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On seizing state power in 1864, General Mariano Melgarejo brought about an economic and political restructuring that ushered in the age of full-blown liberalization. One of his key measures was an unprecedented attack on indigenous community lands. In 1866, a decree declared community lands to be state property, and for Indians to retain their plots, they were required to buy individual land titles for between twenty-five and one hundred pesos in accordance to size. A later decree, in 1868, intensified the measure by permitting entire communities that could not produce colonial land titles to be auctioned off. The land sales...

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