March 6: Reject the false land restitution of the Victim’s Law

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Press Release:

Movice calls for national mobilization for comprehensive land restitution

Bogota, February 8, 2012. The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) calls on communities that have been robbed of their lands, on victims of State crimes, on social movements and human rights organizations, on indigenous, farmers’, and students’ movements, and on people throughout the country and the world, to carry out a nation-wide mobilization for the land and territories stolen by State and paramilitary groups. The central points for the mobilization will be the cities of Montería (Córdoba department) and Villavicencio (Meta department).

The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) is made up of 22 regional chapters, four international chapters (Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Belgium) and 24 human rights organizations in its National Impulse Committee. Together with other social sectors and victims of land theft perpetrated by the State, business interests, and paramilitaries, MOVICE will mobilize to demand that the Colombian State undertake comprehensive land restitution, with guarantees for returning to their land and a democratic transformation of the countryside.

We will mobilize against the ongoing theft of land and territories that MOVICE has witnessed, and a Victims’ and Land Restitution Law that promotes impunity for those responsible for mass land theft in Colombia. The Law fails to restitute non-land properties (cattle, houses, etc) and includes mechanisms designed to block effective land restitution, such as the “use contract” and the “surface contract.” For MOVICE, this Law does not resolve the overall situation facing internally displaced persons in Colombia.

Furthermore, human rights violations continue, along with a lack of protection for those who dare to demand their right to restitution and to return to their land. This reveals a crisis in the “reconciliation” model as well as the continued existence of paramilitary structures, and their collusion with military and police commanders, business interests, and political elites in various parts of the country.

This mobilization is autonomous from the Santos administration’s proposals, and will request real progress in bringing to justice those responsible for forced displacement, as well as effective and comprehensive measures to protect the victims who have been threatened for demanding their rights.

We are the seeds of the future, we are memory, we are the sun that rises to face impunity:
We are the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes