The Colombian government has announced details of the 20 offices that will process land restitution claims under the new Victims Law.
Next will come an office in Sincelejo and Carmen, in the north-eastern department of Magdalena, followed by offices in the towns of Santa Marta, Cartagena, Apartado, Valledupar, Ibague, Cali, Cucuta, Mocoa, Pasto, Tumaco, Barrancabermeja, Popayan, Barranquilla, Medellin and Caucasia.
Colombia’s agriculture minister, Juan Camilo Restrepo, said yesterday almost 7,000 people had made claims of stolen land since last June, and the Land Restitution Unit hoped to receive another 13,760 before the end of the year.
Colombia has the second-highest population of internally displaced people in the world as a result of years of violence — approximately 3.4 million last year, according to the United Nations’ Refugee Agency.
Under the Victims Law, which came into effect on January 1, displaced people can claim back illegally appropriated land.