional production method in Chiapas. It is based on knowledge of environmentally friendly patterns of horticultural methods. One characteristic of organic pr oduction in Chiapas is the in tensive labor involved in the practice of cultivation. Coff ee production is traditionally diversified and mixed with other agricultural commodities rather th an mono-cultured. Specifically, shade certification ensures higher yield and better quality, as the coffee plant is not welladapted to full sunlight. Shade production methods are traditional and natural elements of organic coffee cultivation in Mayan comm unities. In organic cultivation, organic applications utilizing human labor,, instea d of heavy equipment and agrochemicals.


65 (Martinez-Torres, 2006, p. 125) Environmental a nd social practices have led to a variety of regulatory systems for certification of indi vidual producer organizations. Certification systems are mission driven. Classifications of certification for products, which often overlap with fair trade certification, include “organic,…Rainforest Alliance Certified, Utz Certified, Shade-grown, Bird Friendly, individual company c odes of conduct,” and others. (Courville, 2008, p. 290) “Nowhere is this trend more pronounced than in the international production, trade, and mark eting of coffee. While on the average representing less than 2 per cent of consumption in majo r markets, what we call sustainable coffees have seen significant grow th from a very small base, to total global sales for coffee with an ethical claim to fa me in 2002 estimated to be in excess of 1.1 million bags.” (Ibid.) Likewise, Fair Trade Certified sets strict environmental standards including prohibition of chemi cals, proper waste disposal, us age and storage of hazardous chemicals, planning and monitoring of crops conservation of soil and water, a ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and re quires environmental impact assessments. Fair trade offers knowledge, methods, an d incentives for improving production, protecting the environment, and skills to compete in the glob al market. (TransFair USA 2009) Therefore, certifica tion systems can be descri bed as mission-driven. Commodity Chain Certification of commodities is a transnational vehicle for insuring that standards and norms are satisfied through monitoring agenci es. Certification involves a network of officers who judge and implement norms and standards based on transnational agreement. It requires “administrative ag ents, marketing and ad ministrative staff,


66 governmental liaisons, secretaries, local in spectors and community technical officers required to sustain certified production.” (M utersbaugh, 2002, p. 263) Eight certifying agencies in Mexico audit growers, processors storage and transport facilities according to examination and auditing standards which ar e increasing in conformity transnationally. Certification operations can be seen in the Table 1 (Ibi d, p. 262), “Certified agricultural commodities and custody chains: the case of Mexican coffee.” Table 1: Commodity Chain – Plot to Consumer Commodity Chain Custody Chain Certificaiton Practice Certification Product Certifying Entity Farmer's Plot Farm Family Field Inspection Peasant Inspector Documents Internal Peasant Inspectors Mexico Farm storehouse Product Flow Audit/Village Warehouse Audit Field Inspection report External Mexican National Inspectors Village Warehouse Regional Organization Regional Milling Village Certification Statewide Organization Milling Plant Inspection Milling Plant Certification Mexican National Certifiers Port/Customhouse Wholesaler Retailer Roaster/Retailer Dossier Review Dossier EU or US-based Certifiers EU US Consumer Organic Seal Organic Labeler Source: Mutersbaugh, Tad, 2006, p. 262 The “Commodity Chain” includes in succession the farmer’s plot, the farm storehouse, warehouse, regional milling, and port /customhouse. The “Custody Chain” consists of the farm family, regional organization or co -op, and statewide organization. The latter link is substituted by Chiapas growers with i ndividual initiatives and linkages with civil society organizations. The certifying chai n involves peasants, external Mexican inspectors and service workers, and national certifiers. Certif ications of organic products in transnational trade are regul ated by separate networks. In the EU, a linkage of the


67 Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly inspection certification (Certimex), the Institute for Market Ecology (IMO-Control) for certification of or ganic products worldwide, and Naturland (the international organization of organi c farmers) operates according to EU 2092/01 rules. In the US, a linkage between OCIA-Mexico (Organic Crop Improvement Association), OCIA Internat ional and OCIA-USA operates according to USDA National Organic Program (NOP) rules. Specific cer tifications sought by Chiapas growers are Organic, Fair Trade, Rain Forest and th e Utz Kapeh Foundation certification for good agricultural practices. To illu strate the explicit qualificatio ns for certification, a field study of shade coffee labels indicated that growers hoping to be cer tified shade grown by Specialty Coffee Association (SCAA) need to m eet three criteria, while to be certified as Mexican Shade Plus, need to meet seven crite ria. Other certifications require meeting seven criteria to be Smithsonian Institute Bi rd Friendly, eight criteria to be EKO Rain Forest Alliance certified. (Martinez-Torres, 2006, p. 40) Recently, a labeling category of popular consumer interest is “sustainable co ffee,” initiated by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. This la beling category has the mission of “real ecological criteria,” from agro-ecological regions and biodiversit y, to commercial competition and social benefits. (Ibid., p. 39) Certification is based on strict standards; and certification in more than one category is a potential marketi ng and development tool used by Chiapas cooperatives. The following table indicates that of the five farms that applied for shade certifications, three also fulf illed the 8 criteria for EKO Ok, Rainforest certification, one fulfilled requirements for five certifications, and three fulfilled requirements for two certifications. Note the certifi cation choices in the following:


68 Table 2: Certification Criteria Utilized in Chiapas Farm that applied for certification Belem Traditoinal Rustic Belen Production Irlanda Buffer Zone Irlanda Production Hamburgo Production Certification Program Number of certification cr iteria met by the farm/result of certification SCAA, Specialty Coffee Association / 3 criteria 3, Shade 3, Shade 3, Shade 3, Shade 2, Not Shade EKO Ok, Rain Forest Alliance / 8 criteria 8, Certify 7, Borderline 8, Certify 8, Certify 5, Reject Bird Friendly, Smithsonian Institute / 7 criteria 7, Certify 3, Reject 6, Borderline 5, Reject 3, Reject Mexican Shade / 7 criteria 7, Certify 4, Reject 6, Borderline 4, Reject 2, Reject Mexican Shade Plus / 7 criteria 7, Certify 1, Reject 4, Reject 4, Reject 2, Reject Total Certification 5 2 2 2 0 Source: Martinez-Torres, 2006, p. 40 This sampling attests to the Chiapan growers’ dedication to environmental as well as economic and social sustainability. Contractual Relations International organic cert ification rules have an impact on “village-level” certification. Upon entering th e international fair trade re gime, Chiapas’ growers have overcome potential marketing, cultural and lan guage barriers due to the transnational homogeny of the content of many national cer tification standards. Under International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/Int ernational Engineering Consortium (IEC) guide 65 and guide 68 rules, the inter-inst itutional and national terms and codes of compliance are becoming increasing “harmoni ous.” The progress is fueled by “the increasing volume of international food sale s driven by global appetites and cheap labor…and the food safety crises during th e 1990s of which BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, ‘mad cow disease’) has become emblematic.” (Mutersbaugh, 2002, p.


69 267) The transnational rules are enforced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the ISO under penalty of trade sanctions by the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) provision (ISO 2000a; ISO 2000b). In add ition, since the 2002 ISO/IEC guide 68, “recognition by all WTO signatory nations of al l products, regardless of national origins, as long as they are certified under proce dures harmonized to the ISO/IEC guide 65 norm,” the purpose of which is “to trace the effects of global standards on field-level service work.” (Ibid p. 267) In light of the complexity and standardization of certification norms and procedures, Chiapa s fair trade and organic coffee producers become involved in “inter-and intra-organizatio nal contractual linkage s” which affect the costs of meeting standards, such as auditing and record keeping, expanding communication channels and offices (fax mach ines, printers, transportation and curriers, buildings, etc.)in order to enable intra-or ganization linkages. Inter-organizational contractual linkages involve increasing the num ber of management workers; increases in labor time and numbers of service worker s; training technical assistants, peasant inspectors, and training offi cers who develop organic work plans and provide training. A study of the contractual relations between cer tifying agencies and producer groups is illustrated by the following diagrams. Figure 3 illustrates the “contractual relations between certifying agencies, inspectors, and cer tified parties,” a re source of Naturland’s Quality Guarantee Manual.


70 Figure 3: Contractual relations between certifying ag encies, inspectors, and certified parties Source: Mutersbaugh, 2008, p. 268 Organization at the village level ma y include Peasant Inspector (PI) and Community Technical Officer (CTO), wh ich are often the same person from a neighboring community, who are appointed by a village assembly, known as cargos They are paid service worker s who usually have some prof iciency in organic farming, attend training courses and pa ss a test. (Ibid., p. 274-5). Th ese service workers receive minimal salaries to aid producers in reco rding and filling out documents and accounting records necessary for certification applica tions. These service workers pose an added burden on production costs, but produce the do cumentation and information exchange necessary to communicate accountability a nd quality in transnational markets.


71 Chiapas Cooperatives ChiapasÂ’ small scale coffee growers are not able for the success and strategies of their organizations in competi ng in international trade. Their cooperative organizations represent diverse ethnic identities, political affiliations, and variations in technological methods. The cooperatives have three bodie s of leadership: a general assembly of community representatives who collectively ma ke decisions and delegate them to an executive committee; an oversight committee (comite de vivilancia) to supervise and prevent corruption; and experienced adviso rs from NGOs, community groups, political parties, etc. (Martinez-Torres, 2006, p. 96109) The six major cooperatives have been surveyed, by Maria Elena Martinez-Torres (Table 3), according to their agro-technology (natural, chemical, organic), ethnic identi ties (indigenous), and political affiliations (Zapatista, government, or independent affiliatio ns). (Ibid., p. 86) It is significant to note that two are politically pro EZLN, and that ISMAM, La Selva, Majomut, and MutVitz ethnically identify themselves as indigenous. Table 3: Characteristics of Chiapas Organizations Technological focus Ethnic identification Political stance Organization Organic Natural Chemical Transiti on Indigenous Mixed Mestizo ProEZLN ProPRI Independent/ autonomous ISMAM X X X X X Lzaro Crdenas X X X La Selva X X X X X X Majomut X X X X X X MutVitz X X X X Tzotzilotic X X X X Other orgs. X X X X X X X Source: Martinez-Torres, 2006, p. 86


72 Unin de Ejidos Lzaro Crdenas was founded in 1979 with the support of the Agrarian Department of the National Confeder ation of Campesinos (CNC) because of the favoritism toward large producers of the Mexican Coffee Instit ute (INMECAFE), the main buyer in the region. They became a major coffee exporter, selling to INMECAFE and other marketers, independently. They are comprised 24 ejidos with 1200 members. Representatives serve without compensation a nd change every 3 years, with 2 delegates from each ejido attending monthly meetings. With credit from Bancrisa and the Fondo Nacional de Apajoa Empresas de Solidaridad (FONASAES), the co-op pays for labor and fertilizers and repayment is deducted fr om individual members upon delivery of the harvest. A co-op development program pays ten technicians from its development fund. It offered processing and other services to other coops and businesses. It met with opposition and tension with members and the state authorities due to claims that it did not pay back credits. (Martinez-Torres, pp. 96-98) Indgenas de la Sierra Madre de Motozintla “San Isidoro Labrador” cooperative (ISMAM) [sic] is from Soconusco and the sierra regions. Founded in 1987, despite the failure of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the drop in coffee prices, it owes its success to the Catholic Church, s upport of the Unin de Comunidades Indigenas de al Region del Istmo (UCIRI), Union of Indigenous Communities, an established union of certified organic coffee produc ers, and international NGOs. It received a grant from the SOS Werdeldhandel, an importer of the Netherlands. It certified by Naturland. ISMAM helped promote the Organized Communal Labor (TCO), a labor exchange. It is composed of 91 of the 250 original organic pr oducers and reflects democratic principles organized into 6 committees: executive, c ontroller, finance, education, technical


73 assistance, and special projec t issues. Its producers are 100 percent organic. Its mission is to export directly and eliminate intermedia ries, and it has the most modern coffee mills in Chiapas, bought in 1992 from the government, on credit, as part of the privatization of Instituto Mexicano del Caf (INMECA FE). (Martinez-Torres, pp. 101-103) Profiles of the Chiapas cooperative na med in the previous chart include the following information on the organizations: La Unin de Sociedades de La Selva formed by farmers and local priests in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, mostly of Tojolabal ethnicity, characterized by their terrace cultivation, and are Fair Trade Certified by FLO in 1988. They employ diversification of cr ops and organic fertilizers to ensure sustainability and own their own chain of coffee shops. (Internet: La Selva ) In 1990, with three other cooperatives they formed Coffee Produ cersÂ’ Union of the Southern Border (UNCAFESUR) owners of a commercial processor and a coffee mill. Unin de Ejidos y Communidades Majomut is comprised of three agrarian communities and two ejidos, have a professional staff and advisors, is certified organic and funded by grants from the Rockefeller and the InterAmerican Foundations. MutVitz (Tzotzil for Bird Mountain) sell through organic and solidarity markets, are Zapatistas and sell through Cloud Forest Initiative, the Human Bean Company and others. Sociedad Cooperative Tzotzilotic Tzobolotic (Mayan Tzotzil People United) sells mainly to the conventional market, has exported to the U.S. and


74 Germany, advocates alternative technology, is a member of Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Caftaleras (National Coordinating Committee for Coffee-Producing Organizations (CNOC), relies on campasinos and technical promoters who live in the community, and functions as the price regulator in the western highlands. (Martinez-Torres, p. 96-108) Other Coops of importance are: Proish, Chiapas (MOCPC), certified organic and Fair Trade certified. (Sweet Marias, 2008) Unin de Productores Maya Vinic is comprised of 700 families from 36 highland communities, founded in 1999, is run by a general assembly of community delegates, indigenous and certified organic., imports for 23 roasters in Canada and the U.S. (Internet: Just Coffee Coop ) Ecological Farmers of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas (CESMACH) was certified organic in 1994, Fair Trade certified in 2000, promotes projects to rescue native species and agro diversifica tion, and receives financing from Heifer International, Green Moun tain and Equal Exchange. (Internet: “Ecological Farmers from the Sierra Madr e of Chiapas-Part II.”) None of the benefits of cooperative s can be achieved individually by small farmers. Because of collective action, Ch iapas organic coffee growers enjoy social, environmental, and economic benefits. Soci al benefits include improvement in the acquisition of food and household basics, sh oes and clothing, housing, credit, health


75 programs and production infrastructure. Enviro nmental benefits are the elimination of agrochemicals entering watersheds and pathogenic micro-organisms, eliminating pollution from manufacturing and transpor t of chemicals, conservation of soil, improvement of health of crops, and new st rategies for promoting shade coffees. Economic benefits at the farm level include in creases in yields and returns, credits and funding, increase in export sales prices, in crease in quantity of production and export, insured prices and the ability to become owne rs of the processing phase of operations. Of greater significance is that cooperatives empow ered the small scale growers to enter the mainstream of the internationa l fair trade coffee regime. Ecology and Economy as Common Grounds for Civic Participation and Dialogue From the elucidation of the networks cr eated within Chiapas society, reinforced by fair trade labeling and the correlatio n with governmental, nongovernmental, and international entities, the model for fair trad e participation is devised similar to Judith TendlerÂ’s model (from Chapter 3) and my model, Figure 1, which eliminates much of state bureaucracy. Its variab les consist of socially embe dded networks and external producer-consumer linkages with economic inte rests, ecological c oncerns, and social equity in creating dialogue. Since the model is tied primarily to economic structures, the passage of new actors from local to globa l relationships engenders an onset of participatory problems. In Chiapas, sustaina bility of cultural identity was a factor in collectivity and organization. This was alr eady discussed in terms of traditional identity, solidarity, and proto-nationalism. The new ac tor relationships in the global fair trade


76 regime are taking on a new identity, w ith possible impacts of contriving a new nationalism under fair trade, and making Chiapa s an example for strategic development. Two Chiapas communities, organized as MutVitz and TTT ( Sociedad Cooperative Tzobolotic /Mayan Tzotzil People United) co operatives, have been studied by Tatiana Schreiber in terms of cultural stabil ity and resilience. They reflect a process of change in their identities impacted by their new linkages. Schreiber finds that: For both groups to retain a sense of cultural integrity and cohesion, they require the withdrawal of military forces from th eir regions, and the right and ability to establish regional autonomies. Both orga nizations provide a homeland of sorts, an alternative to the vision of the Mexi can state, as each confronts the cultural, political, economic, and ecological aspects of globalization. I suggest that TTT, as a result of the regional based stewards hip identity it is cultivating, provides a process for the construction of identity that has the potential to support long-term cultural resilience. (Schreiber, 2005, p. 275-6) The two groups are comparative in ideals of identity and community in transition, illustrated by their tendency to retain cultural traditions of dress, and traditions of planting and harvesting. In relation to individual identity, it was found that in comparing the communities, very few residents of MutVitz le ave the area, including newcomers, despite the devastation of Chiapas rains and plummeting coffee prices in 1998. Citizens born in the community of Tierra Libertad, a remote village in the highlands, held the philosophy that “Where the parents are, that’s where the children should stay.” (Ibid., p. 277), that they know no other places, and that the area is beautiful and sustai ns agriculture. In


77 contrast, members of TTT refl ect a difference between generations. Many of the older members of TTT, although they had been fo rced to leave their home communities in search of new opportunitie s in the jungle, felt a strong att achment to their new region, and a strong desire to stay.” Th e younger generation, it was found, is eager to travel to learn new skills, find better occupations than availa ble in their community, or earn more. It is estimated that 30,000 people, primarily indigenous campesinos left Chiapas in 2004. (Ibid.) A few return, escapi ng the pressures and pollution of the cosmopolitan areas. Community attachments in the MutVitz, theref ore, are related to community values of family tradition, lack of knowledge about al ternative opportunities, and faith in the potential success of the fair trade network. In contrast, Members of TTT, most of whom have migrated at least once, are emotionally and phys ically attached to the comparatively peaceful and productive location. Other differences between the two or ganizations include cultural attitudes concerning alternative trade, clothing and agricultural methods. Some farmers have added diversity in crops to sustain their ow n needs or adapted othe r crafts to satisfy foreign and domestic markets; for example, carpentry, or handcrafts, which may detract from the primary production of coffee. Anothe r issue, though it seem s less relevant to trade issues, is the subject of traditional dress, which reflects on the collective identity of the groups. Compared to TTT, MutVitz is emotionally biased by their traje, or clothing, to the extent that newcomers to their social groups, such as craft coop or commuters from surrounding towns were treated as outsiders (Ibid. p. 281): One exception to the tradition is exhibited by the tendency of independent women participating in nontraditional occupations, like the president of the women’s organization, who was


78 unmarried, also nontraditional for her age; a nother exception is the departure from the traditional patterns of embroidery by artisans who wanted to learn about the wide range of designs and sewing techniques to reach a wider market, “in the form buyers want.” (Ibid. p. 282) TTT members’ traje varied widely: “In Monte de Colores, for example, almost everyone wore modern clothing, (including what seemed…very ‘dressy’ hand-made dresses which women wore even while taking care of animals, preparing meals, and traversing muddy mountain trails) except the seven Tzotz il families…. T hose families wore traditional dress and spoke Tzotzil among themselves, while most community members spoke Spanish. However, in Guadalupe Rio Verde, whose inhabitants are primarily Tzotzil and Tzeltal, most of the women wore traditional blue skirts…and …blouses, but in a range of colors…. Attire among the men of TTT varied widely….a range of hats and footwear in the room—baseball caps and sombreros ; sandals, sneakers, rubber boots, and leather work boots…. [W]hile this difference may be primarily accounte d for by the history of migration of members of TTT….” (Ibid. p. 282-3) More significant in understanding part icipatory variables is the organizations’ wide range of attitudes of tr aditions in planting and ha rvesting. Some of the MutVitz communities reflect a change from harvesting fiestas to only religious fiestas, from new generation and alterna tive religion influences; in some communities, autonomous schools emphasize literacy and bilingualism; women e xpress reluctance to learn Spanish, in order to function in the urban community, where they need to go to health clinics and government offices. Both communities continue a traditional Maya relationship with the land and resources, but tend to re ject some practices and belief s, such as use of alcohol


79 for rituals, and candle lighting. Both have members with narrow outlooks on marriage, education and traditions of re spect for elders among the olde r generation and tend to pass the knowledge of the attitudes along. MutV itz members retain a Mayan principle of respect toward the spiritual and the Maya “symbol of reciprocity” between “beings,” including owners, and “natural resources”. (Ibid., 287-288) While MutVitz is exhibiting a new moral outlook shaped by Zapatismo TTT is in greater tran sition of attitudes with greater abandonment of indigenous language s and customs exhibited by referring to themselves as Ladinos or reinventing themselves as a “dialect.” (Ibid., p. 291) Both organizations exhibit attitudes of commit ment to the community and identified themselves as indigenous. The manner in which these two organi zations transition fr om individual to collective identities transpires from an affi nity with the marginaliz ation and struggles of the Zapatistas. MutVitz members consider themselves as part of a collective of indigenous people worldwide. TTT memb ers claim empathy with both their mestizo (originating from speakers of Spanish) identity and struggles of the campesino (farmers): they are “intertwined” geographically, despite language barriers, learning and teaching each other, maintaining their autonomy, supporting and contributing resources to movements of other communities, especially those linked by poverty and using the terms campesino and indigenous interchangeably. Both identify their membership as “indigenous people in resistance” of the state and federal government to pursue a livelihood independently. TTT members see themse lves as part of the political demands of the Zapastistas but do not necessarily support their strategy of armed rebellion. TTT is “ecologically-inspired” and founded on “steward ship” (Ibid., p. 307): MutVitz’s stance


80 against the government aid and directives for using chemicals and pesticides to enhance production is their commitment to organic pro duction. These situation factors constitute building relationships in the process of collective identity construction. Another term for collective identity construction is “Syncretic identity of resistance,” which Marco Tavanti describe s as the construction of organizational identities through dialogue, negotiation and collective reformation of norms and ideas built on a framework of politics and economic issues, cultural framework, and religious framework. (Tavanti, 2003, p. 209-219) Chiapa n growers’ practices by reflection upon the two cooperatives examined above, illustrate an organi zational framework beyond the local, and bypassing, for the state in a neo-lib eral global direction. Chiapas MutVitz was framed by the Zapatistas and their sympathi zers (political framework); their cultural framework is Maya indigenous people who identify with indigenous people worldwide, deserving rights to autonomy and self-determi nation to earn a living from their land; and a concern for human rights and a resistance to a government that undermines who they are; their religious framework is traditional moral values including respectful relations with one another and the environment; howev er religious tolerance may not inhibit clashes in political ideology. TTT was fr amed by a pluralism which has no specific political ideology, ethnic or re ligious frameworks, but only “broadly” supports Zapatistas struggle for autonomy. TTT supports the strugg le for indigenous autonomy as members of a region; equal access to goods and services as Mexican c itizens (political framework), and being culturally and religiously plura listic, reaches beyond the locality. Both cooperatives reflect this tr anslocal nature of many Chiapas organizations and are considered to be “supra-community” organi zations which counters problems of cultural


81 and religious norms and beliefs, language, dres s, with a sense of a larger community of people and alternative ideas on which to work collectively, solve problems, and negotiate differences. (Schreiber, 2005, p. 292) Examples of tensions and problem s within and between Chiapas supracommunities have manifest themselves, due to religious ties, fear of exploitation and misjudgment by outsiders. An example of re ligious/political clashes is exemplified by the differences in these two id eologies: In Flor de Primav era, non-Catholics tend to be affiliated with the Partido de la Revolucin Insticional/ Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), “the original fundamental left-wing activists who were in severe opposition to the PRI”; while town politicians and TTT members are members of party of the Partido Revolucionario Democrtico /Democratic Revolution (PRD), “the disenfranchised PRI leftists who had been indecorously ostrac ized and denied access to power circles until they were encouraged to depart,” which is vocal in matters of policy. (Luken 2003) Their differences arose because citizens fear ed that the PRI would control government benefits, instead of using them to benefit both parties. In another case, there was animosity among TTT members and PRIsta who took control of the operation of a collective store which was designated to be run by the TTT women. Within the TTT, another source of unrest was members who were affiliated with the Partido Alianzo Social/ Social Alliance Party (PAS). In 2003, disc ontent with the new Board of Directors, who serve for three years, arose over conc ern that they would increase government involvement. (Schreiber, 2005, p. 253-255) Li kewise, divisions in communities arise regarding Zapatista sympathies. Another sensitive issue concerning new linkages and associations is that most cooperative organi zations there is fear of exploitation by


82 researchers, scientists, unknow n government or corporate repr esentatives or any foreign investigators. (Ibid., p. 257) Finally, there are misconceptions concerning the comprehension of how knowledgeable mestizo and campesino communities are. Interpreters tended to unde rmine how well informed the people interviewed were concerning transnational trade agreements such as NAFTA, and had participated in classes and meetings on biodiversity, ag ro-ecology and agro-methods, and answered questions in terms of their “autonomy” (Ibid., p. 264) These are a few of the problems new actors and negotiations in Chiapas ad dress that prove the adeptness of the communities to interact, and renegotiate, norms and concerns, and extend these new knowledge and skills to pa rticipation in international organizations. Chiapas’ Economic Strategies Chiapas’ role in the emergence of the international organic and fair trade coffee market demonstrates an orga nizational structure that prov ides access and price premium benefits to balances some of standard and monitoring costs. The southern agenda and fair trade movement are escalating to optio ns benefiting the producers in terms of economics, programs, sustainability of resource s, and gains in productivity and quality. Whether these gains indicate “just compensati on” remains a matter of the opinion of the participants. Studies of Chiapas farmers illustrate an ingenious incorporation of indigenous logic “to negotiate their interactio ns with the encroaching global market on a more even footing and has helped to protect th eir subsistence agricult ure in the process.” (Jaffee, 2007, p. 41) Chiapas’ organizational structure indicates ec onomic advantages.


83 Chiapas growers have endured periods of vulnerability from inequitable distribution of market power; however, they are realizing access, by collective measures, to fair trade market. The history of critic al economic plunges that resulted from control by outsiders—from foreign elit e, to monopoly by large planta tion owners, to competition from large mechanized estates, to drops in market prices influenced by trade policies of wealthy nations—“wild swings based on supply and demand, the vagaries of the weather, and the whims of traders.” (Ibid.) Sp ecific impacts from ICA quota and pricing agreements resulted in producing countries stockpiling, destroying or selling at extra low prices to non Intern ational Coffee Organiza tion (ICO) countries; a nd upon the failure of the International Coffee Ag reement (ICA), the U.S geopolitical “sabotage” of negotiations, in the 1980s, with “free-market ers.” (Ibid., p. 42-43) The Chiapans and other producers experienced decline, after a slight re bound between 1994 and 1997, to an all-time low in 2002. Through fair trade, inst ead of abandoning their land, migrating, or succumbing to the temptations of sacrificing quality and avoiding labor costs for a quick cash-in through middlemen coyotes who offer more than fair trade guarantees, producers are assured of a price and econom ic control over more important concepts of capital. Chiapas fair trade certified coffee growers’ nor ms and practices reflect resilience in an unpredictable and chal lenging system. The Chiapas growers’ economic success is measured by their social and natural capital as well as exports and sales. Soci al capital is the basis on which a community has the power and resources to insu re productive activities can be sustained. It includes “the reduction of out-migration, an increase of local control over economic processes, increased incomes, the use of low-exte rnal-input technology, improved resource


84 management diversification, and greater loca l economic and social linkages.” (MartinezTorres, p. 71) Independent of help or initiation by the st ate or other outside control, organic and fair trade farmers have created social capit al by means of cultural identity, their own marketing, and production methods based on family labor and traditional interest in management of natural capital (land, species, and resources on which human survival and well-being depend). It is relevant therefor e to note that, in remote Chiapas regions, growers have little cash to invest in ch emicals and technology for intensification; therefore these methods are left to large and we althy growers. Especially where families have the advantage of using th eir own labor, the advantages of organic farming provides cost-effective but labor-intensive productivity. Most natural production is in transition to organic methods. Comparison of agro-technolo gy on yields of Chiapas is illustrated in Table 4, which shows that the average gross income from coffee per hectare of coffee is not significantly different between organic and chemical production; and the employment of the economic benefits is indicated by th e success of the producers in transition to qualify as organic and fair trade.


85 Table 4: Average gross income from coffee per hectare of coffee Source: Martinez-Torres, 2008, p. 115 The implication is that ecological variables (natural, transitional, organic and chemical technologies) are related to economic variab les in the Chiapas organic and fair trade regime. Therefore, the employment of orga nic methods is a strategy for ecological and economic success. Chiapas organic methods enhance the regi on’s natural capital through investments in sustaining biodiversity and soil as well as enhancing economic returns. For example, Chiapas avian diversity in traditional shade co ffee has been proven to be greater than in natural forests, and mammals susceptible to endangerment are provided good protection and habitat by the arboreal la yer provided for the shade co ffee. (Wundwerlich, 2002, p. 9) Figure 4 indicates that sh ade biodiversity impacts yield as well as other biodiversities which include animal and micro-organisms a nd “soil biota” which creates soil fertility and typically is enhanced by a greater divers ity of types of decom posing leaf litter.


86 Figure 4: Yield by number of shade species Source: Martinez-Torres, 2008, p. 117 As the number of shade species exceeds five, the yield increases, due to the deposition of leaf litter. Table 4 coordina tes with the following index of the average depths of litter and humus resulting from the usual Chiapas ag ro-methodologies illustrated in Figure 5. Figure 5 illustrates that organi c methods produce significantly mo re leaf litter and humus, impacting soil levels and quality. The ec onomic impact on Chiapas growers is that organic production build s natural capital.


87 Figure 5: Average depth of litter and humus layer, by technology. Source: Martinez-Torres, 2008, p. 121 Both certified organic and fair trad e coffee movements have controversial economic impacts on Chiapas. In the organi c coffee model, producer s pay certification and inspection costs; while in fair trade costs are balanced by services, consumer references, credits, and distributions made accessible by the importers and roaster/distributors. In marketing co-ops al l producers benefit, regardless of the quality, and premiums are averaged, at times resulti ng in premiums below market prices, and a portion remains at the organizational level to fund projects and initiatives. In the case of transitional growers, co-ops may offer higher priced incentives for converting to organic production. A sample of certification costs is shown by Table 5. As the ta ble indicates, certification costs are a small percent of the production costs.


88 Table 5 Certification costs for Cooperative with membership of 300 External Inspection Pesos USD 3 day field Inspection 3,000 2 day Process Inspection 2,000 1.5 day Report 1,500 1 day Travel 1,000 1 day Verification of Internal Monitoring 1,000 1 day Verification of Storage and Commercialization 1,000 1 day Translation 1,000 Internal Inspection 30 day Field Inspection 3,750 Direct Certification Costs Certimex Administration (70 pesos per member 21,000 Use of Seal (1% of sales) 17,070 Annual Membership/Naturland (1 euro per member) 4,164 Total Per Organization 57,484 $5,015.00 Per Producer 192 16.84 Per quintal 38 3.37 CERTIFICATION COSTS AS A PERCENT OF SALES 3.37% Source: Ibid., adapted from Table 8: “Annual certific ation costs for 300-member cooperative with references,” p. 53 In addition to certification, labor cost s constitute an economic consideration which producers must consider in their strategy for use of fair trade premiums. The small producer economy is not always determin ed by market labor costs. A sampling of (Coordinadora Estatal de Produc tores de Caf de Oaxaca) CEPCO’s returns for family labor estimated that certified organic la bor received 68 pesos per labor day for an estimated 37 days of labor/hectare and onl y 28 pesos per labor-day for workers of transitional plots wh ere the market labor costs were 75 pesos. (Calo, ib id., p. 31) In another survey of two families of Oaxaca, in 2005, 60 percent of labors during harvest were hired laborers, cutting returns for owner families. (Ibid.) Table 6 provides estimates for wages spent for cultiva tion and harvesting, according to Global Development a nd Environment Institute (GDAE).

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89 Table 6: Returns to Labor Conventional Certified Organic Transitional Net income per quintal (100 lbs) (price minus direct costs) 460 924 535 Labor-days per hectare 37 108 95 Net return (Pesos per labor-day) 37 68 28 Source: Ibid., p. 32 However, after organizational costs, market value for labor and for certification costs, the returns for CEPCO showed results of 1508 per ha. Cooperative subsidies in 2003-4, for example awarded the difference between th e N.Y. stock price and US$0.85 per lb., up to US$0.20 per lb. from El Fondo de Estabilizacion de Precios (Price Stabilization Fund). This amounted to US $0.15 per lb. [165 pesos per quinta l (100 lbs.)] Table 7: Returns to Labor, with Subsidies (Pesos) Conventional Certified Organic Transitional Net income per quintal 925 1202 860 (price + cooperative subsidies direct costs) Labor-days per hectare 37 108 95 Net Wages (Pesos per labor-day) 75 89 46 Source: Ibid., p. 33 During this year, transitiona l producers’ “break-even peri od” period for conversion to organic was reduced five years. (Ibid., p. 32-33)

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90 In another model from the same pe riod, CEPCO (Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de Caf de Oaxaca) is expanded to compare organic and fair trade returns for one hectare of land in coff ee per producer (Table 8). Table 8: Returns to Producer/Cost-Price Structures (Pesos) Conventional Certified Organic Transitional Average yield quintals/ha. 3 8 5 Labor per day (Oaxaca) 75 75 75 Labor-days per hectare 37 108 95 Net income per quintal 925 1013 1425 (price direct costs) Organizational/Certification 243 287 243 Coffee prices/FOB and US $0.25/lb/organic/prem. 778 1066 778 Fair Trade prices 1451 1600 1451 Price to producer 460 949 575 Source: Ibid., Table adapted to summarize, p. 49 The study shows that certified or ganic fair trade prices and prices to producers, though they take more labor days and require slig htly higher investment for organization and certification fees, yield as much as the ot her two agro-technologies produce combined, and are noticeably higher than for conve ntional and transitional productions. Chiapas Fair Trade can be seen to e nhance the success of Mexico as well as its members by the production st atistics in Table 9.

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91 Table 9: Increase in Coffee Productions: Producers/Hectares 1969 1982 1992 % Increase Mexico 97,917/346,456 168,521/ 497,456 282,593/761,165 290/220 Chiapas 22,579/121,449 46,657/ 163,268 73,742/ 228,254 327/188 Source: (Jaffe, 1992, p. 52) According to Table 9, Chiapas shows a 327% increase in production per hectare. Therefore, it can be deduced that Chiapas production impacted the 290% increase for the nation and that the region is impor tant as a coffee commodity producer. Figure 6 lists historical events which impacted national and regional production. Comparing the events with Table 9, it can be deduced that, despite the collapse of the ICA in 1989, and the drop in internationa l rank among world producers, Chiapas producers have exhibited a su stainable production capabilit y, almost doubling since the first fair trade certification. Figure 6: Historical Events Impacting National and Regional Production 1983—First fair trade coffee certificatio n founded by UCIRI (Jaffe, 1992, p. 53) 1989—July 4, resulted in the collapse of ICA resulted in 70% drop in “C” prices (Prices set by commodities traders on the N.Y. Coffee, S ugar & Cocoa Exchange) (Ibid., p. 42) 1989-1994—Collapse in prices encourag ed Zapatist uprising (Ibid., p. 52) 1994-1996—Mexico ranked as 4th largest coffee producer in the world (Ibid., p. 54) 1997—Mexico rank lowered to 6th largest coffee producer in the world (Ibid.) 1998 -2006—Fair Trade prices are at US $1.26/ lb (conventional Arabica coffee) (Ibid.) Chiapas producers’ capital remains predictabl e due to the stabilization of prices and premiums based on the following fair trade policies: Fair Trade keeps the producer premiums at a steady prices; and, organic co ffee prices are consistently US $.15/lb above the conventional Fair Trade price of US $1.41 /lb. The following excep tions are applied:

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92 If market price rises above these pric es, Fair Trade prices rise only US $.05/lb above the market price. If market prices are low, the Fair Trade price may double the cooperativeÂ’s return. (Calo and Wise, 2005, p. 12) Besides the effects on local and nationa l production, Chiapas methods and trade linkages have resulted in marked differenc es in their export statistics (Table 10).

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93 Table 10: Total Mexico Exports Fair Trade Labeled Source 1999 3,257,038 bags (Raynolds, 2000, p. 302-303) 2000 551,881 bags (Raynolds, 2002, p. 416) 2005 2.507,694 bags (Reuters, 2007, Oct. 15) 2006 11,732,000 bags (Reut ers, 2007, Oct. 25) 2007 12,456,000 bags (Reuters, 2008, August 22) 2008 94,500,000 bags projected due to cold front in Chiapas (Ibid.) Note that exports during the recent years reflect s a traditional increase in fair trade coffee volume. The above statistics have not born the effects of infl ation and do reflect favorable productions due to the improved methods of cultivation in transitions to organic and the consumer demand for fair trade and organic product. Desp ite the unpredictability of weather, the practices and methods of Ch iapas growers illustra te the potential for a sustainable commodity market. How Chiapas impacts Mexico's Gross Do mestic Product is illustrated by its increasing contributions, reflected in the statistics of Table 11. Table 11 Chiapas Share of Mexico GDP Yea r Share of MexicoComments 1997 3.99% High international prices 1998 8.99% Increase 5.5% 1999 14.1% 2000 18.6% Increase 4.5% 2001 Decline 2002 Raise 1%(Est.) 2005 Raise 2% (Est.) (Washbrook, ibid., p. 47-48; Castillo, E. Edwar do, p. 1; and US Depart ment of State Online) These increases show a slow but steady re bounding after the catastrophic collapse in coffee prices in 1992.

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94 The material benefits to growers that have been given are perceived negatively compared to the monetary compensation in th e years of free trade and collapses in the international market. However, the following timeline shows the increase in benefits to Chiapas producers. Table 12 illustrates that pr oducers receive less cash than in the days of free trade before the 1992 collapse in pric es. It explains the failure to alter the incidence of poverty. In 2005, the percent of purchase price received by producers was less than half the free market benefit. Table 12 Percent of Purchase Price to Producers: 1989 1999 2002 2005 30% 16% 7% 10-12% Source: Created by author. Though proceeds have not caught up to 1989 free trade rates, success is in terms of insured premiums, and capacity to build social and economic impetus for the future. However, monetary economic benefits are not the only indicators of success. Fair trade certified coffee incomes for farmers a nd producer organizations are reported in Table 13, as global mark et economic benefits.

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95 Table 13 Additional Income to Farmers and Producer Organizations, including Fair Trade Premium Reported by TransFair USA in Global markets from 1998-2007 Farmers and Producer Organizations Premiums Paid to Producer Organizations (Included Fair trade premium) (by TransFair USA) 1998 $ 44,000 $ 3,803 1999 1,517,000 102,612 2000 3,104,000 212,477 2001 5,669,000 333,465 2002 8,090,000 487,379 2003 15,864,000 951,951 2004 26,212,000 1,648,720 2005 14,189,000 2,229,266 2006 16,971,000 3,238,722 2007 18,721,000 4,941,530 (Note that premiums were raised in 2007 due to low market prices as defined in Calo's exceptions.) Source: Calo, M. and Wise, T. A., 2005 These increasing totals are not indicators of personal financial benefits, but indicate mobility from the local markets to the inte rnational coffee markets, an increasing connection with new markets and new connecti ons with consumers, without contracting by the state. The economic benefits to producers of fair trade certified coffee should not be analyzed in terms of cash only. In a 2003 survey of housing conditions, almost double the number of fair trade families, in comparison to the general population, enjoyed gas cooking stoves as a supplement to wood burning, television and stereo or CD players, venting of cooking chimneys, toilets, and in some villages, outnumbered families having non-dirt floors, indoor showers, conventional roofing, sufficient number of beds, and the like. (Jaffe, 2007 pp. 114-16) These are some of the personal benefits to indigenous growers. Recent fair trade profiles on c ooperative, published by TransFair USA, offer campesino testimonials on how their living conditions have improved as a result of their

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96 organizational benefits. Th e recent testimonials by c oop members indicate their investments are in improving roofs, struct ures, and housing materials (cement block houses with tin roofs), housing expansions, and more diversif ied and plentiful food, and small production projects of divesting crops and honey. Most coops boast 100% elementary school education and increased hi gher education, such as community schools, high school and university education, and pr ovide school supplies. Most coops experience no or fewer migrating family me mbers. Many coops support environmental and resource protection technique s, hire expert training teams to help in transition to all organic production, provide agronomic studies including native species protection, and prevention of erosion. Cooperative health be nefits include education concerning cancer, economic support in medical emergencies. C ooperative organization profiles indicate productive investment such as : the founding of small-scal e coffee roasting and milling business that provides coffee to local markets (Majomut); tourist programs, grocery store and coffee shops (Unin de Ejidos San Fern ando); construction of a central warehouse for members; purchase of wetprocessing, de-pulping machines and vehicles to transport inspectors (POSI and Trinidad ); construction of cupping la b, storage shed and meeting hall (CESMACH); purchase of ta nk and materials to ferment coffee (CIRSA); established the COMPRAS export company; provide trai ning and funding to di versify commodities for local markets (KAFFE). Finally, the c ooperative profiles indicate launching womenadministrated programs and projects dealing w ith organic vegetables, flowers, medicinal plants, and support for women producers equa lity. Fair Trade cooperative members expressed the assurance that they do not n eed to deal with c oyotes, and producers in transition to organic see bene fits of higher quality produc t before receiving capital

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97 benefits. (Ibid., p. 12) All these advantages translate to economic compensation for entrance into the fair trade network. Concluding remarks about these facts as economic strategies for entering international are in agreemen t with L. T. Raynolds conclu sions that the short term economic benefits seem ineffective for Chiapas farmers, but long term are a foundation for other types of cooperative linkages. (Raynolds, 2002, p. 119) These linkages Chiapas farmers struggling for organi zational competence and communication technologies and skills in the international re alm find faith that their incomes are saving their farms, sustaining their land and tradi tions, and improving their living conditions. Their “pre-existing strengths bolster successful participation” thr ough their traditional norms, mission toward sustainable product ion procedures, maintenance of their autonomy, and developing linkages among thei r cooperatives and outside sources, NGO's and ATO organizations, are a fu ture solution to marginalization and migrations of small producers globally. (Raynolds, 2004, p. 1118) Though they cannot control economic and market tendencies, Chiapans’ fair trad e economic benefits have helped raise the GDP, partly by remaining as a top ten coffee ex porter for the nation. Their incomes from coffee premiums help aid their cooperatives du ring times of failure of the state subsidies and programs; the premiums ar e insuring some progress in m eeting quality requirements; their testimonials state that the premiums received are intended for improving economic assets, their land, office and farming equipm ent and technology. Their benefits in the long run lie in “the empowerment and capacity bu ilding nature of fair trade.” (Raynolds, 2004 p. 119) Their traditional norms and practices besides providing the capacity to supply more than fifty percent of the count ry's hydro-electric pow er and other natural

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98 resources (Schulz, 1998, p. 591), have provide d a model for networking new actors into the international fair trade regime. The ultimate result of Chiapas organic coffee producers’ values and practices relate to trus t and societal wide benefits,” within fair trade, “shorten the social distance between consumers a nd producers even where the products being exchanged traverse substant ial geographic distances .” (Raynolds, 2002, p. 420) Therefore, Chiapas fair trade coffee growers’ identity as a member of fair trade is building capacity for future sustainability an d illustrates strategies for new actors in international trade for emerging “from below” into the international regime.

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99 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION The people of Chaipas have established a new relationship between the state and indigenous groups, which represents a chan ge from civil soci ety below into the international community. They impacted a stra tegy for small groups of actors to create linkages without state initiation and implementation. Their strate gies are the capability to network through solidarity, which stems from a five hundred year history of resistance to the oppression by the state. Chiapas peasant orga nizations initiated acti ons to stifle graft and politicization of ethnic identity whic h has stirred up a national movement for indigenous rights and autonomy. Chiapas history is characte rized by the Spanish taking control of exportable resources and cultural fr actures in order to control trade routes between the Lancadn jungle and the Belizean coast, the reestablishment of geographical sectors to benefit the labor force, the migr ation of indigenous groups into highlands, the replacement of Indians by mu lattos and Africans, and the domination by Europeans and mestizos of the plateaus. They were uprooted a nd destabilized by the colonial invasion and later were reorganized according to their ethnicity. The role of the state and the backfire of its strategies to silence peas ant organizations were reviewed by Mattiace, Harvey, and Washbrook. ChiapasÂ’s emergenc e against the stateÂ’s lack of funding by fighting against local caciques and the PRI officeÂ’s attempts to control municipal funds created a consciousness among peasant activists The Chiapas governor tried to utilize the government to silence peasant organizatio ns at the Conference in San Cristobal de Las Casas, in 1963. The conferences were aime d at attracting and binding the church and

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100 state, thereby expanding state governance in Chiapas. The backfire occurred as the Chiapas network of community leaders, pe asant academics and other linkages expressed their grievances against stat e cooptation. Chiapas had used the national project of agrarian reform as the instrument for a state institutional framework for legitimizing the peasant population. Chiapas peasants countered statecraft and agrari an reform, such as corporatism which aimed to keep the peasant population dependent, according to Anthony Marx, with support for EZLN. The Ch iapas peasant organi zations initiated organizations to stifle graft and politiciza tion of ethnic identity stirred up a national movement for indigenous rights and autonom y. The movement expanded to womenÂ’s rights and contributed to maintaining power and transboundary relations like a nation, developing parallel structures to the state, and inspiring a wider range of actors interested protecting autonomy. The struggle of Ch iapas peasant autonomy resulted in the Patzcuaro Congress and the Consejos Suprem os in 1975, the Nationa l Council of Indian Peoples, the Confederacion Nacional Campesin a, where as Nash indicates, interests converge in dialogue. Though the San Andreas Accords agreement, inspired by the EZLN formed in Chiapas to recognize indigeno us autonomy and self determination, were signed by Mexican government, the meeti ngs were cancelled uni laterally in 2000, because the government failed to implement the necessary constitutional reforms and legislation. However, Chiapas people have structur ed the capabil ity to network through organizations, reaching themselves and the international community. They were financially and socially cont rolled but were able to resi st through their underlying, traditional, pre-Colombian ethic of self-sufficiency, the marketability of Mayan crafts and

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101 products, which proved to be economically impor tant to international trade and assisted in preserving their identity. They were able to recapture their religious identity and establish a link between religious festivals and community organiza tion which translated to skills in community leadership and collec tive enterprise. Chiapas collective action against the state is validated by the theories of Rogers Brubaker as a social movement invoked by “interactive deve lopment of the kind of collective self-understanding, solidarity, or groupness,” with the state as th e influence of group formation. (Brubaker, 2004, p. 34) Their ability to organize both indigenous and non-indigenous champions and intellectuals has resulted in creating the myth of nati onalism, according to Brubaker’s definition. Chiapas’ civic initiatives began at the local level but found the capacity to attain economic standing and secure their cu ltural autonomy in the face of social and political changes which ravaged them to become one of the poorest states in Mexico. In sum, Brubaker’s claim is that states infl uence group formation, whether directly or through polarizing forces, strengtheni ng the identity of the opposition. Chiapas’ organizational prac tices were affected by a hist ory of destruction of their economic security, subsistence agriculture based on ejido a collective land-holding system. This economy was threatened by th e influx of foreign i nvestment; Mexico’s participation of NAFTA; the terms of the 1917 Article 27, which sustained euro-Mexican elite’s exploitation of ejido lands which were supposed to be inalienable to the indigenous population, according to the Mexican constitution; the revision of Article 27 which allowed corporations and forei gn investors to absorb or purchase ejido lands; the influx of migrating Guatemalans and doubling population from the 1970s to 1990s which drove thousands of indigenous people into th e hills of Chiapas, during 1994, where they

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102 formed the EZLN, declaring war against the st ate; while remaining peasants suffered a credit crisis and legal str uggle over land tenure. Chiapas small scale farmers depended on credit to aid those without mechanical knowledge or funds for maintaining production. In approximately 30 years, land tenure and the economic foundations of Chiapas’ indigenous societies were swept away. By the 1980s, Chiapas small scale growers united by common economic goals, formed organiza tions which allowed civil society to overcome divisive state forces. The practices included utilizing exis ting resources, “land, environment, skills, technology, capital, market access,” and social means, “household members, kinship patrons, and political and/ or business organization, religion and other social values,” (Bacon, 2008, p. 72) Chiapas’ goal was economic standing and cultural autonomy through solidarity; and their strategy was to establish new linkage s with distant actors, at first with other indigenismos among the fourteen categories estimated by anthropologists in Chiapas. The ethnic diversity of the region was addressed by bilingu al education, sanctioned by the Mexican Constitution in 1991, the aba ndonment of Marxist focus on the grand schematic rather than on the ethnic identitie s, the view that autonomy was a survival alternative to state-sanctioned organizati on, and by new linkages. The pluralism of Chiapas communities resulted from diverse ec onomic, political and cultural interests of development agencies, state interventions, pr otestant religious perspectives, political parties and women activism. Literary revi ews of Brubaker and Mattiace’s historical research confirm that, following the Zapati sta conflict, groupness, identity and the nationalism of the Chiapas peasant activists is ro oted in historical events, politicization of ethnicity, and conflict initiated by the state or as the response to the conflict. Chiapas’

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103 ethnic plurality is examined in terms of horiz ontal relationships which provide a realm of sovereignty, divided by sociocultural boundaries of preconcep tions and prejudices were united by poverty to challenge control by indigenous lead ers (caciques). Chiapas ethnicity and merger with gove rnment ethos in fostering st ability and economic growth amounted to the creation of an ethnic regime, si milar to that theorized by Anthony Marx, which provided for the indigenous groups to ci rcumvent state authority, when the state failed to support them, and directly link with the international community. Chiapas’ attraction to ethnopolitical entr epreneurs is illustrated by Thomas Oleson, Brubaker, and Rus’s discussions of linkages with Subcoma ndante Marcos and the transnational identity and understanding which signifies that solidari ty is a “social construction” for building foundations for nationalism. Chiapans emerge by terms of a theory of nationalism or proto-nationalism based on a history of solidarity and struggle for au tonomy. Chiapas fair trade coffee growers’ identity as a member of fair trade is bu ilding capacity for future sustainability and illustrates strategies for new actors in internat ional trade to emerge “from below” into the international trade regime. The impact of Chia pas on the international fair trade regime is that the international regimes have re sponded to these practices by implementing ecological and social considerations into trade negotiations and decision-making processes, and by recognition of a growing fair trade market. International organizations have changed to become more open and permi ssive to dialogue with civil society, NGOs, and other non-state actors. In its engagement, Chiapas illustrate that fair trade is a viable means to socially re-embed international trad e relations, attributing new rules, norms, and

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104 procedures to trade regimes. The norms of global consumers, though not universal, are consistent in demanding truth, fairness, quality, and sustainability. Chiapas civil society has transformed fair trade relations. Their participatory methods for networking and es tablishing linkages reinforced fair trade norms of social justice, sustainability and ecology. Their organizations ha ve made the inte rnational trade regime more susceptible to the demands of alternative trade issues, therefore, creating openness and sensitivity toward the changing needs of consumers and producers. They have provided better links between producer s and consumers in international markets resulting in new openness and communication of new ideas. They have impacted international trade regimes causing them to change its rules, nor ms and procedures regarding the environment, social conditions and ecological concerns of producers, consumers and traders, as exemplified by th e WTOÂ’s openness to considerations of non governmental and other interest groups. The impact of Chiapas on the international fair trade regime is that the international regimes have responded to these practices. The norms of global consumers, though not universal, are consistent in demanding truth, fairness, quality, and sustainability, however, Chiapas illu strates that fair trade is a viable means to socially reembed international trade relations, attributi ng new rules, norms, and procedures to trade regimes. In effect, regimes are subject to transformation in terms of power relations, as new actors have a greater role, and impact the level of openness toward concepts of fairness, social justice, and ecological concerns.

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110 TransFair U.S.A. (2007). Almanac: 2007 [Online]. Available: rTradeAlmanac.pdf [2009, February 24]. TransFair U.S.A. (2008). Fair Trade Coffee Coop: CIRSA [Online]. Available: ofiles/CIRSA-Mexico.pdf [2009, January 1]. TransFair U.S.A. (2008). Fair Trade Coffee Coop [Online]. Available: tification/profiles.php [2009, March 16]. TransFair U.S.A. (2009). What is the difference betw een Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certification? [Online]. Available: ces/faq-advanced.php [2009, January 1]. Washbrook, Sarah. (Ed.). (2007). Rural Chiapas Ten Years after the Zapatista Uprising. New York and London: Routledge Press. Waridel, Laure. (2002). Coffee With Pleasure: Ju st Java and World Trade Montreal: Black Rose Books. Wunderlich, Christopher. (2002). The Environmental Significan ce of Coffee Certification Programs in Mexico World Trade Organization re port: November 14, 2002. Geneva, Switzerland: ConsumerÂ’s Choice Council. [Online]. Available: ngo_e/ccc_env_coffee_mexico_e.doc [2007, August 10]. Zarsky, Lyuba. (2002). Human Rights and the Environment: Conflicts and Norms in a Globalizing World. Sterling, V.A. and London: Earthscan Publications Ltd. Zaelke, Durwood et al. (Eds.) (1993). Trade and the Environment: Law, Economics, and Policy. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

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112 APPENDIX A Map of Chiapas in relation to Mexico Adapted from: Earle, D. and Simonelli, J., 2005, p. 2

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113 APPENDIX B Map of principal cities in Chiapas Adapted from: Earle, D. and Simonelli, J., 2005, p. 3


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