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Government waiting for property confirmation of invaded Mahahual land

Mahahual, Q.R. — Quintana Roo government officials continue to wait on the final property titles for three plots of invaded land in Mahahual. The three plots of land have been occupied by families who began settling there more than 10 years ago.

While the government has taken steps to remove them, the settlers refuse to go saying they own the land. Last week during a Presidential visit in Chetumal, some of the agreived settlers tried unsuccessfully to meet with Andrés Manuel López Obrador to have the matter settled.

After their demonstration, State Secretary Cristina Torres Gómez said they are waiting for the property title results by the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urbano (Sedatu) to determine if the land is national or private.

The Mahahual land dispute came about when the government attempted to evict them and settlers refuted with property titles saying they own the land they live on. There have since been allegations that these people were scammed and sold government land by private individuals.

Torres said that in the cases of those who are living on proven state-owned land, the Strategic Projects Agency (Agepqroo) has started the regularization process which could see them with official property titles and the communities listed for basic services such as water, electricity and sewer, however, Torres added that “the people have been asked not to encourage more invasions.”

“We cannot allow the invasion of land to become widespread because this leads to insecurity,” she said explaining that people should not acquire properties that do not have basic water, electricity and drainage services even when the presumed owners show title deeds or certificates of rights.

“Invading or taking possession of these assets without basic services is a crime and the state will not allow invasions to be encouraged,” she said.

Torres admitted that in the municipalities of Solidaridad and Tulum, expectations due to the development of the Maya Train have caused speculation and land invasions, for which reason, authorities have acted to prevent them.

There are currently around 570 people living on the plots of Mahahual land with some having property title issues that date back more than 10 years.