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(āhē`thō) [Span.,=common land], in Mexico, agricultural land expropriated from large private holdings and redistributed to communal farms. Communal ownership of land had been widely practiced by the Aztecs, but the institution was in decline before the Spanish arrived. The conquistadors instituted the encomiendaencomienda
[Span. encomendar=to entrust], system of tributory labor established in Spanish America. Developed as a means of securing an adequate and cheap labor supply, the encomienda was first used over the conquered Moors of Spain.
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, which was superseded by the repartimientorepartimiento
, in Spanish colonial practice, usually, the distribution of indigenous people for forced labor. In a broader sense it referred to any official distribution of goods, property, services, and the like.
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 and finally, after independence (1821), by debt peonage. Although legally abolished by the constitution of 1917, which provided for the restoration of the ejido, peonage remained a general practice until the presidency of Lázaro CárdenasCárdenas, Lázaro
, 1895–1970, president of Mexico (1934–40). He joined the revolutionary forces in 1913 and rose to become a general. He was governor (1928–32) of his native state, Michoacán, and held other political posts before he was,
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. In the Laguna DistrictLaguna District
[Span.,=lake], irrigated area in E Durango and W Coahuila states, N central Mexico. Originally a 900,000-acre (364,200-hectare) tract, consisting of large estates, the land was reapportioned (1936) under President Lázaro Cárdenas and distributed to
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 in 1936, the ejido became fact on a large scale. The intent of the ejido system is to remedy the social injustice of the past and to increase production of subsistence foods. The land is owned by the government, and the ejido is financed by a special national bank which supplies the necessary capital for reclamation, improvement, initial seeding, and so forth. In effect, the bank has replaced the colonial encomendero, with this difference—the laborer is paid on the basis of unit work accomplished.


See D. Ronfeldt, Atencingo; The Politics of Agrarian Struggle in a Mexican Ejido (1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
Deforestation and forest degradation due to illegal logging in the core zone of the Monarch Reserve drastically decreased thanks to the commitment made by the ejidos and indigenous communities of the Reserve, the surveillance efforts and funding for environmental services from Mexican authorities, and the support of philanthropists and Mexican and international companies such as Telcel, the Carlos Slim Foundation, and the Yves Rocher Foundation of France, which promote sustainable projects for residents.
My own view was that amendments to the Constitution to end protection of ejidos (that is, communal agrarian land ownership) in 1991 set the stage for changes to the other pillar of the Mexican Revolution: oil and gas.
The product of revolutionary land reform -- almost a century ago -- that redistributed more than 100 million hectares from large landowners to small farming groups, the ejidos control surface rights to large swaths of Mexico.
Three separate claims are currently proceeding in the First District Court of Zacatecas by the Cedros and Mazapil Ejidos and a local transportation union which have resulted in the temporary and permanent suspension of the agrarian court's ruling.
To take the case of Baja California and the Colorado River Land Company as an example of Dwyer's findings, he shows that on the Mexican side bad working conditions, low wages, underemployment, and the competition of Chinese immigrant labor provoked petitions for the creation of ejidos in the 1920s and early 1930s, accompanied by peasant squatting on CRLC lands.
In addition, Agrarian law, under which Ejidos are governed, provides for expropriation of Ejido and community lands for the exploitation of minerals.
Millions of farmers were given land to farm under a system of ejidos set up in the 1930s.
He plants many trees on land owned by indigenous community groups called ejidos, made up of 200 to 300 individuals or ejidatarios.
By 1991 there were 29,951 ejidos in Mexico accounting for 55% of the land area (Jones and Ward, 1998).
En los anos 1920 y 1930, la mayor parte de las plantaciones de sisal se expropiaron y se convirtieron en ejidos, pero su produccion inicial fue escasa.
The women who took part in our study came from six communities in the Mexican state of Chiapas located on the border with Guatemala, all ejidos (communities founded on common land) with a mestizo population (figure 1).