Location: Santa Elena, Yucatan
Private property rights are respected in the Yucatan, but as as with most rights they are only respected if you defend them.
The most common excuse for trespassing to to say, is to say, “Oh, I thought this was open land?” or, “I didn’t think anybody would object.” This is called the law of inherent permission. If nobody seems to mind, then I can hunt, wander as I please, or maybe even plant crops or set up a homestead.
The usual first defense against trespass is to set up a fence.
It does not have to be an insurmountable fence, but it has to be obvious enough so that folks can not say, “Gee, I didn’t see any fence. I must have wandered off course.”
Here the most popular fences are barbed wire and/or stone walls, and most of our property does have stone walls and/or barbed wire. But over time the rock walls can fall down in places, the fence posts can collapse, and the wire can break.
In these cases, the wanderer can say, “Yeah, I saw the fence, but I just assumed that the owner abandoned his claims some time ago.” This is not an unreasonable defense.
We have dozens of walls criss-crossing our property that served their purposes decades or centuries ago. So, one our first actions with our property is to mend the fences and to put a perimeter trail.
This says, “This is private property, and yes, the owner does care, and if you want to be on this land, it would be a good idea to get permission first.”
Ah, the joys of being a land baron.