Reforms to Mexico's rural sector that allow ejido and other communal lands to be privatized have been widely criticized. However, the national certification program that facilitates this process, called PROCEDE, has received little attention. We describe how the program was implemented, based on field research in eleven indigenous communities and analysis of archival, cadastral, and statistical information. We explain the surveying methods and the varied ways in which indigenous communities participated in the program. One major achievement of PROCEDE has been to replace thousands of old, inaccurate property maps with a modern cadastral framework based on the delimitation of communal territories with the direct involvement of local people. Many land conflicts were resolved as part of the certification process, although errors in the delimitation will likely generate new ones. However, while the ostensible goals of certification are laudable, there are serious concerns about its consequences for indigenous peoples, including the erosion of community institutions, increased socioeconomic differentiation, accelerated deforestation, and threats to their cultural survival.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Certification, Ejidos, Indigenous peoples, Land tenure, Mexico, Privatization
Journal Journal of Latin American Geography
Citation
Smith, D, Herlihy, P.H. (Peter H.), Kelly, J.H. (John H.), & Viera, A.R. (Aida Ramos). (2009). The certification and privatization of indigenous lands in Mexico. Journal of Latin American Geography (Vol. 8, pp. 175–207).