Progress in Colombia Aids Its FTA Case

Ray Walser /

June 10 marked an important step forward in Colombia’s efforts to build enduring democratic security and pursue justice: Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, signed the Victims’ and Land Restitution Law.

In the past, violence perpetrated primarily by paramilitary groups and guerrillas displaced 4 million Colombians, forcing them off as much as 16 million acres of land. The Victims’ Law has the potential to provide aid to those who have lost relatives or a significant amount of land as a result of violence in the past. The reparations will vary depending upon circumstances, but the land restitution law will enable people to file a petition to recover lost land. Since roughly 10 percent of the Colombian population may potentially claim victim status, estimates suggest the cost for meeting the new commitment could reach $20 billion. (more…)