Print version ISSN 1870-2333
MACKINLAY, Horacio. Mexico's tobacco agro industry and the formation of Tabamex, 1920-1972. Polis [online]. 2011, vol.7, n.2, pp. 213-262. ISSN 1870-2333.
The article presents a historical review of the tobacco agribusiness from last century's 20's up to 1972 when the public sector company, Tabacos Mexicanos, S.A. (Mexican Tobaccos, Tabamex) was founded. Its chief goal is to understand and illustrate by means of a case study, the way in which Mexico's State intervention developed in the tobacco-growing regions and its agribusiness. Based on a description of the underlying productive aspects, it analyzes state and federal-level government actions to promote tobacco-related activities and to influence and mediate between private firms and tobacco producers. Given its particular relevance, the article highlights the social construction of a negative image of the relation between producers and transnational corporations which, after becoming a black legend in the 60's, was instrumental to nationalizing the tobacco industry in 1972. Rather than deliberately unfair or arbitrary however, the reality of the underlying conflict was a struggle for the establishment of efficiency and productivity criteria.
Keywords : tobacco leaf; contract farming; tobacco industry; transnational corporations; Partido Popular Socialista (Socialist Popular Party).