The Colombian government reported that cases of land being stolen from peasants through falsification of titles or armed pressure have occurred throughout the country.
The most visible cases of illegal stripping of land titles have taken place in Uraba and Meta, but Notary and Registry Superintendent Jorge Enrique Velez said that he believes the problem is much more widespread, Caracol Radio reported Tuesday.
“I don’t think that these are the only parts of the country, I believe that in all of the Colombian departments there are problems,” said the superintendent.
According to the government, at least 6 million of the 15 million properties registered in the superintendency have been stolen from victims, and nearly 800,000 acres of land taken with the complicity of government officials.
Along with paramilitary groups, various officials have been tied to the land robberies, including Notary and Registry employees, people who worked for the Colombian Institute for Agricultural Reform (INCORA), and even justices of the peace, reported newspaper CM&.
The registry offices are currently undergoing a technological transformation, and Enrique Velez said that the automatization of the system will make it more difficult for corrupt officials to manipulate land titles.