Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo has rejected accusations that the Land Restitution Law will foster unwanted occupations of land, Colombian media reported.
On Wednesday, the minister released a press statement answering to recent accusations, related to events in Uraba, in which he stated that, “They are lacking in truth and committing a grave intellectual dishonesty, those who say that the Land Restitution Law, which the national Congress is examining, favors or stimulates invasions such as those that have occurred recently in Uraba.”
Restrepo was speaking in reference to recent mass protests in which farmers blocked roads and allegedly squatted farmland in Uraba, in the northeast of Colombia. On Monday, the minister blamed dirty politicians for the occurrences, in which riot police had to be deployed to remove protesters from the properties of landowners.
The agriculture minister added that, “Not a single norm of this law stimulates them [these invasions]. On the contrary: the text is full of guarantees for the legitimate land owners in Colombia. Only usurpers and their accomplices need to fear this law.”