What Would Land Redistribution Mean for Colombia?
Corporate attorney Esteban Garcia was quoted in a Latin America Advisor article published by The Dialogue about the issue of disproportionate land ownership in Colombia. Mr. Garcia explained that countless laws and agrarian reforms have attempted to solve the land concentration problem, but armed conflict, drug trafficking, informality and the lack of clarity in the allocation of property rights over rural land have impeded the achievement of a redistribution that would promote development and beneficial agriculture projects.
“Colombia’s high rate of land concentration is one of the main reasons for the armed conflict that the country has suffered for almost a century," he said.
Settlements have been reached following the peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to redistribute and award of land to peasants and ex-combatants. Due to the lack of public information on available lands, little progress has been made toward solving the land concentration issue.
"Effective administrative management and legal certainty will be necessary to move forward," Mr. Garcia said. "Fortunately, the government and the high courts seem to recognize the importance of a multipurpose cadastre implementation in which the disposable lands and ‘baldíos’ are fully identified, and delimited, and clear legal and jurisprudential rules must be set and applied to provide legal certainty to the acquirers of rural lands for the development of productive projects,” he continued.