How often have we gone crazy listening to the thousand opinions that everyone around us has about buying a property on ejido land? Perhaps the reason is that land can be a treasure chest or Pandora’s box!
But how do we know whether we can buy in a particular place or not? Or if it is safe to buy from any person? And even worse, if the region where we want to buy is full of large areas of shared land, how do we know if whoever claims to be the owner actually is?
What kind of property is the ejido?
Fortunately, there are several ways to answer all these questions. The first one is to define what an ejido property is. An ejido is a vast piece of land that the federal government owns and allocates to a community. Then they exploit it for agricultural or livestock purposes for the good of the community. Generally, many interrelated families are the “guardians” of that land, with three authorities or powers: the Ejidal Commissioner, the Assembly, and the Surveillance Committee, as in any housing association.
In Mexico, the ejidos are in areas where family and generational alliances are also tied to figures of great importance. These entities are prominent at the cultural, economic, political, and even religious levels. And this religiosity dates to colonial times, in some cases, even pre-Hispanic times, and the figure of the mayordomados also has a lot to do with the assignment of commissioners, assemblies, and members of the surveillance committee because of the parental and moral ties in which said families perceive themselves. Therefore, if you want to buy land, you must consider this first. More importantly, it is essential to know who occupies all these positions.
My own experience
Years ago, my mother and I lost a piece of land by not knowing all these things. The alleged owner of the land was the brother of the man who had been an ejidal commissioner for years. All close relatives held the positions, even if only “by the title”.
Initially, we trusted them because who would stab others in the back being from the same family? Well, we should not have been so naive … It turns out that the two brothers, heads of the family, of the co mmissariat and therefore legal representatives too, held a legal battle against each other, and the one lot we called ours had three different owners, all fighting for the authenticity of their papers. Of course, being the last link in the chain of alleged owners, we lost everything.
Can I build my Home Sweet Home there?
The following are other important aspects we must pay close attention to on the use, property, and documentation that said land would have. As for the use, for example, this is limited compared to a property belonging to a private individual. In private lands, there is usually freedom of use. Not in the ejidal since, as said before, the use of the land will always be associated with the development of the community, precisely because such land belongs to the State. The ejido can only be for residential use if the Assembly has granted the commissioner the land as plots. When this happens, the ejidatario already owns the rights to that land and can then sell or rent it, even inherit it.
Finally, regarding property and related documentation, the private land belongs to a person or a specific group. In contrast, the ejido belongs to the State, as we have already mentioned. Derived from this, the documentation that supports the property is a deed that must be registered in the Public Property.