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From Family Feud to Organised Crime: The Cultural Economy of Cannabis in Northeast Brazil

Ana Maria de Souza Mello Bicalho and Scott William Hoefle
Bulletin of Latin American Research
Vol. 18, No. 3 (Jul., 1999), pp. 343-360
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3339170
Page Count: 18
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From Family Feud to Organised Crime: The Cultural Economy of Cannabis in Northeast Brazil
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Abstract

Traditional family feuding and banditry as well as envy-inspired violence associated with capitalised irrigation have been intensified by the introduction of cannabis farming and organised crime in the Sertão of Northeast Brazil to the point that today the cannabis producing zone is one of the most violent places in the world. These three interrelated forms of contemporary violence arose, respectively, in the pre-1940 frontier setting, in the 1940 to 1980 period of rapid Brazilian industrialisation which depressed peasant sectors and stimulated the rise of capitalised irrigation and in the post-1980 period of economic stagnation and social-political crisis in Brazil which depressed consumer markets and induced the State to liberalise foreign trade policy to the detriment of periphery regions like the Northeast.

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