We recently reported with satisfaction the achievement of agreeing with the Government the draft decree "By which measures are adopted to facilitate the implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Reform contemplated in the Final Land Agreement, specifically the procedure for the access and formalization [of land] and the Land Fund "advancing in this way in overcoming the difficulties caused by repeated government failures to comply with the normative implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Reform.
In a formal session of the Follow up, Promotion and Implementation Commission (CSIVI), the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace undertook to send such a project to the Permanent Bureau of Consultation with Indigenous Peoples and Organizations for the Prior Consultation procedure. However, yesterday we learned that the project was not only out of line with the version prepared jointly by the CSIVI, but also introduced changes that were openly contrary to the agreed provisions.
Loyal to the Final Peace Agreement, the agreed version recognized peasants as beneficiaries of land access. The rigged version extends the benefits to large [land] owners through the granting of rights of use. In addition, it limits the foreseen community participation.
With this cheating act, the National Government not only betrays the Final Peace Agreement, but also the peasants who hold the hope that the Comprehensive Rural Reform will make the de-concentration and democratization of land possible, which this decree made viable through the creation of the Land Fund, adjudication and formalization procedures, and community participation.
The historic opportunity to close the cycle of violence -whose origin has been the unresolved problem of land tenure- is at stake.