According to a recent article from Reuters AlertNet, land is the first issue on the agenda at the historic peace talks in Cuba between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Unequal land distribution is a factor in Colombia’s decades-long internal conflict. If the current peace negotiations are to succeed and Colombia is to achieve enduring peace and stability, land issues must be addressed.
In order to facilitate greater involvement by citizens in the peace process, the Government of Colombia has established regional peace commissions to solicit community input and a website that allows ordinary citizens to make suggestions to peace negotiators. Land restitution policies and land tenure reform are among the issues being discussed in these outreach efforts.
USAID has supported the Government of Colombia in its efforts to address conflicts involving land and rural development for the past decade. USAID provides technical assistance to the Government of Colombia to help strengthen land-related legal and policy formulation, including land restitution programs for Colombia’s Internally Displaced Persons, programs to strengthen the land rights of smallholder farmers, indigenous, and Afro-Colombian communities, as well as institutional capacity building at the regional and local levels.
Click here for more information about land tenure in Colombia.