Forty-six years ago, government officials backed by soldiers drove their trucks up to my family’s farmhouse in Peru. They announced that the leftist military dictatorship that controlled the country was seizing our farm and turning it over to “the people.” Our family farm, which my great-grandfather had founded more than 130 years earlier, was gone.

Other families suffered a similar fate: The dictatorship that ruled Peru in the 1970s expropriated around 5,000 farms totaling 23 million acres – an area about the size of Indiana.

At the time of the expropriations – I was just a teenager then – the government said it would pay the fair value of the property. But in fact, the government grossly undervalued the land, farm animals, equipment and other assets. Worse yet, the government did not pay us in cash. Instead, it forced landowners to accept “agrarian bonds” with a state guarantee of repayment, with interest, over the next 20 to 30 years…

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