Peasant and indigenous farmer organizations give this warning: Do not touch communal property in the countryside. However, the government remains committed to stirring up a conflict that is already present in various parts of the country, and its spread seems imminent. After a meeting of peasant leaders in the Senate and a discussion at the Secretariat of Government Relations [SEGOB], the response by officials and legislators is the same: first they called them ‘rights of way’, now they call them ‘temporary occupations’. Their purpose is similar: the dispossession of indigenous and peasant lands. It has to do with converting transnational corporations into owners of very large estates [latifundistas]; thus, guaranteeing legal certainty for their investments through asymmetrical negotiations. The federal government will play a central role in these negotiations, since it will have the broadest powers to establish areas of exploration and exploitation that will take precedence over peasant activities and the property rights of indigenous communities and agricultural centers.
For more information on rural land struggles in Oaxaca read: Across Latin America, a Struggle for Communal Land and Indigenous Autonomy