WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
30 Sep 2013 | Video

Land, Armed Conflict, and Megaprojects in Colombia

Manuel Garzón
Lawyer, Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz)

And moderated by

Moira Birss
Colombia Representative, Peace Brigades International

Although Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have reached a tentative agreement on land restitution issues as part of ongoing peace talks, peace remains elusive as legal and illegal armed actors continue to displace Colombians from their lands. Driven by armed neo-paramilitary groups, multinational corporations, guerrilla groups, and others, serious human rights violations continue.

Despite this bleak outlook, Colombia’s vibrant civil society has endeavored to draw on the country’s progressive—if often unimplemented—human rights laws to protect the rights of victims.

A lawyer with the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace, Manuel Garzón will shed light on displacement and attempts at land restitution in the Colombia’s Bajo Atrato region. In particular, he will explain how afrodescendant communities have borne much of the brunt of the conflict in recent years as lucrative biofuel production displaces communities from their ancestral lands. He will conclude by explaining his work representing victims of Colombia’s conflict and outlining opportunities for legal remedies to displacement.