Posesión de Tiempo Inmemorial (Possession of Time Immemorial)

Tenants in Court and Proprietary Formalization. Rengo, Chile, 1820–1830

in Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques
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Abstract

This study focuses on disputes between small and medium tenants, who sought to formalize old land rights. The context under study is Rengo Valley, Chile, between 1820 and 1830, where there was increasing pressure to clarify rights over possessions. The analysis of a sample of 31 trials showed the relevance of the judicial use of the figure Posesión de Tiempo Inmemorial (Possession of Time Immemorial). This was a resource derived from the value of possession in the Hispanic American agrarian legal culture, one that the litigants used strategically. This study's findings provide new data on the use of socially valued legal figures in justice to defend possession, thus contributing to the discussion on the dispossession of peasants in contexts of proprietary formalization.

Contributor Notes

Víctor Brangier holds a PhD in History. Researcher with the Institute for Humanistic Studies, “Juan Ignacio Molina” (Instituto de Estudios Humanísticos, “Juan Ignacio Molina”), Universidad de Talca, Chile. His research areas are social and cultural history of justice and the formation of rural property in Chile and Latin America in the nineteenth century. He is the author of articles and books about these topics and is a member of the editorial team of important relevant journals such as Revista Historia y Justicia. Email: victor.brangier@utalca.cl Orcid: 0000-0003-3583-2221

Mauricio Lorca holds a PhD in Cultural and Heritage Management. Researcher with the Institute of Research in Social Sciences and Education (Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Sociales y Educación), Universidad de Atacama, Chile. He has experience in teaching, research, and management, in relation to the topics of local development, ethnohistory, identity, heritage and indigenous groups. He is the author of various scientific publications and is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Urbano Regionales, EURE. Email: mauricio.lorca@uda.cl Orcid: 0000-0003-3490-8212