Two Hundred Hectares in Limbo
By Jesús Aguado
The Ley Agraria (Agricultural Law) in its article 23, part X, gives ejidatarios the right to decide the use and destiny of the common land through meetings. In article 56, the same law states that the asamblea—meeting of ejidatarios—can determine the use of the land that has not been distributed among them.
The fact is that divergence currently exists in the rural community of Cabras because the ejidatarios—holders of a common share—want to divide a 200-hectare piece of land among 62 ejidatarios so the owners can do with their plots “whatever is best for them.” The reality, according to some ejidatarios of the community, is that most of them are in agreement to sell the land once it is divided.
There is confusion on this topic because some months ago, some residents of the community said that the division and sharing of the land had already been done, and others denied it. The residents or ejidatarios of the community also ignore the law because some of them say that it requires the 62 ejidatarios to be in agreement to sell, and others say that it requires more than the half.
Jesús Andrade, ejidatario, said that he does not, nor will he, approve the selling of the land and along with other members will file a criminal complaint against those who want to damage the environment as well as the historic heritage (rock paintings) of the community.
Adela Monzón, whose father is an ejidatario, previously said that in the area some people want to sell, there are rock paintings and flora and fauna that will be put at risk with projects the companies could develop in the area.
Several ejidatarios had a meeting with Mayor Ricardo Villarreal to request his intervention on the topic. For Atención, Villarreal said that the problem has to be solved by the Agricultural Court. He made it clear that the local government cannot do anything, but he also said that in the future, whoever the owner is, the administration will guarantee that there will be common spaces for the community to build schools, clinics, or sports areas.
Atención has requested interviews with those ejidatarios accused of allegedly selling. They had said yes to the interview and then canceled minutes before the set time.
The truth is that only the ejidatarios, and no others, have the power to decide what they want to do with their land.