Far from delivering on the promise of providing greater access to justice for victims, the land restitution system in Colombia – where victims of land dispossession and forced abandonment can apply for restitution of their lands lost as a result of the armed conflict – has denied most requests at the administrative stage. This video explains why the process continues without putting the victims at the centre, and brings together a coalition of civil society organisations that seek to advocate for more effective implementation of the restitution policy.
You can read the full findings from the policy-research project aimed at drawing attention to this problem of mass rejection of land restitution applications here. The research presents some of the reasons for this concerning phenomenon, and sets out recommendations for key stakeholders involved in the implementation of the land restitution policy.
If the land restitution policy continues on the same course of rejecting the majority of applications without judicial review, its contributions to guaranteeing truth, justice, reparations, and non-repetition for victims and for Colombian society will only be marginal, and Colombia will miss an opportunity to construct a historical record of the violent impacts of land dispossession and forced abandonment suffered by countless Colombians during the armed conflict.