They denounce irregularities in Petro’s agrarian reform, “another smelly business”; Government responded

They denounce irregularities in Petro’s agrarian reform, “another smelly business”; Government responded
They denounce irregularities in Petro’s agrarian reform, “another smelly business”; Government responded

12:06 PM

Agrarian reform, one of the flagship initiatives of the president’s government Gustavo Petro, It would incurring irregularitieseven crimes, according to Aurelio Suárez’s opinion column published this weekend in Semana magazine.

Petro’s proposal was to buy three million productive hectares from large landowners to give it to the peasantry. In 2022, a few months after his government began, the reform began to take place after the Ministry of Agriculture agreed with a powerful union: Fedegán, to purchase land to advance this initiative.

However, with the passage of time and slow execution, the ambitious reform had to lower its purchase expectations from three million to half, 1.5 million hectares.

According to the columnist’s investigation, carried out in conjunction with lawyer Eduardo Mestre Rodríguez, between August 7, 2022 and February 21, 2024, the National Land Agency (ANT) bought only 80,648 hectares for agrarian reform. Petro said that “at that rate it would take 40 years” to reach three million and that is why it was reduced by half.

Read here: The Attorney General’s Office will investigate Gerardo Vega, former director of the ANT, for high costs in land purchases

But, Suárez points out, “the slowness of purchases is the least problematic.” “The analysis detects violations of Law 160 of 1993, speculation, unproductive and floodable lands, possible front men and lack of payment to bidders.”

To expose this complaint, he details different cases that have been presented in departments such as Cauca, Cauca’s Valley, Goal, vichada, Sucre and Cease, to explain that the irregularities have nothing to do with regions, but are occurring in the process itself.

Additionally: Peasants from Cáceres, Antioquia, received titles to their properties from the ANT

In just one of the exposed cases that occurred in Puerto Gaitán, Meta, the columnist points out that “Ten people, who between 2005 and 2007 received two properties from the State at zero cost, combined them into a single property of 13,896 hectares and in February 2024 they sold it to the ANT for $38,675 million. It is called Los Cachorros, apart from the fact that it is declared unproductive, it is the one with the largest area and most expensive of all those purchased. “A gigantic illegality.”

Finally, the columnist denounces that The anomalies “cover half of the land purchased and $134,000 million of public assets, a third of the expense.”

Government responded

Although they did not mention the publication, the Minister of Agriculture, Jhenifer Mojica, and the director of the National Land Agency, Juan Felipe Harman, They referred to allegations of irregularities in the land purchase process in the midst of the reform, which they also defended.

The first to refer to the subject was Harman, who stated in X that, Under his direction, the ANT “has filed 14 complaints with the Prosecutor’s Office about alleged irregularities in internal processes and property purchase procedures.”

Likewise, he explained that in the entity “we created a single purchase procedure under resolution and we worked together with the Igac – Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute – on a document of reference values ​​in nuclei. Our commitment is to take care of the heart of agrarian reform.”

In turn, Minister Mojica also maintained through social networks that “in the event of any irregular situation reported in land purchase processes by the National Land Agency, action must be taken. “Zero tolerance for corruption.”

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