More than 150 displaced farmers received land titles in the north of Colombia Monday in an official ceremony presided by President Juan Manuel Santos.
After their displacement more than 10 years ago, farmers from the Middle Magdalena region received more than 2,256 hectares of land with an estimated value of $67 million in what Santos called a mark of the success of the Victims Law that regulates the compensation and land restitution for victims of Colombia’s armed conflict.
“This is an event that shows us that these seeds can sprout and shows us how they can sprout, because what we are doing today is sow, grow peace,” said Santos.
According to the President’s Office, the land restitution was made possible by a joint-effort between the Colombian government and Indupalma, Colombia’s leading palm producer. The government provided subsidies of up to 40% of planting costs and Indupalma provided legal, operational and financial support.
Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture estimates that 350,000 families will be entitled to claimed back around five million acres of land under the new law. In order to have the rights to stolen land returned, claimants will have to prove they will use it for something useful, such as farming.