Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rural Colombia: The Potential for the Future

[1]If the armed conflict and its consequences on property and populations are a subject of permanent concern, it should not mean obliterating the various other issues related to land . Indeed most papers focusing on the displacement speak exclusively of the violence and the armed forces.: "Its centrality in the agenda of Colombian society, relegated to the background the understanding of other spinal problems for human development in the field of population” (PNUD)
[2] PNUD, Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano, “Colombia rural, Razones para la esperanza”,  p.82
[3] In violation of constitutional Article 6, Law 56/81, the Colombian government allowed Emgesa to perform its own environmental impact study for the Quimbo.
[4] Information taken from documents of the association for the population of El Quimbo (Asoquimbo) and the juridical organization ILSA, based in Bogota.
[5] It will be flooding 842 acres of riparian forest, a sensitive ecosystem. Asociación de afectados por la hidroeléctrica el Quimbo. C.f.
[6] Fisherman for example rely almost exclusively on the Rio Magdalena.
[7] The Environmental Hearing on Quimbo hydroelectric project, convened by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, which took place last February 12th, 2011 in the municipality of Gigante, confirmed that the project was not viable because of the various negative effects that have been reported, particularly the severe impairment of food security and sovereignty and the violation of human rights and fundamental rights of the inhabitants of the region.
This hearing was important: in the presence of control agencies and the media, the communities expressed serious allegations against Emgesa who started work without a license and pressured people to leave their land. The Ministry of the Environment, by Resolution 227 of 11 February 2009, filed charges against the company for allegedly starting work without the appropriate environmental licenses. But by Resolution 0899 of May 15 2009, the Ministry of Environment had already granted the environmental license for the construction of hydroelectric project Quimbo.
[8] The optic of the march was to request from the relevant ministry to ensure each right, and to obtain answers and responsible actions from their part. The presence of police forces created tension and "on the night and after a full day of protest on the route, protesters decided to return to their homes, before the serious risk of the police unleashing repression" (
[9] . In addition to this, the recent land redistribution law from president Santos addresses certain land issues,  exclusively in relation to the armed conflict.
[11] C.f. Report from the PNUD, Articles written by the working group Proyecto Conocimiento y Cambio en Pobreza Rural y Desarrollo, Oxfam.
[12] The report of the PNUD focuses on policy options with two priorities (to resolve conflict and overcome poverty) and four lines of work (human security, rural development, institutional development and policy for land. C.f. pp.374-400.

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