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MEXICO: land expropriations



A previous posting told of the plight of the family of Paola Vera BŠez. Her father and sisters, all lawyers, have left Puebla after they were threatened because of his pro-bono defense of the Indians expropriated to make room for the Puebla industrial park. Paola writes that the situation continues; her family is getting help`from the government in Mexico City, but not the government of the state of Puebla. She took advantage of the graduation ceremonies at the University of the Americas to hand Governor Melquiades Morales a petition which he had no way of refusing. This is a strange political reversal, since Paola worked for a previous state administration.

This situation and the corresponding one concerning the new Mexico City airport present a legal problem. In the US the government would have solved the problem by claiming the lands under the law of eminent domain. The dispossessed would be adequately compensated. I think that state law would determine whether a person could refuse expropriation. In Japan, the new international Tokyo airport at Narita has a dangerous bend in one runway because a woman refused to be expropriated. Her behavior seems to me very anti-social. What is the situation in Mexico? I assume the lands for the Puebla industrial park and the new Mexico City airport were taken under some form of eminent domain. Were those expropriated offered adequate compensation? Were they offered jobs in the industrial park and the new airport? if the answer to these questions is yes, they would be fools not to accept. Jobs are very scarce in Mexico.

Ronald Hilton - 6/27/02


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