An ejido (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈxiðo] , from Latin exitum) is an area of communal land used for agriculture in which community members have usufruct rights rather than ownership rights to land, which in Mexico is held by the Mexican state. Peasants awarded ejidos in the modern era farm them individually in parcels and collectively maintain communal holdings with government oversight. Although the system of ejidos was based on an understanding of the preconquest Aztec calpulli and the medieval Spanish ejido, in the twentieth century ejidos are government controlled. After the Mexican Revolution, ejidos were created by the Mexican state to grant lands to peasant communities as a means to stem social unrest. The awarding of ejidos made peasants dependent on the government, with the creation of a bureaucracy to register and regulate them through the National Agrarian Registry (Registro Agrario Nacional). As Mexico prepared to enter the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1991, President Carlos Salinas de Gortari declared the end of awarding ejidos and allowed existing ejidos to be rented or sold, ending land reform in Mexico.
In central Mexico following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire (1519-1521), indigenous communities remained largely intact, including their system of land tenure. The Spanish crown guaranteed that indigenous communities had land under its control, the fundo legal. It also set up the General Indian Court so that individual natives and indigenous communities could defend their rights against Spanish encroachment.Spaniards applied their own terminology to indigenous community lands, and early in the colonial era began calling them ejidos.
Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, following the Mexican War of Independence, the new sovereign nation abolished crown protections of natives and indigenous communities, making them equal before the law rather than vassals of the Spanish crown. The disappearance of the General Indian Court was one effect independence. With political instability and economic stagnation following independence, indigenous communities largely maintained their land holdings, since large landed estates were not expanding to increase production.
For nineteenth-century Mexican liberals, the continuing separateness of natives and indigenous villages from the Mexican nation was deemed "The Indian Problem," and the breakup of communal landholding identified as the key to integrating of Indians into the Mexican nation. When the Liberals came to power in 1855, they embarked on a major reform that included the expropriation and sale of corporate lands, that is, those held by indigenous communities and by the Roman Catholic Church. The Liberal Reform first put in place the Lerdo Law, calling for the end of corporate landholding and then incorporated that law into the Constitution of 1857. Ejidos were thus legally abolished, although many continued to survive.Mexico was plunged into civil unrest, civil war, and a foreign invasion by the French, so not until the expulsion of the French in 1867 and the restoration of the Mexican republic under liberal control did land reform begin to take effect. Under liberal general Porfirio Díaz, who came to power by coup in 1876, policies to promote political stability and economic prosperity, "order and progress", meant that large haciendas began expanding and many villages lost their lands leaving the peasantry landless.
Many peasants participated in the Mexican Revolution, with the expectation that their village lands could be restored. In particular, many peasants in the state of Morelos under the leadership of Emiliano Zapata waged war against the presidency of Francisco I. Madero, a wealthy landowner whose reformist political movement sought to oust the regime of Porfirio Díaz; Victoriano Huerta, the leader of a reactionary coup that ousted and assassinated Madero; and Venustiano Carranza, a wealthy landowner who led the Constitutionalist faction, which defeated all others. In 1917, a new Constitution was drafted, which included empowerment of the government to expropriate privately held resources. Many peasants expected Article 27 of the Constitution to bring about the breakup of large haciendas and to return land to peasant communities. Carranza was entirely resistant to the expropriation of haciendas, and in fact returned many to their owners that had been seized by revolutionaries.
Distribution of large amounts of land did not begin until Lázaro Cárdenas became president in 1934. The ejido system was introduced as an important component of the land reform in Mexico. Under Cárdenas, land reform was "sweeping, rapid, and, in some respectsÀ, structurally innovative...he promoted the collective ejido (hitherto a rare institution) in order to justify the expropriation of large commercial estates."
The typical procedure for the establishment of an ejido involved the following steps:
Ejidatarios do not actually own the land but are allowed to use their allotted parcels indefinitely as long as they do not fail to use the land for more than two years. They can pass their rights on to their children.
Opponents of the ejido system pointed to widespread corruption within the Banco Nacional de Crédito Rural (Banrural)—the primary institution responsible for providing loans to ejiditarios—illegal sales and transfers of ejido lands, ecological degradation, and low productivity as evidence of the system's failure, but defendants countered these arguments by pointing out that every administration since that of Cárdenas had been either indifferent or openly hostile to ejidos, that the land assigned to ejidos was often of lower quality and therefore inherently less productive than privately held land, that the majority of agricultural research and support was biased towards large-scale commercial enterprises, that the politicians complaining about Banrural were the people responsible for the corruption, and that, regardless of its productivity, subsistence production is an important survival strategy for many peasants.
As part of a larger program of neoliberal economic restructuring that had already been weakening support for ejidal and other forms of small-scale agriculture and negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Carlos Salinas de Gortari in 1992 pushed legislation through Congress that modified article 27 of the Mexican Constitution to permit the privatization and the sale of ejidal land.This was a direct cause of the Chiapas conflict.
The changes to the ejidal system have largely failed to improve ejidal productivity, and have been implicated as significant contributing factors to worsening rural poverty, forced migration, and the conversion of Mexico, where the cultivation of maize originated, into a net-importer of maize and food in general.
Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in the state of Morelos, and the inspiration of the agrarian movement called Zapatismo.
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle, lasting roughly from 1910 to 1920, that transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution. Its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 31-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict broke out in northern Mexico and Díaz was forced out. In the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez, Díaz resigned and went into exile, new elections were to occur in the fall, and an interim presidency under Francisco León de la Barra was installed. A new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.
Lázaro Cárdenas del Río was a general in the Constitutionalist Army during the Mexican Revolution and a statesman who served as President of Mexico between 1934 and 1940. He is best known for nationalization of the oil industry in 1938 and the creation of Pemex, the government oil company. He also revived agrarian reform in Mexico, expropriating large landed estates and distributing land to small holders in collective holdings (ejidos).
Adolfo López Mateos was a Mexican politician who became a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), after earlier opposing its precursor in 1929. He was elected President of Mexico, serving from 1958 to 1964.
The Constitution of Mexico, formally the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, is the current constitution of Mexico. It was drafted in Santiago de Querétaro, in the State of Querétaro, by a constituent convention, during the Mexican Revolution. It was approved by the Constituent Congress on 5 February 1917. It is the successor to the Constitution of 1857, and earlier Mexican constitutions.
Decree 900, also called the Agrarian Reform Law, was a Guatemalan land reform law passed on June 17, 1952, during the Guatemalan Revolution. The law was introduced by President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán and passed by the Guatemalan Congress. It redistributed unused lands of sizes greater than 224 acres (0.902 km²) to local peasants, compensating landowners with government bonds. Land from at most 1,700 estates was redistributed to about 500,000 families—one sixth of the country's population. The goal of the legislation was to move Guatemala's economy from pseudo-feudalism into capitalism. Although in force for only eighteen months, the law had a major effect on the Guatemalan land reform movement.
Before the 1910 Mexican Revolution that overthrew Porfirio Díaz, most of land was owned by wealthy Mexicans and foreigners, with small holders and indigenous communities retaining little productive land. This was a dramatic change from the situation of land tenure in the colonial era, when the Spanish crown protected holdings of indigenous communities that were mostly engaged in subsistence agriculture. Mexican elites created large landed estates (haciendas) in many parts of Mexico, especially the north where indigenous peoples were not generally agriculturalists. Small holders, many of who were mixed-race mestizos, engaged with the commercial economy. Since foreigners were excluded from colonial Mexico, landholding was in the hands of subjects of the Spanish crown. With Mexican independence in 1821 and the emergence of Mexican Liberals the economic development and modernization of the country was the priority. Liberals targeted corporate landholding by the Roman Catholic Church and indigenous villages as impediments to their modernization project. When liberals gained power in the mid nineteenth century, they passed laws in the Liberal Reform that mandated the breakup and sale of these corporate lands. When liberal army general Porfirio Díaz took power in 1876, he embarked on a more sweeping program of modernization and economic development. His land policies sought to lure foreign entrepreneurs to invest in Mexican mining, agriculture, and ranching. It was successful, with Mexican and foreign investors controling the majority of Mexican territory by the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. Peasant mobilization against the landed elites during the revolution and calls for "Mexico for the Mexicans" prompted land reform in the post-revolutionary period.
Valle de Chalco, officially named Valle de Chalco Solidaridad, is a municipality located in the State of Mexico, Mexico, on the eastern outskirts of the metropolitan area of Mexico City. Formerly part of the municipality of Chalco, it was split off as a separate entity in 1994, during the presidency of Salinas de Gortari, under his Programa Nacional de Solidaridad. The municipality lies on the old bed of Lake Chalco, which was substantially drained in the nineteenth century. Technically, the municipal seat is Xico, after a high point of land that once formed an island, and now remains as a small hill within an otherwise monotonous, urban expanse. "Chalco" refers to the Chalca tribe, whose territory covered the area around the lake, prior to the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.
Andrés Molina Enríquez was a Mexican revolutionary intellectual, author of The Great National Problems (1909) which drew on his experiences as a notary and Justice of the Peace in Mexico State. He is considered the intellectual father of the land reform movement in modern Mexico embodied in Article 27 of the Constitution of 1917 "by transcending the Liberal taboo against state interference in the ownership and administration of private property." He has been called "the Rousseau of the Mexican Revolution."
Tila is a town and one of the 119 municipalities of Chiapas, in southern Mexico.
Amanalco is a town and municipality, in Mexico State in Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 219.49 km².
Lázaro Cárdenas, also known as Cárdenas, is a town in the municipality of San Martín de Hidalgo in the Mexican State of Jalisco.
Anenecuilco is a town in the municipality of Ayala, Morelos, Mexico, which gives its name to Zapata's Plan de Ayala. It has a population of 10,773 people. Mexican revolutionary hero, Emiliano Zapata was born here in 1879, and today the town is the home of a museum in the house of his birth. It is located at, at a mean height of 1,239 meters above sea level. The place name means "Place where the water twists back and forth" in the Nahuatl language.
Agriculture in Mexico has been an important sector of the country’s economy historically and politically even though it now accounts for a very small percentage of Mexico’s GDP. Mexico is one of the cradles of agriculture with the Mesoamericans developing domesticated plants such as maize, beans, tomatoes, squash, cotton, vanilla, avocados, cacao, various kinds of spices, and more. Domestic turkeys and Muscovy ducks were the only domesticated fowl in the pre-Hispanic period and small dogs were raised for food. There were no large domesticated animals.
Agrarian reform and land reform have been a recurring theme of enormous consequence in world history. They are often highly political and have been achieved in many countries.
Land reform in the Philippines has long been a contentious issue rooted in the Philippines's Spanish Colonial Period. Some efforts began during the American Colonial Period with renewed efforts during the Commonwealth, following independence, during Martial Law and especially following the People Power Revolution in 1986. The current law, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, was passed following the revolution and recently extended until 2014
Santiago Tequixquiac or, is a town and municipal seat from municipality of Tequixquiac in the State of Mexico, in Mexico. As of 2010, the village had a total population of 22,676.
Indigenismo is a Latin American nationalist political ideology that began in the late nineteenth century and persisted throughout the twentieth that attempted to construct the role of indigenous populations in the nation-state. The ideology was particularly influential in Mexico where it shaped the majority of indigenous-state relations since its incorporation into the Constitution in 1917. While the perspectives and methods of Indigenistas changed and adapted over time, the defining features of Mexican Indigenismo are the implementation by primarily non-indigenous actors, the celebration of indigenous culture as a part of the nation's history, and the attempt to integrate indigenous populations under the authority of the nation-state. The ideology was enacted by a number of policies, institutions, governmental programs, and through artistic expression. These included education programs, land reform, political reform, and economic development as well as national displays of indigenous heritage. Although generally viewed as beneficial for creating a platform to discussing indigenous issues, Indigenismo has been criticized as still operating under colonial paradigms of racial hierarchy and often helped to solidify some stereotypes of Indigenous peoples even while trying to break down others.
Hacienda San Ildefonso Teya is located in the Kanasín Municipality in the state of Yucatán in southeastern Mexico. During the seventeenth century it was one of the largest and most profitable cattle ranches in Yucatán. It was converted to agriculture and during the nineteenth century was part of the henequen boom. The hacienda has been restored and converted into a hotel, restaurant and tourist center.
Hacienda Kochol is located in the Maxcanú Municipality in the state of Yucatán in southeastern Mexico. It is one of the properties that arose during the nineteenth century henequen boom. After a foreclosure in the 1950s and use for many years as a bank's storage facility, the building is uninhabitable and neglected.