PBI´s work includes shedding light on the processes that we accompany, their struggles and challenges and to convene spaces in which the reality in the territories can be known.
Today we invited representatives of ten embassies to a working breakfast where we spoke about the topic of land in Colombia: an issue so complex that is at the heart of many territorial conflicts in the country.
Throughout the breakfast we presented three cases to illustrate the issue of land in the current context of the implementation of the peace agreements between the government and the Farc and the reconfiguration of armed actors in the territories.
We had the honor of listening to leaders from the Finca la Europa (Sucre), the Peace Community of San José de Apartado and Cacarica (Chocó).
“Twenty comrades were killed, then the territory was abandoned. Many still don´t dare return”. Argemiro Lara, Finca la Europa
“The strategies of land dispossession remain strong in the region of Urabá”. Germán Graciano, Peace Community
“We are owners of the territories in the Bajo Atrato, we have been there for four hundred years”. Marco Velasquez, Cacarica
To frame and analyse the leaders´ testimonies there were also presentations from human rights defenders that accompany the cases.
“The judge declared the nullity of the process of land restitution in the Finca la Europa and we have to start from scratch”. Erika Gómez, Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CPDH)
“The Peace Community finds itself in an impossible legal situation. They have no collective guarantees to their land”. German Romero, DH Colombia
“We see a breakdown of the rule of law in the territories”. Father Alberto Franco, Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP)
Throughout the presentations various concerns were expressed about the lack of response from the justice system, the lack of security guarantees for the people reclaiming their land and possible scenarios of increased conflict in the territories due to clashes between various interests. The Diplomatic Corps has committed itself to follow up the cases mentioned and respond to the various petitions and ideas that the people presenting expressed.