This research looks at the Bracero Program and the Green Revolution in relation to their impact on rural peasant farmers in mid-twentieth-century Mexico. The Bracero Program and the Mexican Agricultural Program, which began the Green Revolution, both arose from a particular set of agricultural and economic concerns in the shadow of World War II, as the United States sought to shore up its relationship with Mexico. These contemporaneous interventions ultimately targeted the same rural populations and acted in tandem to disrupt the lives, health, and subsistence of Mexico’s peasant farming class. Drawing upon archival records relating to the Rockefeller Foundation and numerous oral histories with braceros and their families, this article shows how rural families were driven to depend on the Bracero Program in the wake of developmental policies that disrupted the peasant economy and social structures. By examining the lives of braceros and the impact of the Mexican Agricultural Program, this article illustrates how the environmental and social injustices caused by these programs came together in a way that has been overlooked by previous critiques.

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