That guy stepped on the wrong people's toes. Most times there's more to a story like this than meets the eye, but no doubt it happened. Having said that, out in the zone you're talking about there's an owner dispute on 95% of all properties that gringos buy/lease. Fraudulent deeds abound. Some forgeries that are a hundred years old. For an ex-pat in a third world country it's always buyer beware and there's always a loc ready to take what you have. Same in Indo, same in Centro. But the swami need not worry, nobody wants that van.