By J.R. Logan
The Arroyo Hondo Acreage Admission Lath of Advisers met Saturday (March 13) to try to explain its motives to those in appearance and abate apropos about a assurance accomplishment that has atramentous appellation to all clandestine acreage on the grant.
The accomplishment purports to canyon buying of the absolute 20,000- acre admission to the lath and to the brood of the aboriginal settlers of the 200-year-old grant.
This and addition accomplishment filed for the absolute Cristóbal de la Serna admission accept fostered agitation amid some appellation insurers, which has in about-face disrupted absolute acreage affairs aural the boundaries of both grants.
Both brood and non-heirs active in the Arroyo Hondo breadth showed up for Saturday’s meeting, allurement questions of the lath associates and cogent apropos about the board’s intents, according to a recording by The Taos News.
More than an hour into discussion, which sometimes erupted into a absonant roar, one woman asked the lath why it was on the arresting back answering questions.
Several bodies asked about the assurance accomplishment that has atramentous appellation for all backdrop central the grant. Lath associates maintained that the accomplishment was legitimate, and said they acquainted apologetic for those non-heirs who had been accustomed a “false assurance deed” back they bought their property.
The lath said that, in the future, it would like to accept a say in all acreage sales done by both brood and non-heirs aural the grant. The lath additionally said it didn’t intend to adios non-heirs from the grant.
“We’re not actuality to bandy a being or anybody off the property,” said Paul Martínez, a adviser for the Arroyo Hondo lath who batten for best of the meeting. “We’re actuality to accomplish you guys accept that you’re allotment of a accepted acreage admission now and there are bylaws by which you accept to abide.”
Under New Mexico law, acreage grants accept the acknowledged appropriate to anatomy a lath of trustees. Amid their powers, boards can administrate any accepted acreage aural the grant, ascendancy elections and actualize bylaws that don’t battle with absolute laws.
In June 2009, the Arroyo Hondo Acreage Admission filed its bylaws with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office, which keeps and maintains the New Mexico Association Acreage Admission Registry. Patricia Herrera, an agent at the Secretary of State’s office, said her appointment is appropriate to book all abstracts submitted from acreage admission boards, but it cannot affirm the amends or ascendancy of those abstracts acquaint to the registry.
The bylaws for the Arroyo Hondo Acreage Admission Lath of Advisers can be downloaded by visiting www.taosnews.com/downloads/hondobylaw.pdf.
Among its listed goals, the bylaws for the Hondo admission accompaniment that the lath is to “repossess, by all agency necessary, and advance affairs to administer, operate, and advance all private, common, county, accompaniment or federal acreage aural the exoteric boundaries of the Arroyo Hondo Admission for the account of the Arroyo Hondo Admission Heirs.”
The Hondo bylaws accompaniment that non-heirs that ascendancy acreage in the admission may break — as continued as they abandoned their appellation or accomplishment and abide a “definitive plan of intent” to the lath of trustees.
However, accompaniment statute asserts that a non-heir active aural a registered acreage admission has rights to acquirement or charter land, and that the law “shall not diminish, extinguish or contrarily blemish any clandestine acreage absorption amid aural the boundaries of a acreage grant-merced or be construed to admission the lath of advisers of a acreage grant-merced authoritative ascendancy over such acreage interests or acreage added than the accepted lands.”
State law dictates that a acreage admission that wishes to adios a clandestine acreage buyer charge book “an activity of ejectment” in commune court.
During the Hondo board’s affair Saturday, some asked about the acclamation of advisers to the board. The lath responded that it had advertised the acclamation and approved to recruit participants, but no one came. The Secretary of Accompaniment lists Lawrence M. Ortiz, Leandro Ortiz, Melissa Ortiz, Raymond I. Trujillo and Herman F. Gonzales as associates of the Hondo board.
According to New Mexico law, alone brood who accept registered with their corresponding admission can vote in lath elections. The Hondo bylaws accompaniment that brood charge be 18 years old, charge be a absolute descendent of the aboriginal grantees, and charge be certified by the board.
The bylaws behest that an beneficiary charge pay a ancient allotment fee of $100 and anniversary ante of $25. There is a abatement for brood 65 and older.
The Taos News has submitted a academic annal appeal to the Hondo lath allurement for copies of the acclamation and acclamation after-effects as able-bodied as a account of brood who accept registered with the board.
As of columnist time, none of the abstracts had been provided. Before Saturday’s affair an bearding flyer was acquaint in the Arroyo Hondo column appointment allurement association not to be abashed by the board, and to not appear its meetings.
During the meeting, Martínez accursed the notice. “That’s horrible,” he said. “That’s not how to abutment your accessible meetings.”
‘Ignorance of the law’
Before questions were asked, the affair Saturday began with a case for the ascendancy of the heirs’ appropriate to acreage aural the admission boundaries.
“Ignorance of the law” was accounting in big, adventurous belletrist on the chalkboard central the Arroyo Hondo Association Center. In his argument, Martínez declared that, according to the accompaniment constitution, New Mexico is “an inseparable allotment of the federal union, and the architecture is the absolute law of the land.”
He went on to say that Article VI of the U.S. Architecture dictates that all treaties fabricated by the U.S. are additionally “the absolute law of the land.”
Martínez has in the accomplished said that the federal government has bootless to accommodated its obligations beneath the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which concluded the Mexican- American War and declared that the U.S. would admit above-mentioned acreage grants.
Martínez contends that any assurance accomplishment or appellation to acreage aural the admission is an invalid certificate because the federal apparent that awarded the admission to brood of the aboriginal settlers in 1908 is immutable.
Historically, courts in New Mexico accept acclaimed “community” acreage grants from “private” acreage grants back chief applicable buying in some quiet appellation suits. The capital aberration amid the two admission types is what the advised purpose was for the land.
In cases breadth the acreage was originally accepted to several bodies for the purpose of establishing a settlement, baby plots of acreage were allotted to alone families. The of the admission was larboard as “communal,” acceptation association could use the breadth to abrade livestock or aggregate abstracts to body homes.
The Arroyo Hondo admission was broadly advised a association admission at the time of its creation. However, some historians and acreage admission brood argue that accepted acreage were beggared from the grants by charlatans and acreage speculators.
In the aftermost decade, acreage admission proponents accept army a movement to seek advantage from the U.S. government for accomplished wrongs it may accept committed.
At Saturday’s meeting, Martínez said he was not annoyed with negotiations for budgetary advantage that accept been discussed amid acreage admission organizations and the government. Instead, Martínez has said that he is gluttonous the acknowledgment of accepted acreage to brood in adjustment to restore “dignity” to the birth of the aboriginal Hispanic settlers.
“I’m attractive for the day that my bodies will absolutely be chargeless and won’t be accountable to anyone or anything, and that includes alcoholism and biologic addiction.” Martínez said in a buzz interview. “It’s not the land, bro. It’s allowance my people.”
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