Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

Attorneys General & Land Grant-Merced and Acequia Historical Gallery and Repository

New Mexico is unique due in large part to its deep-rooted cultural traditions. Spanish and Mexican land grant-mercedes were established by grants of land made to both communities and individuals by the Spanish Crown or Mexican Government to encourage settlements in periods of New Mexico’s history. Acequias in the State of New Mexico are some of the oldest water management institutions in the United States and are integral to the New Mexican environment. These communities have historically carried the responsibility of maintaining these lands for traditional uses necessary for their survival.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo pledged that “property of every kind” would be “inviolably respected” by the United States. Article VIII, Treaty of  Guadalupe Hidalgo. The New Mexico Constitution reaffirms the cultural diversity of the state with a guarantee of additional rights.

“The rights, privileges and immunities, civil, political and religious guaranteed to the people of New Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo shall be preserved inviolate.” N.M. Const. Art II, Sec. 5. As the Attorney General, we have a special duty to protect the rights New Mexico’s traditional communities, and it has been a priority to address situations that threaten our land-based and most vulnerable communities’ way of life.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Division


The Division works with the land grant council to identify legal assistance for land grants-mercedes that are political subdivisions of the State under §49 NMSA 1978 and reviews and responds to election contests filed with the treaty division in accordance with §49-1-7 NMSA 1978. Additionally, a top priority of the Treaty Division is to continue the development and building of the New Mexico Department of Justice’s Land Grant-Merced and Acequía Historical Gallery & Repository.

Please use the following bullet points for each link to respective sites.

New Mexico Land Grant Mercedes Platform of Information

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