by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 10:53 (2442 days ago) @ nodak

Just like in the USA, in Mexico the federal government can expropriate lands using that old well-worn phrase "for the greater good", or some such malarkey. In the case of the ejidos it was a bit trickier because the ejidos were one of the results of that minor civil disturbance we call La Revolución Mexicana, and their existence harks back to the concept of communal lands by indigenous cultures dating back many thousands of years.

In Zihuatanejo after years of litigation the ejiditarios won the legal battle against the federal government and were compensated with new lands in various undeveloped areas (not cash payments), including La Ropa and La Majagua. Of course, having to wait several decades for their compensation caused quite a few hardships, especially considering that because the government stalled for so long, many of the ejiditarios died off or became quite elderly, and of course their families grew in the meantime, and this led to desperation by many surviving offspring with no communal land left in their family. I won't even go into that depressing aspect of the social problem.

My personal point of view is that the purpose of any government-planned development should be to benefit the community, but in this project it is strikingly clear that the local communities are a minor and inconsequential consideration while personal profit for the influential is the obvious primary motive and consideration. Communities all up and down the Costa Grande of Guerrero as well as in Acapulco have come to know this reality as the state and federal governments as well as various influential people have tried to dispossess many communities of their lands and natural resources, not entirely without success. We have learned from past mistakes and are better prepared to deal with future attempts against our patrimony, which is where the natural resistance and distrust you are seeing against Fonatur comes from.

That's why I always say: ¡Zihuatanejo primero para los zihuatanejenses!

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