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Coffee Planation Conflicts in El Salvador

            In the early 1900's, there were national conflicts in El Salvador, triggered by a massive increase in coffee production, making waves in the world economy (Baylora-Herp, 1983). Coffee plantations were operating at maximum capacity, and this required intensive labor and an advanced infrastructure for warehousing, transporting and shipping. Producing such huge numbers of green coffee beans called for government involvement, with administrative and legal departments enforcing laws that would protect property and grant land concessions. (Hamilton & Chinchilla, 2001). .
             In addition, "foreign loans were needed to maintain the conditions necessary for the capitalist production and exports"" (Hamilton & Chinchilla, 2001 p.19-20). The emergence of a centralized state required a social class with enough political power to fight the resistance of vested interests to the implementation of the new capitalist export regime (Hamilton & Chinchilla, 2001 p.20). To maintain the capitalist regime, Salvadoran government was controlled by the conservative party which represented the interests of oligarch land owners (Baylora-Herp, 1983). .
             The oligarchy led government's need to expand coffee plantations led to expropriations of land from local peasants which left some communities dispossessed with no other means of subsistence. As a result the peasant population were obliged to come up with some form of resistance but the resistance was met by government repression (Hamilton & Chinchilla, 2001). The peasants were rather encouraged to work on coffee plantations but they were not interested. In response to this, the government and landowners resorted to coerced labour whereby peasants were forced to work on coffee plantations under harsh conditions (Baylora-Herp, 1983; Hamilton & Chinchilla, 2001). .
             In some cases, landowners established nucleated villages for plantation workers in order to secure a permanent labor force.

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