Title: Far from the Promised Land
The 2011 passage of the Victims’ Law raised hopes among Colombia’s hundreds of thousands of victims of violence and forced displacement. Yet this second in-depth investigation by Latin America Working Group Education Fund and Lutheran World Relief on the law’s implementation shows that two years later, many of its promises remain a distant dream. Land restitution is slow, with barely 1 percent of claims filed resolved. Land rights leaders and returning communities are in grave danger. This report, focused on the Caribbean Coast, concludes that land restitution cannot take place safely without more decisive action by the Colombian government to dismantle the structures that caused displacement in the first place, especially paramilitary successor groups, their allies in state security forces and local government, and the landowners and companies that employ them. The report includes dramatic case studies of communities that still face danger, whether they have returned or are still waiting their chance to return. It also includes recommendations on how to achieve sustainable and safe land restitution.
Author: Latin America Working Group Education Fund and Lutheran World Relief