Almost 30,000 acres of Tayrona National Park were illegally appropriated over 26 years, said Colombian authorities Thursday.
Investigations by Colombia’s Notary and Registry Superintendent indicate that vast areas of state land were misappropriated — improperly registered as belonging to, or bought by, other people — then sold back to the government at a profit.
Superintendent Jorge Enrique Velez claimed that park lands were extended from 988 acres to 4,200 acres “out of nowhere” in 1985. The territory was suspiciously deeded in the town of Santa Marta, using a technique known as the “clarification of boundaries” to establish property ownership.
This year the Colombian government has recovered 1.6 million acres of Tayrona Park land that was occupied by private entities, and that number is projected to reach nearly 5 million acres next year.