Spanish Land Grant Fight Putting Hundreds In Limbo

Apr 26, 2013

Arroyo Hondo, NM.
Credit SLV Native via Flickr

  Homeowners in Arroyo Hondo Land Grant are locked in a centuries-old land fight that is tying up property in a popular northern New Mexico area.

That's because a group of descendants of the Spanish land grant have filed a deed to the land and has placed hundreds of property owners in this mountainous New Mexico enclave in limbo. Owners cannot sell their property, refinance their mortgages or even get insurance policies while the courts struggle to unravel the conflict.

An attorney for the Arroyo Hondo Land Grant Board, the group that filed the deed with Taos County Assessor's office, says the issue is about Hispanics who lost their land after the U.S.-Mexico War.

But others say the deed is bogus and doesn't have the support from most heirs.