Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Research Student: Dr Hector Calleros-Rodriguez

Indigenous Governance and Land Conflict: A case study of the Lacandon Community (Chiapas, Mexico)

Photo of Dr Hector Calleros-Rodriguez

My thesis is concerned with the analysis of three aspects of the social and political life of indigenous communities in Mexico: land, forms of governance and relations with the State.

The thesis examines the transformation of land tenure patterns in Mexico's history in order to explain the characteristics of land-based social conflicts that the country has experienced through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Indigenous communities have been at the centre of those transformations of tenure system and ensuing conflicts. This research examines conflict over use of and access to land as the base of inter-communal as well as intra-communal struggles. The focus of the thesis is to understand how indigenous communities have responded to these two dimensions of land-based conflict and to answer the question of how communal structures of governance operate when conflict arises within or with the community and external forces. Therefore, the thesis analyses the process and institutions by which authority in indigenous communities is exercised; specifically, it studies the process by which authorities are elected, held accountable and replaced and the capacity of the community to protect and manage its resources. The thesis is a case study of the Lacandon Community (Lacandon Forest, Mexico); it reviews its history (1972-2008) and the process by which settlements of Lacanjá Chansayab, Najá, Metzabok; New Palestine and Palm Tree Frontier came to form what is now know as the Lacandon Community.

Other academic interests
I also have a specialisation in Legislative Studies and have published a number of articles in a journalistic capacity on issues of Congresses and Parliaments; especially the relationships of interest groups and judiciaries with legislative bodies.

Professional experience
Conflict management officer at Sub-national government level in Mexico; co-responsible for developing and implementing conflict management strategies for social conflict in rural and urban areas.

Modules Taught:

  • PIED 1541 Globalisation
  • PIED 1200 Contemporary Development Issues

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