Mexico’s Superior Agrarian Court ruled in favour of the owners of the El Bajío ejido in Sonora, which is occupied by Minera Penmont, a subsidiary of Fresnillo (LON: FRS), and has ordered the judge in charge of the case at the Unitary Agrarian Court 28 to reopen it and execute sentence 188/2009, which restores the land to its traditional owners.
An ejido is a type of communal land in Mexico.
El Bajío is rich in gold. Thus, the sentence states that Penmont must return whatever metals and minerals it extracted from the area and restore it to its original condition.
According to local media, the traditional owners have been dealing with this situation for over 20 years, when the mining company reached certain agreements with some community members without consulting with the ejido assembly, the place’s top authority.
Following the recent ruling, the residents that promoted the court case said they plan to meet with some national senators to ask them to urge Unitary Agrarian Court 28, based in Hermosillo, Sonora, to reactivate the case and order the application of the sentence.
The community members said they also hope that the ruling of the Superior Agrarian Court sets a national precedent that protects the residents of other ejidos against what they call the ‘illegal incursions’ of mining companies.