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StoveTeam Blog

26 Mar
2012

Land Rights Dispute in San Jose de las Lagrimas

As we drive out to San Jose de las Lagrimas there are now squatters along the side of the road. They are living in similar conditions (homes made of plastic bags and twigs) as those in the village. I asked Anibal about them and he said that they had been living and working on land owned by a local person. They had worked on his finca for 40 years and had a document from him showing that when he died or left the land, the land where they were living would then be passed on to them. Unfortunately, that was not the case. In the past few months, the land was sold to a new owner who neglected to record the documents, and that man then went to court and said he had bought the land for his cows and wanted those people to leave. The people went to a judge, but the judge ruled in favor of the new landowner and then told the police to go and force them off the land. The police came, and in three days forced all of them to move to the roadside with nothing.