Hours after the government concluded the land restitution of some 63,000 acres to Afro-Colombian communities in the Choco department, illegal armed groups raided and burned several acres of crops, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
The Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras, along with Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo, visited the Choco towns of Curvarado and Jiguamiando, in order to conclude the legal restoration of lands to Afro-Colombians in the region that Vargas Llleras initially announced via Twitter last week.
Hours after their visit, paramilitary armed groups allegedly attacked the area of Curvarado, torching 12.35 acres of corn that had been planted by those who live there.
Farmers alerted both national and international authorities to the continuing provocations, threats and climate of terror caused by the paramilitaries and palm oil companies that have invaded these territories.
Multinational corporations, such as Banacol Inc., have previously been accused of using the support of local paramilitaries to displace the local population around Curvarado in order to secure the mineral-rich lands that Afro-Colombians communities typically reside over.
These lands have elsewhere been taken from their rightful owners through the “fraudulent” awards made by INCORA, the Colombian Institute for Agricultural Reform, which handed the lands to other individuals.
Colombia currently has the most internally displaced people in the world, with an estimated number of 3.7 million.