Preparing the defence of the ejidos

**Mexico Energy Reform versus the Indigenous: More Groups Prepare to Defend Communal Lands

Patricia Muñoz Ríos

La Jornada, 17th July 2014

Territorio_y_bienes_comunesThe secondary energy reform laws will affect the land rights of 60 per cent of the 31,941 ejidos and indigenous communal lands in the country. For that reason, a team of experts will be formed to bolster the legal defence of ejido land.

MV Note: There are two types of indigenous communal land ownership in Mexico. Ejidos were created after the Mexican Revolution from land expropriated from large landowners. During the colonial period, lands seized by the Spanish and declared the property of the King were granted (back) to some indigenous communities. In both ejidos and communities, the land is not just owned, but worked collectively.

Leaders of the Movement for Food Sovereignty, Defence of the Land, Water, Natural Resources and Territory, comprised of peasant organizations, gave this warning after noting that they will mount a national mobilization on July 23 to protest the secondary laws [for implementation of the energy reform] and demand that their proposals be incorporated into the [pending] agriculture legislation.

More than 15,000 ejidos and [indigenous] communities will have to undertake the defence of their territories and natural resources by legal means, stated members of these organizations grouped in the Permanent Agrarian Council (CAP), the Council of National Rural and Fisheries (CONORP), the National Conciliatory Union of Concerned Organizations (UNIMOSS) and El Barzón.

In turn, Max Correa, head of the Central Campesina Cardenista (CCC), said that according to analysis of the aforementioned secondary laws, they violate the Constitution, as well as conventions concluded by the International Labour Organization (ILO) [a UN agency] regarding the right of indigenous peoples to informed consultation about the exploitation of natural resources. For this reason, they are going to mobilize more than 60 organizations across the country.

Translated by Jane Brundage

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