Colombia’s government expropriated over three million acres in 2012 in accordance with new land restitution laws, local media reported on Thursday.
Laws have been implemented to preserve land in Colombia and help those who have been displaced by a 48-year-long internal conflict.
“We needed to initiate processes of reconciliation, restitution, reparation,” said Santos.
“We have been preparing the entire institutional structure, training agricultural judges, and implementing everything required by this great dream of restoring…land to…[displaced] peasants,” concluded the president.
Colombia’s government has faced staunch criticism from human rights organizations who have denounced the ongoing problem of forced displacements. According to one NGO, large-scale displacements in Colombia rose 83% in 2012.