Colombia’s attorney general, Eduardo Montealegre, announced the preparation of indictment against 19 palm oil entrepreneurs for their alleged responsibility in the displacement of peasants in the village of Curvaradó.
Montealegre said after a meeting with Agriculture Minister, Juan Camilo Restrepo, that land claimants and leaders in the Palace of Justice in Bogota that employers have already been identified and is expected in the coming days will make the indictment to the authorities.
He said the prosecuting body has already spoken on the stripped area, which has 100,000 hectares and is located in the department of Chocó.
“There are allegations against 19 employers in the oil palm. We are currently evaluating whether there is merit in linking more people,” Montealegre said.
For his part, Restrepo said the government has identified about 40 entrepreneurs occupying lands of African descent and indigenous communities throughout the Chocó.
Curvaradó is one of the epicenters of the most notorious cases of looting and restitution of land, mostly Afro-Colombian community property.
In fact, the Colombian Constitutional Court ordered in 2010 to protect their lives and their land, so the Prosecutor has initiated several investigations since then against employers who allegedly allied with paramilitaries to usurp the property of peasants and install palm monocultures oil.
The government of President Juan Manuel Santos initialed in the presence of Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in June 2011 the Law of Victims and Restitution of Land which he presented to Congress a few months before.
By this standard, the Colombian Executive intends to return to the rightful owners of about 3.5 to 6 million hectares usurped until 2014.
These lands were stripped by paramilitary groups, guerrillas, drug traffickers in the context of armed conflict that has affected this country for almost 50 years.
Curvaradó communities have recently reported threats from opponents of this plan of restoration and even murders have been reported as the claimant leader Manuel Ruiz and his son Samir in March.