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Indigenous win one

28 July 2009

Despite what you read North of the Border, not all disputes in rural Mexico revolve around narcotics, or have anything to do with narcos.  I’ve questioned whether the “War on Drugs” isn’t sometimes misrepresented (purposely or otherwise) to justify oppressing rural groups, and suspect that in places like Michoacan, centuries old disputes are swept under the table using this latest of rationales.  But, as WW4 Report found, not always:

On June 29 about 1,000 indigenous Nahuas from the communities of Santa María de Ostula, Coire and Pómaro in the central western Mexican state of Michoacán occupied La Canahuancera, a 700-hectare area near the Pacific coast. According to the Nahuas, men armed with pistols in the employ of local political bosses tried to stop the effort to take the land, and a campesino, Manuel Serrano, was hit by a bullet. The Ostula community police captured eight of the attackers; they released five of them later and turned three others over to state prosecutors on June 5. The Nahuas also set up a roadblock on the Manzanillo-Lázaro Cárdenas highway. The indigenous communities say they have titles to La Canahuancera dating back to 1802; they charge that a group of small landowners from the community of Placita, Aquila municipality, seized the land 45 years ago.

On July 17 Michoacán governance secretary Fidel Calderón Torreblanca and the Nahuas’ legal adviser, Carlos González García, reached an agreement in which the Placita landowners would cede 1,309 hectares of land to the Nahuas and would receive compensation from the state government. The parties ratified the accord on July 18 and also agreed to have the Mexican Navy patrol the area to prevent further violence.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. paulrobertsmexico permalink
    28 July 2009 11:05 pm

    I am glad to see this reported as I have been hearing about this incident from different sources – although not in the news – and was indeed prevented on July 16th from visiting an indigenous community by the roadblock that had been set up.

    I was not however aware that the situation had been resolved. And if so, it seems incredible to me that people who illegally seized these indigenous lands should now be given compensation.

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