Agrarian officials illegally take land from “ejidatarios” to build a hotel in Chocholá, Yucatán

About 460 hectares of the ejido Chocholá were illegally sold to a hotel company that intends to build a golf course, in a transaction conducted by Paulino May Moo, who in 2017 lost the process of election as ejidal commissioner (comisariado ejidal).

The ejidatarios, headed by Rodolfo Paredes Quintal, established that the total size of the land ranged in the neighborhood of the six million pesos, but only half of that amount was given to the owners. He explained that the irregularity was registered last December, after the conformation of 23 plots, with an extension of 20 hectares each.

May Moo and a man named Arturo Gómez convinced the ejidatarios to sell each plot for 250 thousand pesos, however, in the end, only 50 percent of that mount was paid to them.

The interviewee said that they are waiting for the owner of the hotel to start building on the ejidal lands to file the corresponding complaint with the Agrarian Prosecutor’s Office (PA).

“The Law calls for demonstrating that the land was sold, but since we do not have any official document, we are waiting for the hotel company to start working in the land to denounce the fact,” he said.

Chocholá is just 37 kilometers (23 miles) southwest of Mérida (INEGI)

Paredes Quintal added that the ejidatarios never were notified of the sale of the land, or summoned to a meeting of any kind in relation with this transaction. He remarked that at no time can plots be sold, given that there is no document to validate the transaction.

“Each ejidatario has a certificate of common use of the land, not land parcelling, so the sale of the land is totally illegal,” he said.

He recalled that two years ago, May Moo contended for “Comisariado Ejidal de Chocholá”, but lost to Claudia Fabiola Cob Durán.

“Due to this situation, with the support of PA officials and the National Agrarian Registry (RAN) an assembly was held outside the ejidal community, in which May Moo was elected as Comisariado, in a totally irregular manner”, Paredes Quintal said.

To sell to a private individual, the lands that are on the side of the road were divided as parcels, and distributed to the people who attended the meeting, to whom he promised the payment of 250 thousand pesos for each parcel, but as it was previously mentioned, in the end, the ejidatarios only got 125 thousand.

Rodolfo Paredes Quintal pointed out that he has all the documents, as well as photographic and video material about the illegal process, which was orchestrated by May Moo, PA personnel as well as well as staff of the National Agrarian Registry (RAN).

TYT Newsroom with information from