This study is about land conflicts in Cordoba Department in Northern Colombia. Taking two case studies, one from a small town in the Department called Montelibano, the other example is Tierraalta municipality. The first, Montelibano is well-known for mining by foreign companies, and the focus is on Cerro Matoso, a US company (in which another Japanese company has a small stake) has been accused of land grabbing, leading to conflict with local communities and minority groups due to displacement without compensation. The second case is an area where the paramilitary loyal to Uribe, former President now facing charges, have replaced FARC since the 2016 Peace Agreement. In Tierraalta the paramilitary control the growing drug trade and seized land through violence, causing land conflicts among locals. To analyse the processes at local, national and even international level, the study uses three main data sources. The first is used as background as is report from CINEP, a national thinktank, published in 2014, which contains material on both case studies prior to the Peace Agreement. The second document used is the land reform program created by the Final Peace Agreement, known as PDET, which also is applied to both case studies. The third is recent report regarding actual implementation process in both cities. Media, think tanks, scholars and NGO reports also provide supplementary information on the two cases. I also spoke with two staff at the Victims Unit of the Colombian government. One of the key findings was slow implementation of the land reform program, due to reluctance to tackle inequalities in rural areas. In Tierraalta competing actors are trying to seize control of the area, whilst in the case of Montelibano, inequalities have an international and corporate origin. Conflict is partly a consequence of economic globalization.

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Hintjens, Helen
Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Koyano, Sohei. (2020, December 18). Land reform and the peace implementation process in Colombia 2016-2020: the case of Cordoba. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from