While visiting the coastal city of Cartagena, Santos argued that the Victims Law, a law that came into effect on January 1 and regulates the return of stolen land to displaced farmers, complies with the rebels’ demand that Colombian land must be given to the country’s farmers.
“The FARC’s discourse is this: give the land to the farmers. So, yes. We are giving the land to the farmers, more importantly, to farmers who have been displaced,” Santos said.
“This is an agrarian revolution,” the president reiterated. “But not a revolution at gunpoint, but with the constitution and laws.”
“And this is not a class revolution. It is not about the rich against the poor. It is the legal ones against the illegal ones,” said Santos, who’s government vows to return 1.8 million acres of farmland to some 220 thousand displaced families.
The FARC — determined a terrorist group by the U.S. and the E.U. — have long demanded a redistribution of land, of which according to the United Nations 52% is owned by 1.15% of the population.
Colombia’s victim compensation and land restitution policies has come under fire in the last week as the socialist opposition accused the government of fixing restitution numbers and the United Nations condemned Colombia for failing to prosecute the perpetrators of displacement.