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Summary of the final dissertation for the Municipal Development Masters Degree Program



Humberto Rivera Santiiago
Engineer Agronomist

Huber Ernesto Palma Urrutia
Engineer Agronomist, M.A.

The territory of Nebaj corresponds to an old region whose space represents, for the Ixiles, a territory
where they have the historical rights of possession, inherited by their ancestors, there exists two
registered farms named as municipal “ejidos” under the registered property in the name of the
municipality of Nebaj and neighbors. The Ixiles recognizes the individual rights of possession by
means of extrajudicial documents drafted by the municipality of Nebaj whom is the only entity
recognized to manage and to grant land.

Key words: Awarding, Certainty, Ejidos, Legalization, Regularization, Legal security.

1. The Municipality of Santa Maria Nebaj

According to IGN (1), the official geographic name established to the municipality is Nebaj, which is
located to the north of the department of Quiché, and at a distance from 84 kilometers of Santa
Cruz of Quiché and 246 kilometers from the capital city, at an altitude of 1,907 from sea level;
according to, INE’s census of year 2002 (2), the urban area has 18.484 inhabitants (34%) and rural
area 35,133 inhabitants (66%), this indicates that the total population of the municipality is of
53.617 inhabitants, in which 95% of their population belongs to the Ixil ethnic group, with some low
minorities of quiches and kanjobales and the 5% rest, conforms the non-Indigenous group.

2. Historical process of Awarding the Legal Ejido of the Municipality of Nebaj

In the AGC (3), the historical origin of ejidales lands is found in package number 3, file number 6,
denominated Town of Nebaj-Ejidos “Legal Ejido”.

Table A: Historical process of Awarding of the Legal Ejido

Approval of Revision of
Denunciation request Measurement Measurement Awarding Inscription Physical area
Inexistence Inexistence 11/04/1878 04/12/1879 28/02/1881 04/03/1886 1748.68
(38,75 cabs.)

3. Registry Information of the Legal Ejido of Nebaj

In the Second Registry of the Property (4), the registered Legal Ejido is found under the name of
the municipality of Nebaj and neighbors, whose title was extended by the President of the Republic.
This property has no annotation of inscriptions, nor mortgages or cancellations, but it has only one
Table B: Inscription of Dominion of the Legal Ejido
Property Sheet Book Department Area of Registry Inscription
344 136 4 Quiché 1748,68 hectares (38,75 caballerías) 04/03/1886

4. Problems within the Legalization of Ejidos

Because of the absences of management in the regularization of ejidal lands of the property
registered as property N° 344 Sheet N° 136, and Boo k N° 4 of Quiché “Legal Ejido”, it is easily
ousted and evacuated by the justice organisms, existing an increase of agrarian land conflicts
between individuals, individual groups and communities; individual and legal persons lack security
and legal certainty of its properties, which also have limited access to credits, and not having
noncompetitive market building values; also lacks a territorial ordering and the municipality of Nebaj
does not have a cadastral office, and cannot not accede to authorize and to grant the trespassing
dominion, mini collection of the Unique Tax exists on Real estate and it is not fulfilled the
established thing in the Ministerial Agreement No 24-2006, to transfer to the municipalities the right
to collect property taxes. All these problems affect the integral development of the municipality of

5. Process of Awarding and Legalization Ejidal Lands

This research presents a proposal of a “Municipal management in the regularization of lands,
identified as the Property N° 344, Sheet N°136 and Book N° 4 of Quiché, from Municipality of
Santa Maria Nebaj, department of Quiche'”, as an example, this research presents the technical-
legal aspect, the graphic flow process, and the legalization of land, to award and legalize it, as part
of the regularization of the ejidos. Under protection of the Constitutional of the Republic and of the
Municipal Code, all process of regularization of municipal land, can only be done by the municipality
of Nebaj, because of being the registry holder of these lands.

6. Benefits of the Regularization of the Legal Ejido Lands

This proposal will have the following benefits: The individual and legal persons will have the
certainty and legal security, easy access to credit, easy to enter the land market, increase the value
of the property, diminished the agrarian conflicts, and the municipality will be fortified on its control
and administration of basic services, contribute to the territorial ordering, and the municipality would
have the benefit to increase its income through the collection of the Unique Tax on Real Estate
(Impuesto Único sobre Inmuebles), which will permit the integral development of the municipality of

7. Beneficiaries of the Management of Regularization of the Ejidal Lands

Finally, the direct beneficiaries will be the individual and legal persons of the urban area, who will
have the certainty and legal security of their possession and buildings and the Municipality will
improved its finances through the Unique Tax on Real Estate; indirect beneficiaries will be the
financial institutions who will not risk their credit portfolio and this research. Finally, the procedure
can be applied to all the municipalities that have municipal Ejidos.

8. Conclusions
1. There are conflicts of land in the municipality of Nebaj, since land owners of the land, lacks
security and legal certainty, allowing that non scrupulous people carry out illegal acts that
creates ungovernability.
2. The municipality corporation of Nebaj must regularize the possession of land to those who has
it legally.
3. There is a need of a municipal norm for the legalization of the land, which can be applied for the
similar problems in the rest of the municipality and the country.
4. The municipality of Nebaj does not have a cadastral office and the capacity to implement the
5. The population and the Municipal Council and municipal dependencies, do not know the
necessity of cadastre nor of the human and material resources, and adequate technology to run
the cadastre.

10. Recommendations
1. The Municipal Corporation of Nebaj must regularize and legalize the properties of the ejido land
to avoid land conflicts in the municipality of Nebaj.
2. Also the Municipal Corporation must implement the proposed procedure for the regularization of
3. The Municipal Corporation must approve the proposed regulation to legalize the ejido lands and
elaborate and approve agreements to deliver lands to its legitimate owners.
4. This model of land legalization can be applied to the rest of municipality and country,
contributing to the diminution of conflicts related to the ownership, possession and tenure of
5. The Municipal Council must create and implement an office in charge of the cadastre, with
suitable human and material resources and technology for obtaining, storage and use of the
cadastral information.
6. The municipality must orient the population, the Municipal Council, Personnel of the
Municipal Office of Cadastre, the Court of Municipal Affaires and other dependencies related
to process of regularization of land.

Reference Sources:
1) National Geographic Institute, IGN, Guatemala, 1999
2) National Institute of Statistics, INE, X National Census of Population. Guatemala, 2002
3) General Archives of Central America, AGC, Guatemala.
4) Second Registry of the Property, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Curricular synopsis:
• Engineer Agronomist (University Rafael Landívar, 2003).
• General Manager of the Association of Integral Development “Lochbal Tenam” (ASODILT,
• Departmental Supervisor, Fertilizer Program (FROFER-MAGA, 2004).
• Regional Sub- coordinator of Resolution of Conflicts on Land (CONTIERRA, 2004).
• Regional Coordinator Quiche', Secretary of Affaires (SAA, 2005).
• Consultant of the Project (FLACSO-SAA, 2008).
• Adviser of the Organizations of the Civil Society.