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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 116 / 153

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Unfortunately, the government did not help. Technical assistance was not provided, and the tremendous debt gave the cooperatives a poor credit rating, which made it difficult for them to secure needed fertilizer, seeds and pesticides.

Declining yields and, for many families, lives of increasing desperation have been the result. Some peasants must leave the land and sell their plots to the highest bidder. This will ultimately bring about a re-concentration of land in the hands of former landlords.

Violence drove many peasants from the land to the slums of the larger cities. And free-fire zones established by the military (in an effort to destroy the guerrillas' popular base) and guerrilla attacks against cooperatives (in an effort to sabotage the economy and further destabilize the country) had a common victim: the peasantry.

The Civil War continued into 1992, when a United Nations-mediated cease-fire took effect… effects linger and as elsewhere, there is no effective political voice in the middle.

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