KUNM

Public Auction For Contested Border Land Cancelled

Nov 29, 2018

New Mexico’s land commissioner has cancelled a public auction of about seven acres of land central to a decades old dispute along the U.S.-Mexico border. A mile-long section of the border wall was built by the federal government without permission on the state-owned land.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said the money from the sale of the land is designated to fund public education in the state.

“You know, one reason we were putting it up for sale was in hopes that border patrol would step up and pay a fair price,” he said.

The state is asking for at least $40,000 in an outright sale of the land that would give all rights-of-use to the new owner. The feds offered only $9,000 dollars in August, spurring Dunn to schedule Monday’s public auction. 

He’s now cancelled it, he said, so that New Mexico’s newly elected land commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard can handle it. She’ll have a few options after she takes office on Jan. 1, 2019, including scheduling another auction or suing the federal government.