Mexico’s rural landowners pose threat to foreign energy investors

June 18, 2014

06/18/14 Reuters

farm workersWhen foreign investors begin to pour into Mexico’s overhauled energy sector in the coming months, they will face a potent force well-known to miners: Mexico’s ejidos, or rural landowner groups.

The product of revolutionary land reform – almost a century ago – that redistributed more than 100 million hectares from large landowners to small farming groups, the ejidos control surface rights to large swaths of Mexico.

The ejidos are often poor but they can be powerful: machete-wielding landowners shuttered government plans for a new Mexico City airport in 2002.

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Mexico Weighs Opening Up Wider to Foreign Property Buyers

July 10, 2013

grand riviera princess hotelWall Street Journal, 7/9/2013

Mexico is poised to lift century-old restrictions on foreign ownership of property along its coasts and borders, a move real-estate developers believe could boost the nation’s vacation-home market.

Mexico currently prohibits foreign ownership of land within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the coast or 100 kilometers of an international border. The limits were written into Mexico’s 1917 constitution because of worries about U.S. expansionary ambitions at the time. Mexico lost about half its territory to the U.S. in the mid-1800s after the annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American war. An exception was created in the 1970s to allow foreigners to acquire property through a special trust in partnership with a bank, a time-consuming and complicated process that many potential buyers find unappealing.

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Zapatistas break silence to slam Mexico elite

February 15, 2013

subcomandante marcosAl Jazeera, 2/15/2013

After years of silence, secluded in their base communities in Mexico’s impoverished south, indigenous Zapatista rebels have re-emerged with a series of public statements in recent weeks, attempting to reignite passions for their demands of “land, liberty, work and peace”.

In December, 40,000 Zapatista supporters marched through villages in Chiapas, re-asserting their presence. In January and February, Subcomandate Marcos – the Zapatistas’ pipe-smoking, non-indigenous spokesman and an international media darling – issued a series of communiques slamming the government of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which assumed power in December.

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