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The Chicken TrailFollowing Workers, Migrants, and Corporations across the Americas$
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Kathleen C. Schwartzman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451164

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451164.001.0001

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Exit Mexico: “Si Muero Lejos De Ti”

Exit Mexico: “Si Muero Lejos De Ti”

(p.130) 8 Exit Mexico: “Si Muero Lejos De Ti”
The Chicken Trail

Kathleen C. Schwartzman

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the extent to which globalization, in the form of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), transformed, ruined, or reconfigured the poultry industry and fueled emigration in Mexico. It first considers how trade and Mexican government policy shifts contributed to rural impoverishment and goes on to discuss the responses of those affected. Some small producers organized protests, while others opted for “exit,” abandoning their nonsustainable agricultural activities and emigrating. The chapter argues that NAFTA-mandated poultry imports led to a rural exodus not only because imports undermined the backyard production of poultry, but also because poultry was part of rural survival—one that was becoming less sustainable. Neoliberal reforms, which began during the “lost decade” of the 1980s and continued into the 1990s, unleashed changes that contributed to poverty and labor displacement in the countryside.

Keywords:   globalization, North American Free Trade Agreement, poultry industry, emigration, Mexico, trade, imports, neoliberal reforms, poverty, labor displacement

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