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In a first blow to landlords, the progressive constitution of 1938 determined that private property was not an absolute right, and that property could be expropriated by the state if it did not fulfill a productive “social function” in the collective interest. The Indigenous Congress of 1945, sponsored by the government of President General Gualberto Villarroel, abolished labor servitude on the haciendas. In 1947, the Revolutionary Left Party (PIR) went a step further, proposing a law for an agrarian reform institute. Eduardo del Granado, on behalf of the landlord class, vigorously responded to these attacks with a tract critical of...

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