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Property and Land Issue in Nicaragua

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Property and Land Issues in Nicaragua

Lydia Manzanares

Real Estate

Profesor: Hugo Valladares

January 12, 2018


Property and Land Issues in Nicaragua

  • During Somoza’s ruling (1935-1979)

Nicaragua was under Somoza’s administration during the 1935 to 1979 period.  This period was marked by permanence in power by the Somoza’s family, in contrast, it can be concluded that the country was under a dictatorship

In terms of “land,” there were a few characteristic during this period:

  • The agricultural sector was the center of the economy, creating a dependency in agricultural export and a depend relationship with the world market.  Some of the commodities that were the main focus included cotton, coffee, cattle raising, low quality sugar cane and tobacco.
  • There is a new development of capitalism in the agricultural industry. This was due to the exploitation of the cotton cultivation; as a result, this caused a spread of poverty in the rural areas.
  • The government provided new programs of infrastructural construction and the Agrarian Nicaraguan Institution (IAN)
  • The polarization of the agrarian structure is accentuated, in spite of the gigantic escape valve that constituted the agricultural frontier. The agrarian reform of this time does not have any impact in the sense of an equal access to resources, by not operating any significant redistribution of lands on farms.

The main legal instruments that predominated this era were “Agrarian Law Reform of 1972” (La Ley de Reforma Agraria de 1972) and “the General Law of Expropriation of 1976” (la Ley General de Expropiación de 1976.)

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The most predominant way of land acquisition was through usufruct contracts and promise of sale. In addition, leasing with the option of buying, the client could buy the occupied space after the maturity of the contract. It was estipulated that in general the client had 15-20 years to pay the land acquired.

Once the deed was granted, it always had limitation that were stated in article 69

a) Prohibition to split the agricultural unit granted in property, unless authorized by the Institute for reasons of technical or general interest

b) Prohibition of alienating the domain without authorization from the Institute, which may not deny it when the proposed new acquirer meets the requirements of Art. 51.

The General Law of Expropriation of 1976

On February 26, 1976, the General Law of Expropriation was promulgated, through Decree No. 226, defining the concepts of public utility and social interest.  This Law establishes as its primary objective the expropriation of property or rights, regardless of the person or entity to which they belong.  The reason for the expropriation was that this properties or rights were public for services or programs, where they tend to provide the Nation rights, uses, improvements or enjoyments of common benefit or that are necessary for the achievement of the purposes of the State or its institutions, even when private individuals must execute them.

  • During the 1980s

This era is also refer to as the agrarian reform of the Sandinista party.  This timeline was during 1979 and 1990.[pic 3]

The period is characterized by the implementation of an agrarian reform that will have a strong impact on the agrarian structure, reducing the private landowner from 37% of the land in farms to 6%.  The Agrarian Reform was essentially driven and carried out from and by the Sandinista government, through INRA (Nicaraguan Institute of Agrarian Reform) .  The agrarian reform privileged projects "modernizing,” on the one hand large state-owned companies, known as “Property Area Companies of the People,” and on the other hand production cooperatives without responding to the aspirations of the majority of poor producers to have access to individual property.

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