is an integrated land reform
and land redistribution
program in Venezuela
, created in law by the Ley de Tierras
("Law of Land"), part of a package of 49 decrees made by Hugo Chávez
in November 2001. The plan is named in honor of Ezequiel Zamora
, a 19th century Venezuelan peasant leader.
Venezuela's rural areas have seen substantial economic disinvestment
, governmental neglect, depopulation, and abandonment ever since oil wealth was discovered in the early 20th century; as a consequence Venezuela now has an urbanization rate of more than 85% — among the highest in Latin America — and is, despite its vast tracts of highly fertile soil and arable land, a net food importer. The Ley de Tierras
— "Law of the Lands" — was passed by presidential decree in November 2001; it included the creation of Plan Zamora to implement land reforms
, including redistribution, in Venezuelan agriculture. The plan was created for several pressing reasons: to stimulate the agricultural
sector in Venezuela in order to provide food security
to the country (the only net food importer in Latin America
) and more economic activity, to break up the concentrated economic power of the latifundios
(75-80% of land owned by 5% of landowners, 2% owned 60% of farmland;Seth DeLong, , CounterPunch
, February 26/27 2005 Maurice Lemoine, , Le......