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Government reports 22,000 problematic land restitution claims

posted by Mary Cecelia Bittner
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Minister of Justice Juan Carlos Esguerra

 

The Colombian government has reported 22,000 problematic land restitutions claims since instigating the Victims Law, according to local media.

Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra maintained that there were two main types of inconsistencies in the applications — false information submitted in bad faith and processing errors.

He went on to say that in some cases “it was with bad faith and deceit that people want to receive reparations to which they are not entitled.”

The Victims and Land Restitution Law, officially know as Law 1448, allows victims of violence committed by left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries, and state officials after 1985 to claim financial compensation. It also allows for displaced people to reclaim land that was stolen or obtained through intimidation and force by illegal armed groups.

The goverment expects to finish the time-consuming process of investigating thousands of claims sometime in 2013. It plans to send any suspicious applications to Colombia’s Prosecutor General to see whether criminal proceedings can be brought.

Esguerra is quoted as saying, “The Colombian people would be extremely unhappy if the government permitted these fraudulent reparations to be made.”

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