An SSI applicant, recipient, or deemor may allege ownership of communal property called
ejidos in Mexico. The ejido is a geographic and political entity holding ownership
in a tract of land similar to a rural commune or village. Prior to 1993, ejidos were
owned by the Mexican government or by the collective group who lived on the land and
usually farmed it. The ejido had a well-defined government consisting of a board of
directors and a communal office (comisariado ejidal). There was no private ownership,
and no part of the land could be sold or rented by individual members of the ejido.
Because individuals could not sell or convey ownership in ejido land, it was not a
resource for SSI purposes.
The Mexican government began in 1993 to privatize ejido land by allowing the ejido
groups to divide the land among members and later to issue titles to individual land
parcels to ejido members, enabling individuals to sell or convey ownership in their
parcels. Much of ejido land in Mexico is now individually owned and meets the definition of
a resource for SSI purposes.
The National Agrarian Registry (Registro Agrario Nacional) records the ownership changes.
Once the authorities have relinquished their controls over the property, a title certificate
(certificado parcelario) is issued. For SSI purposes, the ejido property becomes a
resource based on the date of the certificado parcelario. Individual property titles
can later be issued through the local Public Registry of Property, but usually only
when privatized property is sold.