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Deal #803

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Administrative region
Location
Bolívar, Carmen de Bolívar

Target country
Colombia
Comment on location
Bolívar, Carmen de Bolívar Coordinates: 9.70475, -75.175999

Location #2

Spatial accuracy level
Approximate location
Location
La Borrachera, Padula, El Cármen de Bolívar, Bolívar, Colombia

Target country
Colombia
Comment on location
It is a Vereda. It appears that former senator Otto Bula (now in Priso) acquired several thousands of hectares and then sold them to Argos SA, a company in the energy and construction sector. Source (https://www.elheraldo.co/bolivar/los-amigos-que-se-apoderaron-de-los-montes-de-maria-343767)

Land area

Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
[2013] 60000
Size in operation (production, in ha)
[2013] 60000
Comment on land area
The size might have increase because entreprises were purchasing all the smallholders' estates of this region (Carmen de Bolivar) from where these one have been expulsed by violence. For them it is very difficult to return and much of them prefer to sell their land.

Intention of investment

Intention of the investment
Biofuels, Food crops, Livestock, For carbon sequestration/REDD, Mining
Comment on intention of investment
It is a group of 73 companies and they have several interests on those 60000 Has

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Outright Purchase

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
[2008] Concluded (Contract signed)
Comment on negotiation status
In 2008, there was little production in the recent purchased lands because in a lot of cases the sale was not yet complete, for administrative reasans and because the region government tried to make it last. The lands that have been abandoned by peasants because of violence during the 80's and 90's are under administrative protection and cannot be sold without a permission.

Implementation status

Implementation status
[2008] In operation (production)
Comment on implementation status
In 2008, there was little production in the recent purchased lands because in a lot of cases the sale was not yet complete, for administrative reasans and because the region government tried to make it last. The lands that have been abandoned by peasants because of violence during the 80's and 90's are under administrative protection and cannot be sold without a permission.

Purchase price

Purchase price
500000
Purchase price currency
Colombian Peso ($)
Purchase price area type
per ha
Comment on purchase price
The land value in some cases was of COP 5000000 but due to life threats, legal artifacts, among others, the displaced peasants sold their properties for a value much less than they should have. According to one source it ranged from 200000 up to 700000 COP per Ha. Source (https://www.elheraldo.co/bolivar/los-amigos-que-se-apoderaron-de-los-montes-de-maria-343767)

Number of jobs for foreigners created

Current number of jobs (foreign)
3000

Number of domestic jobs created

Jobs created (domestic)
Yes
Current number of jobs (domestic)
[2009-11-23] 3000
Comment on jobs created (domestic)
There are some disagreements around the number. The coroporation "Amigos de Los Montes de María" argue that they created 3000 jobs, 70% of them stable ones, nevertheless another source contradicts this and affirms that the number of jobs was not higher than 2000. Source: (https://lasillavacia.com/historia/5346)

Operating company

Comment on investment chain
The source mentions two investors in particular because they are famous in the region : Agropecuario Carmen de Bolivar, Agropecuaria El Genesis. Apart these ones and other two (Invesa and Ivercampo), there other companies would have been created in 2008 little time before selling the land.

 

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Data source #1

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2009-01-01
Comment on data source
Las tierras de la posguerra: los nuevos dueños de los Montes de María, by Juanita León, 23 de Noviembre, 2009, la sillavacia

Data source #2

Data source type
Personal information
Includes in-country-verified information
Yes

Data source #3

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #4

Data source type
Media report

Data source #5

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Los 'amigos' que se apoderaron de Los Montes de María
Date
2017-04-03
Includes in-country-verified information
Yes

Names of communities / indigenous peoples affected

Comment on communities / indigenous peoples affected
Acquisition of land from people previously displaced. Source 5

Presence of land conflicts

Presence of land conflicts
Yes
Comment on presence of land conflicts
There are several ongoing legal process around the legality of the land purchases. Many peasants were selling their land, some of them due to life threats, way below the real land prices.

Promised or received compensation

Received compensation (e.g. for damages or resettlements)
Health facilities, funding for the reparation of a road (24 kms.)

Materialized benefits for local communities

Materialized benefits for local communities
Health
Roads
Comment on materialized benefits for local communities
Health facilities are very mediocre. Road is not asphalted. Source 1

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
Private (smallholders)

Former land use

Former land use
Smallholder agriculture

Former land cover

Former land cover
Cropland

Detailed crop, animal and mineral information

Crops area
Cassava (Maniok), Fodder Plants (unspecified), Fruit (unspecified), Oil Palm, Teak
Comment on crops
Source 1 and Source 5
Livestock area
Cattle

Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)

Application of Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)
No
Comment on VGGT
Apart 25.2 is not fulfilled: respecting the land rights of displaced persons due to a conflict. http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i2801e/i2801e.pdf

Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (PRAI)

Application of Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (PRAI)
No
Comment on PRAI
Principle 1 not fulfilled: Existing rights to land and associated natural resources are recognized and respected.

Overall comment

Overall comment
Import of error check - Reviewer's overview comment: The phenomena of massive land sales by small holders in the region of Carmen de Bolivar, which has been destructured by violence, have become a social and political problem. In October 2008, the government of Bolivar department freezed land sales to prevent peasants from loosing their estates. The website http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-4913389 at the moment is not enabled. 20/11/2018 - Up until now there are ongoing legal process around who is the owner of the land. In the area known as the Montes de María there were several massacres and the inhabitants had to leave. They have been selling their lands after life threats or because they do not want to come back to the land. The main player in this area was the corporation "Amigos de Los Montes de María" who planted to buy 60000 hectares of land for several reasons (it was a group of 73 companies, mostly from Antioquia). The land purchases were done for prices lower than the real value, which raised concerns on the government. Nevertheless, several investors have achieved to begin with agroindustrial processes.

June 17, 2019, 4:41 p.m.

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March 1, 2019, 7:43 p.m.

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Nov. 21, 2018, 11:58 a.m.

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Feb. 5, 2018, 10:20 p.m.

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Jan. 22, 2016, 5:21 p.m.

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May 2, 2013, 1:53 a.m.

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March 9, 2013, 6:35 p.m.

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Feb. 15, 2013, 5 p.m.

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