Home Oaxaca Coast Infrastructure The Communal Land of Oaxaca

The Communal Land of Oaxaca

by Brent May

EJIDO VS. COMMUNAL LAND

Both are legally referred to as social land. An ejido is a federal land grant, often on the site of a former hacienda or plantation. Communal land is territory recognized as historically belonging to a specific community. It is relatively easy for an ejido to privatize its property, but it usually requires a federal decree for communal land to be privatized in Oaxaca.

COMMUNAL LAND

The communal lands of San Pedro Mixtepec and Santa María Colotepec are but two of the 1,602 legally constituted communal and ejido lands in Oaxaca. Every three years a new president and commissioners are elected to administer the property of each bienes comunales. This commission is entirely independent of the municipality. Indeed, many municipalities include two or more bienes comunales. (There are 570 municipalities in Oaxaca.)

PRESTANOMBRE (STRAW BUYER)

The quick and easy and probably most common solution, but also the riskiest option, is to pay a Mexican national to put a property into her name. This sounds insane, and it is. The straw buyer(prestanombre) is the legal owner of the property, and if he or his heirs or estranged spouse decides to steal it, there is nothing you can do. It is against Mexican law to act as a prestanombre, and any contract you make will be non-binding. The real buyer is put in the position of a renter.

 

Source: Viva Puerto

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