Deal #3110

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Coordinates
Location
Puerto Gaitán, Puerto Gaitán, Meta, Colombia

Latitude
4.334091
Longitude
-71.730675
Facility name
El Brasil
Target country
Colombia
Contract area
Comment on location
The coordinates refer specifically to one of the several plots held by Agropecuaria Aliar S.A. They are distributed between Puerto Gaitán and Puerto López, Meta. The polygons shown here were obtained by contrasting media reports, company resources, official documents by the environmental agencies of the government and cadastral data by the Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi. The only remaining plot in this polygon is the one known as "Gramanfey", which was impossible to find. The polygons in this deal are certainly under management of the company, although the managers have found different forms to not be legally attached to them, which might represent a felony. The company is implementing a sort of sharecropping system with close peasants. Nevertheless, some media reports argue that those peasants are actually members of the company. Agropecuaria Aliar might be holding more land than the one here shown. See sources 20-24, 26

Land area

Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
[2017] 32000
Size in operation (production, in ha)
[2017] 32000
Comment on land area
It is unclear the size under contract of the farm and the area under production. Nevertheless, in Source 12, it is stated that they have planted 32000 hectares of land. In source 2 is stated that they intend to plant 40000 hectares of land. The polygons obtained from Cadastral data imply that they have under control almost 30000 hectares of land, even when one of the holdings is missing: "Gamanfrey". Satellite pictures show that the whole area is not planted, this means that they could be controlling other territories with their alliance programs with smallholders.

Intention of investment

Intention of investment
[2017] Fodder, Livestock (32000 ha)
Comment on intention of investment
The company tries to manage all the steps in the production chain, from soybean and maize cultivation, to the ownership of slaughterhouses and logistics in the livestock business: beef, poultry, but mostly pork Source 12 Source 3 Source 6 Source 2

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Lease
Comment on nature of the deal
The company has managed to not purchase any land and get 10 year contracts with the landowners. Nevertheless, one should mention that the main plot was under deep scrutiny due to the form that the land was transferred. It was comprehended by 16 plots, which all were sold to a company managed by the wife of an emerald trader who seems to have had close relation to paramilitary groups. The consolidation of the 16 plots was most likely fraudulent, since even one of the signers had already died 3 years before the contract. His signature was in the contract, though. Agropecuaria Aliar made itself to the land by means of a trust with Helm Trust S.A and ensuring to get the land in a rental contract. Source 26 Source 13 Source 15

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
[2007-04-13] Concluded (Contract signed)
Comment on negotiation status
The purchase agreement, which clearly specifies that Agropecuaria Aliar does not own the land, was signed on this date. This contract was being revised by the Colombian authorities due to several indices of fraud: One of the signers was already dead by the time of the contract. Source 19

Implementation status

Implementation status
[2017] In operation (production)

Purchase price

Purchase price
13850236900
Purchase price currency
Colombian Peso ($)
Purchase price area type
for specified area
Purchase price area
16000
Comment on purchase price
This price was set for the plot known as El Brasil. The document was shown in a video by Noticias Uno. This number might be inaccurate. Source 16

Leasing fees

Annual leasing fee
450000
Annual leasing fee currency
Colombian Peso ($)
Annual leasing fee type
per ha
Comment on leasing fees
This price is offered only to third and independent members. This means, persons completely unrelated to the project, provided that they achieve a specific level of productivity: 6-7 Tons/ha Source 16

Contract farming

Contract farming
No
On leased / purchased area
Yes
Comment on contract farming
Unclear. It has some aspects of contract farming, but the company seems to manage directly every aspect of the production.

Number of total jobs created

Jobs created (total)
Yes
Current number of jobs (total)
[2008] 520
Comment on jobs created (total)
270 out of 520 are direct jobs. Source 11

Operating company

Operating company
Name of investment project
El Brasil
Comment on investment chain
The actors mentioned here relate to the specific case of the property known as "El Brasil", which has been quite controversial and was most likely fraudulent. Additionally, with regard to the investor chain, the project is led by the operating company Agropecuaria Aliar SA, which seems to be a subsidiary of La Fazenda. In spite of this fact, Agropecuaria Aliar belongs to the Grupo Bios (a groups of several companies from Medellín, Antioquia, leading the fodder market in Colombia) and some other companies from Santander, Colombia, that range from the poultry to the construction industry. In total there are 28 domestic companies behind this project and for simplicity reasons they are not all mentioned in this platform. The negotiation involved these 3 actors due to the following reasons. El Brasil was divided into 16 plots that had been allocated by the state to the same number of people. It is unknown if they were really landless peasants or just front men of Victor Carranza, an emerald trader who might have had links with paramilitary groups in the Colombian eastern plains. Agualinda SA was managed by his wife and this company brought all plots together, although one of the signatures on April 13th 2007 was done by someone who had already been declared dead 3 years before. Agropecuaria Aliar is not holding the land rights of any property, although they created a form through a trust to get access to the land. Helm Trust SA was supported this purchase agreement and then rented the land to Agropecuaria Aliar SA.

 

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Data source #1

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2013-01-01

Data source #2

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2005-01-01

Data source #3

Data source type
Government sources
File

Data source #4

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #5

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File

Data source #6

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #7

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #8

Data source type
Company sources
File

Data source #9

Data source type
Company sources
File

Data source #10

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #11

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Aliar S.A. avanza en plan de inversión a cuatro años de US$ 130 millones en Puerto Gaitán, Meta
Date
2008-03-25

Data source #12

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
La Fazenda, el negocio que cumplió 10 años
Date
2017-02-07

Data source #13

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Colombia: Pueblo Sikuani ocupa Fazenda ALIAR S.A. para evitar otra epidemia global
Date
2013-02-19
Comment on data source
Report by Grain

Data source #14

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Grupo Aliar-La Fazenda responde por las tierras de ‘El Brasil’, en Puerto Gaitán
Date
2013-12-02

Data source #15

Data source type
Media report
Publication title
Señor de vidas y haciendas
Date
2013-06-22

Data source #16

Data source type
Media report
Publication title
La Fazenda le compró las tierras a familiares de Carranza
Date
2013-06-23

Data source #17

Data source type
Other (Please specify in comment field)
File
Date
2017-06-08
Comment on data source
Blog

Data source #18

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Publication title
Despojo, baldíos y conflicto armado en Puerto Gaitán y Mapiripán (Meta, Colombia) entre 1980 y 2010
Date
2013-09-28

Data source #19

Data source type
Media report
Publication title
La Fazenda: el megacriadero de cerdos en los Llanos al que le apostaron Uribe y Santos
Date
2017-04-17

Data source #20

Data source type
Government sources
File
Publication title
Auto 2787
Date
2018-07-31

Data source #21

Data source type
Company sources
File
Date
2012-06-04

Data source #22

Data source type
Government sources
File
Publication title
Auto 3800
Date
2018-09-10

Data source #23

Data source type
Government sources
File
Publication title
Auto 2788
Date
2018-07-31

Data source #24

Data source type
Government sources
File
Publication title
Auto 3796
Date
2018-09-10

Data source #25

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
180 familias campesinas son desalojadas por ESMAD en el Meta
Date
2017-05-09

Data source #26

Data source type
Government sources
File
Publication title
SUPERNOTARIADO INICIARÁ ACTUACIÓN ADMINISTRATIVA SOBRE PREDIO EL BRASIL QUE FUERA PROPIEDAD DE LA SOCIEDAD AGUALINDA S.A. DE LOS CARRANZA
Date
2013-10-28

Data source #27

Data source type
Government sources
Publication title
Certificación Número 542
Date
2013-06-19
Comment on data source
PDF cannot be uploaded due to file size. Document from the Ministry of Interior

Names of communities / indigenous peoples affected

Comment on communities / indigenous peoples affected
These refer to indigenous reserve areas which are close to the area of influence of the project, specifically to the property known as Barlovento and San Francisco. In these areas are located the indigenous group of the Sikuanis. There might be other ethnic groups. See source 27 Source 2 Source 13

Recognitions status of community land tenure

Recognition status of community land tenure
Indigenous Peoples traditional or customary rights recognized by government
Comment on recognitions status of community land tenure
There are some areas that are recognized by the government. Nevertheless there some other that had always been used by the indigenous communities for hunting, fishing and gathering that are not recognized by the government and are located in "Barlovento". This has caused that the communities cannot fish anymore in the lake "La Caimana" and the river "Muco" and had to go the river Meta. There are some roads that go through the indigenous territories, but they can be used by everyone, even the company. See source 27 Page 8

Consultation of local community

Community consultation
Not consulted
Comment on consultation of local community
According to the legislation of the International Labor Organization, and to the Colombian one which relates to the former, every productive project should previously check if there exist ethnic, afrocolombian or rom communities in the area of influence. The company asked the Ministry of interior to check this and the judgment of the ministry was that no ethnic minorities were located in the area of influence of the project "La Fazenda". Nonetheless, there is presence of several communities close to the project. Since the ministry asserted the non-presence of indigenous communities in the productive area, the company is not legally obliged to make any previous consultation. The productive activities of the company has environmentally and unhealthily affected the indigenous communities there present. See source 27, 13

How did the community react?

Community reaction
Rejection
Comment on community reaction
The Sikuani indigenous peoples have demonstrated against and have blocked some of the facilities of the project La Fazenda. According to them, its presence have brought uncommon diseases to the community and death. Moreover, the pork facilities have brought an amount of flies and stench that was never seen before. See Source 27 and 13

Presence of land conflicts

Presence of land conflicts
Yes
Comment on presence of land conflicts
This area had constant presence of guerrilla and paramilitary groups throughout the last decades. More specifically, it has been proofed that in "El Brasil" there was a paramilitary camp where torture and murders were carried out. Additionally, illegal groups were trained and several massacres were planned there. This happened before the arrival of Grupo Aliar, but occurred with the knowledge of Victor Carranza, who was linked to Agualinda SA. See source 16: Video Source 19 Source 14

Displacement of people

Displacement of people
Yes
Number of households actually displaced
180
Comment on displacement of people
There were 180 households that located in "El Brasil" and had started doing smallholder agriculture. Their argument was that the land was unused. In 2017, with help of state forces, Agropecuaria Aliar expelled all these households from their territories. Source 25

Negative impacts for local communities

Negative impacts for local communities
Environmental degradation
Displacement
Comment on negative impacts for local communities
The communities complain about the constant smells from the pork facilities and the contamination of lakes and rivers from the animal dung. Source 13

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
Private (smallholders)
Community
Indigenous people
Comment on former land owner
In the 80s and 90s the government allocated 16 plots land of approximately 1000 hectares (due to the soil quality 1000 hectares are considered few in this area) to landless peasants (or front men of emerald traders). The land was later unified by Agualindas SA, which is linked to emerald traders and sold in a trust. Mostly this land was used for grazing, although indigenous communities also used it for gathering, fishing and hunting. See source 27, 14

Former land use

Former land use
Smallholder agriculture
Pastoralism
Hunting/Gathering

Former land cover

Former land cover
Cropland
Pasture
Marginal land

Detailed crop, animal and mineral information

Crops area
[2017] Corn (Maize) (17000 ha)
[2017] Soya Beans (15000 ha)
Crops yield
[2017] Corn (Maize) (7 tons)
[2017] Soya Beans (3 tons)
Comment on crops
The planted area might be inaccurate. According to cadastral data, they could manage around 30000 hectares (there might be more). Despite this, not all the land was being exploited (The images were seen in 2019 and is unknown at which time they were taken).
Livestock yield
[2015] Pork (280000 tons)
[2017] Dairy Cattle (25000 tons)
Comment on livestock
The number of porks relate to units/year and according to the manager, they have 25000 cows in the area. Might be inaccurate. Source 12, 3

Detailed contract farming crop and animal information

Comment on contract farming crops
It is not clear whether the company is doing contract farming or not. They argue that they are renting in the land from peasants interested in participating in the project. It is certain that with some communities they are buying a proportion of the produce. The area under this scheme is unclear. Source 14

Use of produce

Has domestic use
Yes
Comment on use of produce
The idea of the produce is to vertically integrate the different production chains in the poultry, beef, but mostly porcine industry. The project La Fazenda intended to replace the high imports of soybean and maize for fodder in Colombia and starting to manage all the production steps, from fodder crops to logistics and marketing.

In country processing of produce

In country processing of produce
Yes
Processing facilities / production infrastructure of the project (e.g. oil mill, ethanol distillery, biomass power plant etc.)
Storage silos.

Water extraction envisaged

Water extraction envisaged
Yes

Source of water extraction

Source of water extraction
Groundwater
Surface water (River)
Comment on source of water extraction
According to legal documents from the environmental authorities, they asked for permission to extract 20.309 lts/sec in their properties. Sources 20, 22, 23, 24

How much water is extracted?

Comment on how much water is extracted
20.309 Lts/sec want to be extracted
Use of irrigation infrastructure
Yes

Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)

Application of Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)
No
Comment on VGGT
The project has not respected previous land rights. Although the company is not legally the owner of the land, it has been working on territories that were transferred under certainly fraudulent manners. The government was checking if the company was accumulating land irregularly, something that is in violation of law 160 of 1994. See source 26

Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (PRAI)

Application of Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (PRAI)
No
Comment on PRAI
Although it is not mandatory for the company, as was stated by the Ministry of Interior of Colombia, the project is affecting indigenous communities which was not previously consulted. They are degrading the environment and possibly causing diseases to local inhabitants.

Overall comment

Overall comment
The project was designed by the beginnings of the 2000s but the land acquisitions or transfers of land (in rental contracts) started in 2007. The idea of the project is to vertically integrate every production chain under a few number of interrelated companies. The area of influence entails the soybean and maize plantations for animal feed, including the livestock facilities for growing and even slaughtering. They may also do the marketing, packaging and logistics steps in the production chain. In total the company owns around 32000 hectares of land distributed in Puerto López and Puerto Gaitán in Meta, Colombia. They have never bought land, even though they have created some legal artifacts to have constant access to them. They usually take 10 year contracts from trusts or lands that are in hands of people or companies related to the project. Specifically to the landholding known as El Brasil (16000 hectares), there were certainly fraudulent actions, since one of the signatures to join 16 plots of land was from one person that was already dead by the time of the contract. This plot was linked to the presence of paramilitary groups and the person in charge of the land was the wife of an emerald trader, who in Colombia was possibly linked to illegal groups. Despite all of this, Agropecuaria Aliar went ahead with the transaction. Indigenous and the local communities have demonstrated against the project due to the environmental and health costs that the company has brought with it. According to the communities, the smells from the pork facilities and the animal dung has caused several discomforts and even death.

June 26, 2019, 5:34 p.m.

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