Colombia: Land Rights Recognized



Hundreds of farmers and their supporters from human rights groups and non-governmental organizations gathered in celebratory witness as the Colombian Institute for Rural Development legally recognized the Cimitarra Valley as a Campesino Reserve Zone (ZRC) on 16 February.

The revival of ZRCs under Colombia’s current President Santos is good news for many communities in the Magdalena Medio region where CPT is based.  Created in 1996 as a way to prevent concentration of land ownership and agricultural oligarchy, but ignored by the previous Uribe administration, the ZRCs commit the government to support development projects for small producers.  Reviving the farming sector and preserving ownership of small rural properties will help stabilize communities and strengthen their economies, thus undercutting the causes of social conflict affecting the Colombian countryside.

For years, CPT has partnered with the  Association of Campesinos of the Cimitarra Valley (ACVC) and accompanied many of the communities within the Cimitarra Valley ZRC which covers 184,000 hectares (455,000 acres) and benefits nearly 9,000 families.

ACVC director Miguel Cifuentes affirmed the importance of the government’s commitment to small farmers who, he said “have already established a development plan.” 

In addition to reviving the ZRCs, President Santos has proposed restoring two million hectares (nearly 5 million acres) of land seized by illegal armed groups to their rightful owners.  So far title transfers have been completed for about 220,000 hectares (more than 543,000 acres).

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Septermber Supper Fundraiser

Will you host a dinner party for CPT?

CPT really needs your support in raising $10k in September. Unfortunately, we are behind our financial targets and need your help. We want to dedicate the month of September to bringing people together around the dinner table. You can choose the date, who you invite and what you cook (though our teams have some great recipes prepared!) We’d love to hear if you’d be interested. 

There’s no commitment needed at this stage.

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