President Gustav Petro raised the possibility of buying, at a commercial price, 5 million hectares of land to their current owners for later sell them at a lower price to peasants or small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
“We are going to buy the land from them for public debt titles that can be demanded at any time in the secondary title market with a fundamental purpose: 5 million hectares, not all of the 30 that we have in production capacity, will be bought by the State at commercial pricePeter explained.
The president explained that these lands will later be sold “at a lower price to peasants, peasant women, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs with a fundamental objective: to create a base of social justice in the agrarian world“.
Historically, the dispute and the lack of land for the peasants has been one of the causes of the Colombian armed conflict and that tension has intensified in recent weeks due to the increase in invasions of properties in different regions of the country.
Petro recalled that, for decades, in Colombia, peasants have been expelled from their land and “they were taking them by force, with massacres, with mass graves, 200,000 dead Colombians, millions of peasants displaced by violence“.
The president wondered Where are those lands, in whose hands did they remain, what are the complaints about?oversized crime against humanity“.
And, in that direction, he said that the land restitution, a right that victims have to have their property returned to them when it was dispossessed or abandoned due to the armed conflict.
Likewise, Petro explained that in recent decades drug money bought millions of hectares of fertile land to launder illicit capital, as drug trafficker Pablo Escobar did at the time.
“The land was the fundamental asset laundering of mafias like Pablo Escobar’s and others that monopolized the fertile lands of the country to produce nothing. They remained in the hands of figureheads, some judicial processes have achieved the extinction of the domain over some, few, most are still under judicial discussion, so Colombia needs an agrarian reform“, he concluded.
Agrarian reform underway
Regarding the issue, the Colombian government launched a agrarian reform which will start with delivery of property titles for 681,372 hectares to peasants, indigenous people and Afro-descendants.
The Minister of Agriculture, Cecilia López Montaño, He said that in this first phase, which will last until November 15, property titles will be delivered to 12,600 families in 19 departments of the country.
These lands will be delivered”peasant populations, indigenous reservations and Afro-descendant communities“, which have “institutional support for productive and rural development programsLopez said.