Home Business-newBusiness Land grabbing, a threat to indigenous communities in Yucatán

Land grabbing, a threat to indigenous communities in Yucatán

by Sofia Navarro
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On the occasion of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the Mayan communities of Ixil and Kinchil joined their voices to denounce land grabbing by Yucatecan entrepreneurs who intend to take over large parcels of land belonging to their communal lands.

Luis David Quijano Pool, former ejido commissioner of Ixil, explained that since August 4, 2022, a little over a year ago, employees of the Abimerhi and Millet families attempted to illegally occupy a 324-hectare area of communal land adjacent to the town of Ixil. They planned to start building a residential real estate project, the kind advertised online as “five minutes from the beach.”

He added that these lands are the livelihood of numerous Ixil families who rely on the food they produce. These lands have always been cultivated by the community, growing vegetables like radishes, cilantro, green onions, and mint, among others.

He explained that these lands were part of henequen haciendas and were expropriated based on the Presidential Resolution for the Expansion of the Ixil ejido, signed by Lázaro Cárdenas on September 3, 1937, and published in the Official Gazette of the Federation on July 4, 1939.

Hence, he requested municipal authorities to prevent these individuals and their employees from entering the municipality. Otherwise, the community would have to once again stop the dispossession they are trying to carry out.

Karla Yassenia Flores Arasola, a resident of Ixil, added that in their locality, several real estate companies are selling lots in violation of environmental laws.

María Concepción Chan Calderón, a member of the Ixil ejido, explained that despite approaching municipal and state authorities, efforts to stop this practice of land grabbing are futile, as these bodies tend to side with the entrepreneurs.

Regarding this issue, Sergio Oceransky, a member of the rights advocacy organization Yansa, mentioned that they have requested information from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) about the environmental impact authorizations for these real estate projects. However, this institution confirmed that none of the projects being subdivided and sold in Ixil have environmental authorization.

On the other hand, in the town of Kinchil, habanero chili producer Federico de Jesús May Cuitún explained that his ejido located along the Mérida-Celestún route is threatened by real estate projects, industries such as pig and poultry farms, and other commercial establishments that aim to take advantage of its proximity to the industrial corridor of the Hunucmá municipality and the port of Celestún.

TYT Newsroom

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