The FARC, Colombia’s largest left-wing guerrilla group, on Tuesday released proposals for land redistribution and rural development across the country.
The proposals suggest creating a “land fund” that would help redistribute unused or underused areas, and also create a more democratic and participatory method of rural planning. The plans were published on the FARC’s peace negotiators’ blog and represent two of the rebels’ 10 rural development proposals.
The fund would allocate land to landless people, with a particular emphasis given to ethnic minorities and women. The redistributed area would supposedly be taken from unproductive or idle “latifundias” — or large land holdings — and siezed from drug traffickers and other illegal groups.
The proposal also recommended that the government should compensate all displaced persons and ensure that they had “access to land.”
Latin American analyst Nazih Richani said on his blog that the redistribution proposal is a moderation of the FARC’s previous position, which called for the seizure and redistribution of all latifundias. Richani also claimed that there are areas of underused land because owners are “hedging risks, evading taxation, money laundering, and above all, speculation in land prices (people buying land because they think the price will increase).”
The proposal for participatory rural planning also calls for an emphasis on small farming, food sovereignty and sustainable development, with strict limits on mining, biofuel production and other environmentally damaging industries and practices.
It is not known whether the FARC negotiators reached an agreement with their government counterparts. Both sides have agreed not to talk publicly about the talks, which restarted in Havana, Cuba on Tuesday after a Christmas break.