chapter  9
Aging ejidos in the wake of neo-liberal reform: livelihood predicaments of Mexican ejidatarias
ByVERÓNICA VÁZQUEZ-GARCÍA
Pages 15

The 1910 revolution led to dramatic transformations in Mexico’s land-tenure structure largely due to the involvement of peasant leader Emiliano Zapata in the armed struggle. The expropriation of land from rich hacendados in order to distribute it among landless peasants legitimated the project of social justice of the emerging nation state (Warman, 2001). Article 27 of the 1917 Constitution recognized the need to distribute such land under the modality of ejidos. Each household within the ejido would receive a plot for cultivation and have access to communal lands such as pastures and forests, and to collective resources such as water. Heads of households were called ejidatarios. Only one person per household could become ejidatario or ejidataria; this person was specifi ed in law as a male aged 18 and above, or a widow with a family to support. His or her land right had to be transferred within the family, with spouses legally designated as the principal heir for ejiditarios and son as the heirs of ejidatarias. Land plots were considered a family patrimony, and the communal lands and collective resources of ejidos were to be governed by an assembly of ejidatarios represented by the Comisariado de Bienes Ejidales.