The inexperienced director of the National Land Agency is cornered on several fronts at the same time

Some 2,500 peasants, led by Nilson Antonio Liz, demanded that the director of the National Land Agency, Juan Felipe Harman, be given land at the agency’s headquarters in Bogotá; Attorney General Margarita Cabello pointed out irregularities in the purchase of some properties; the Association of Independent Employees defended contractors who were fired or had not been paid their salaries, and the Special Justice for Peace requested security for peace signatories in Miravalle, Caquetá.

These are some of the bitter fights that Juan Felipe Harman faces, who was appointed to that position on February 8 by the former Minister of Agriculture, Jhenifer Mojica, although it is not yet known whether the new Minister Martha Carvajalino wants to keep him in that position or change it.

The truth is that despite the fact that in the last month alone, the National Land Agency bought 25 thousand hectares of land and Harman says that there are 200 farmers at the agency’s headquarters, Nilson Antonio Liz, president of the National Board of Directors of the National Association of Peasant Users of Colombia (ANUC), says that 3,500 people have peacefully protested in front of the offices of the ANT and the Rural Development Agency with the goal of making the promises of this and previous governments effective.

Not only does he have to respond to the peasants

In this regard, and while he is heading to Miravalle, Caquetá, to address, as requested by the JEP, the issue of the security of the peace signatories threatened by dissidents of the FARC and explains to the attorney general Margarita Cabello and the control agencies, alleged irregularities found in the purchase of some properties such as Cachorros, Harman says that he is open to dialogue and recognizes that they are far from satisfying the aspirations of the peasants because the agrarian reform is just beginning.

In his defense, Harman tries to clarify the different goals related to the delivery of land to the peasants. Within the framework of the Peace Agreement with the FARC in 2016, it was agreed to deliver 3 million hectares and formalize another 7 million hectares, which is why President Gustavo Petro is asking the United Nations for more time to implement the peace.

Additionally, the National Development Plan of the current government established the goal of delivering 1 million hectares in the four-year period and for that reason, the Director of the ANT says that in July they will deliver 40 thousand hectares with rigor, prior reviews and avoiding errors in the processes in which the times and budgets have to be adjusted to the expectations of the peasant organizations in the face of decades of delay.

The president of the Board of Directors of Anuc, Nilson Antonio Liz, denied in the media that the ANT had handed over 25,000 hectares last month in the departments of Atlántico, Bolívar, Meta and Boyacá, among others, and insisted that the agreements have been breached by previous governments, which is why they organized in 2022 what they called the National Peasants’ Agenda, which they have been implementing since last June.

In addition, and despite the fact that on July 5, the National Land Agency announced that it had signed a union agreement with its workers, represented by the National Union of Workers in the Agricultural and Rural Development Sector (Sintrader), the Association of Independent Workers (ATI) requested the urgent intervention of the Ministry of Labor, which is also still on strike, and the Attorney General’s Office to defend the entity’s contractors who have been dismissed or who have not been paid on time.

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