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Protestors say airport took their land illegally

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Landowners take their long-standing dispute to the airport entrance. Photo: Desde el Balcón

Mérida, Yucatán — Dozens of communal landowners protested at the international airport, demanding payment for 204 hectares that they say was seized illegally for a long-ago expansion.

The dispute is not a new one. It dates to 1968, when the state claimed acreage in Cinco Colonias for the growing airport to the neighborhood’s west. In 1994 presidential decree was issued to expropriate 204 hectares for the public domain.

The dispute has been winding through the justice system for years.

In a 2014 protest, the farmers blocked the airport, but this time, the demonstration was more benign, as the men held signs accusing authorities of theft.

The 80 or so landowners say they are due 900 million pesos.

The peaceful demonstration was headed by the former ejidal commissary, Leonardo Mena Crespo.

Federal authorities are awaiting analysis of the evidence presented by both parties in the Agrarian Tribunal.

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