About obstacles to land reform in Colombia

Powerful political forces have blocked land reform in Colombia, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cecilia López Montaño, December 13 reports La Prensa Latina.

Cecilia López Montaño noted that the administration of leftist President Gustavo Petro is now trying to correct these mistakes through an ambitious agrarian reform program.

“Colombian agriculture has not been able to solve serious problems since a long time ago (the origin of the country), even earlier, since the time of the conquest… Many of the problems that we have have remained the same,” Lopez said. “There is political power that prevents its redistribution.”

The degree of land concentration in Colombia is “shameful,” the minister said, noting that the country’s Gini coefficient – a generally accepted measure that ranges from 0 to 1 – is 0.87 in Colombia. “And remember, 1.0 is when all the land belongs to one person,” Lopez said.
“Seven million hectares (27,027 square miles) are to be transferred in accordance with the (terms of) the peace agreement, which provides the basis for this agrarian reform,” Lopez said.

Through agrarian reform, estimated at 60 trillion pesos (about $12.4 billion), the government is aiming not only to end armed conflict in the countryside, but also to transform the agricultural sector.

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