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02-07: Round Table: Colombia Opportunities for Land Governance
Follow up on the Colombian Peace Agreements and Land Tenure Issues: transitions, property rights and tenure security
Colombia Rural S.A.S.
The Colombian Government proposed a comprehensive rural reform as part of the Final Peace Agreement to overcome the armed conflict that has affected the country for the past 4 or 5 decades. The President of the Republic asked the Colombian citizens to vote for the implementation of this agreement and in an unexpected result with a difference of more than 50.000 votes the country voted against its implementation. Some of the motivations to vote this way are related to the tools described in the comprehensive rural reform regarding land tenure.
This paper analyzes these claims to identify whether the motivations behind them respond to actual political positions against land distribution and formalization or to misleading perceptions based on the lack of understanding of the law. Moreover, the analysis identifies what areas of the current policy and the proposed reform do have the potential to affect property rights and security of tenure of legally or legitimately acquired land. Finally, the paper draws some policy recommendations for an effective rural reform in the colombian context and the respect of property rights, using the concept “pardon” applied to land tenure in a post-conflict society.
Land Restitution in Colombia: proceeding to a regional sustainable peace
1Universidad EAFIT; 2Escuela Superior de Administración Pública -ESAP-; 3Asociación Colombiana de Investigadores Urbano Regionales -ACIUR-
One of the causes of Colombian armed conflict is the lack of institutional security for land tenure in rural areas. Since the 19th century, the government faced struggles for managing and surveying public domains, which in the transition to the 20th century reflected a strong land agglomeration by regional elites and a systematic exclusion of local peasants. This lead to a direct confrontation, in which peasant’s social mobilization conduced to several invasions into elite’s land. By the 1980’s -1990’s the incursion of guerrillas and paramilitaries transformed the rural areas into war scenarios, were land grabbing was a mechanism of territorial dominion; many habitants were displaced leaving behind their properties. Since 2011, the Colombian government acknowledged the situation and incorporated the ‘Pinheiro Principles’ into the victim’s legal framework, promoting land restitution as an integral mechanism to guarantee non-repetition and reparation. This program became a peacebuilding strategy characterized by the recognition of land’s rights to peasants, and also for re-organizing the land tenure system by a Human Rights approach. This paper focuses in the main challenges that face the program in different regions and how it is becoming a successful strategy in order to provide land tenure security in the countryside.
Bread or Justice? Land Restitution and Investments in Colombian Agriculture
1Norwegian Institute of Urban and Regional Research, Norway; 2Universidad del Norte, Colombia
Colombia planned to restitute 7 million HA of land to IDPs in Victims’ Law in 2011. However, only a small share is formally titled and there is no complete land-registry. Other poor IDPs would later settle on idle land and start farming. Migrants to cities had sold their rights in seemingly voluntary agreements. So far, the courts have only restituted 187.000 hectares (URT 2016). The backlog of both realized and unrealized claims reduces tenure security for the current landholders and thereby their willingness to invest in production. Furthermore, the process has disclosed irregularities in land registrations and the banks stopped accepting title deeds as collateral for loans.
The investment boom in the Montes de Maria region busted when the restitution process. Investors, who had bought land directly from the IDPs in considered dubious trades, lost their rights to the land. Others risked restitution claims based on historic wrongdoings, known or unknown to the current landholder.
Our case study Agropecuaria El Carmen de Bolívar, bought 120 different parcels on 6500 HA for a dairy operation. They replaced cows with less labor demanding buffalo to minimize risk.
Analysis of the Implementation of Multipurpose Cadastre in Colombia from an International Perspective
1University of the Andes, Colombia; 2University of Melbourne, Australia
The objective of this paper is to analyse the implementation of this new cadastre system from an international perspective. The analysis looks to evaluate if the government proposal to be implemented adjusts to the current needs of Colombia, taking into account the experiences and successful practices of other countries, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the current proposal. Furthermore, the research embraces the lack of an evaluation framework for assessing the new multipurpose cadastre plan, which permits the generation of feedback on legal, economic, physical, and institutional aspects, while taking into account economic, social and environmental issues. This evaluation framework includes key indicators that allow the evaluation of the proposal and serve as a monitoring framework useful for government decision makers. Kaplan and Norton in 1996 said “ You can’t improve what you can’t measure and if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it” for that reason this research wants to demonstrate the importance of applying an evaluation framework to improve the new multipurpose cadastre implementation in Colombia, providing for the possibility of change, and to meet the varying requirements of the country through the years.
Ungendered policies. Gender and land restitution process in Colombia
1Universidad del Norte, Colombia; 2Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science
Since 2011, the Colombian government has implemented a process of land restitution of lands abandoned or dispossessed during the ongoing internal armed conflict. The aim of the policy is to restore 6 million hectares up to 2021, through a mixed transitional process that includes administrative and judicial measures. The Law 1448 of Victims and Land Restitution proposes preferential treatment for women. This includes prioritizing their cases, but also a general gender orientation in the process. In this paper we wonder about the gap between the policies and the realities in the process of land restitution in Colombia. We argue that although the policy is gender sensitive, does not respond to the actual gender differences. To do this, we present an account of the debates on this issue in the country. Then, based on data obtained from a survey conducted among 205 beneficiaries of the policy between December 2015 and February 2016, and the qualitative information gathered during field work between 2012 and 2016, we derive a set of distances between the policy formulations and the observed reality. On this basis we suggest some gender signals to be considered in future efforts, and propose some policy considerations.
Access to Land as of Comprehensive Compensation for Indigenous Populations in Colombia
USAIDs Land and Rural Development, Colombia
The internal armed conflict in Colombia has not just perpetuated the land problems experienced by indigenous people; it has also resulted in serious consequences with regard to their ability to survive, by putting their culture, environment and identity at risk, which are specific to each indigenous people. Thus, these violations of their fundamental rights have had severe implications for the collective land rights of each of these peoples.
The Serranía del Perijá mountain range is located in the northern area of Colombia, in the border with Venezuela. The Yukpa people, victims of the internal armed conflict, have traditionally inhabited this area. The Land Restitution Unit (LRU) of Colombia initially conducted three characterization/ diagnostic studies on land and ethnic rights. In 2016, USAID's Land and Rural Development Program (LRDP) supported three additional studies and issued a series of recommendations on how to improve the methodology. These three studies included all of the Yukpa community, which became the first indigenous people to complete the administrative phase of the restitution process. These characterization studies are to serve as the main input for transitional justice to make decisions regarding ethnic community patients.