There's a newer version of this deal. Click here to show the latest version.

Deal #807

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Coordinates
Location
Ovejas, Ovejas, Sucre, Colombia

Latitude
9.5010
Longitude
-75.2576
Facility name
La Europa
Target country
Colombia
Comment on location
Sucre, Ovejas Coordinates: 9.53304035644, -75.2096557617 The Polygon represents the vereda "La Europa" and comprehends approximately 900.47 hectares. It is subdivided in more than 90 holdings with different sizes. The Polygon was obtained from the geographic information of the DANE.

Land area

Intended size (in ha)
943
Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
[2012] 943
Comment on land area
The Defensoría del Pueblo Report refers 943 hectares in the sales contracts (each one for 12 hectares). About the land in production there is not an specific reference about the size in operation. Satellite imagery does not show that the area is cultivated with monocultives. In some parts of the terrain there are relatively marked hills. Source: See Defensoría del Pueblo: Informe de Riesgo N° 009-12 (Page 16)

Intention of investment

Intention of the investment
[2018-01-11] Food crops, Livestock
Comment on intention of investment
In the source (video) the peasants refer that Arepas Don Juancho produce corn. There is also presence of livestock owned by Arepas Don Juancho, which is polluting the water sources and damaging peasant's fields. Source: See PBI Colombia report See https://www.colectivodeabogados.org/?Destruyen-cultivos-pertenecientes

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Outright Purchase
Comment on nature of the deal
This case is being investigated because "Arepas Don Juancho" bought land in 2008 (800 ha) at very low prices to several producers but never changed the title because the property in which such lands are located (La Finca Europe) can not be sold only partially. This Finca has been declared indivisible because it is part of the group of properties land restitution program in Colombia. Right now is an "Outright Purchase" but it is being investigated if it was legal.

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
[2008] Concluded (Contract signed)
Comment on negotiation status
There are sales contract but there are no changes in the Deeds, because it would be illegal. That's one reason because it is being investigated.

Implementation status

Implementation status
[2018, current] In operation (production)
Comment on implementation status
There is an ongoing legal process around the process of land acquisition by Arepas Don Juancho in the Finca La Europa. There have been some violent events, clashes and threats involving the peasants, the company managers, paramilitary groups and the official authorities. There are still 11 families residing in the area and several more are still working their lands but have to travel from the urban areas of the town. It is not clear which area is currently operated by the company.

Purchase price

Purchase price
800000
Purchase price currency
Colombian Peso ($)
Purchase price area type
per ha
Comment on purchase price
There were different purchase prices. Nevertheless several sources mentioned this value per hectare. It was mentioned that several peasants wanted to sell due to life threats and did not want to return to their lands. Besides that, the buyer was willing to pay on cash, which is quite unusual (and suspicious) Sources: https://verdadabierta.com/la-mula-la-europa-y-la-otra-alemania/

Contract farming

Contract farming
No

Operating company

Operating company
Comment on investment chain
At the begining the people didn't identified correctly the name of the company (Sometimes they call it Arepas Don Pancho). But investigations indicate the company Arepas Don Juancho

 

Network of parent companies and tertiary investors/lenders. Please right-click the nodes to get more details.

Legend
  • Is parent company of
  • Is tertiary investor/lender of
  • Left-click to reveal related parent companies and tertiary investors/lenders.
  • Right-click on investors to get more information.
  • Left-click to hide related parent companies and tertiary investors/lenders.

Data source #1

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2009-01-01
Comment on data source
"Masiva compra de tierras a víctimas en Montes de María y Catatumbo; las pagan por debajo de su valor", by Marisol Gómez Giraldo, eltiempo.com, 29 de marzo de 2009

Data source #2

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

Data source #3

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Date
2011-12-10
Comment on data source
Contravía- This video relates the violence in Finca La Europa because the peasants have been attacked and the case is being investigated because They accuse Arepas Don Pancho like author.

Data source #4

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Date
2012-06-25
Comment on data source
Defensoria del Pueblo - Page 16. Explain the number of hectares acquired by Arepas (984 has in sales contracts)

Data source #5

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2012-06-09
Comment on data source
The source explains the Arepas Don Juancho owner is a misterious man (sometimes call him Guillermo Vélez or Gabriel Vélez,) He paid 200,000 Pesos per hectare

Data source #6

Data source type
Company sources
File
Comment on data source
This portal shows the name of the titular of Arepas Don Juancho: Juan Guillermo Velez Jaramillo

Data source #7

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #8

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #9

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #10

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #11

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #12

Data source type
Media report
File

Data source #13

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Starting over in La Europa
Date
2018-01-11
Includes in-country-verified information
Yes

Data source #14

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
La Mula, la Europa y la otra Alemania
Date
2010-09-01

Data source #15

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
“Me pueden matar en cualquier momento”: Andrés Narváez, líder social de Sucre
Date
2018-09-22
Comment on data source
Interview and an article on one of the social leaders. He had recently suffered several assassination attempts in the town near La Europa and in the farm itself.

Data source #16

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
INFORME CASO LA EUROPA- OVEJAS (SUCRE).
Date
2012-11-13
Comment on data source
An extensive report on the case of La Europa and different denunciations on several assassination attempts by unknown armed groups (possibly reduction of the previously demobilized paramilitary groups). Those groups are targeting persons leading land restitution processes.

Consultation of local community

Community consultation
Other
Comment on consultation of local community
The land was bought to the smallholders. But a share of the buyers claim for the reversing the process declaring that the price paid was low and illegal. But other group of buyers don't want to come back to the land

How did the community react?

Community reaction
Mixed reaction
Comment on community reaction
The land was bought to the smallholders. But a share of the buyers claim for the reversing the process declaring that the price paid was low and illegal. In fact the land cannot be sold for be a part of the territories of the colombian restitution program. The sale contract exists but the Deeds haven't changed, it couldn't be possible legally.

Presence of land conflicts

Presence of land conflicts
Yes
Comment on presence of land conflicts
There is presence of armed groups threatening the peasant leaders so that they stop their claims on the land. There have been several assassination attempts (some of them successful). There have been disagreements between the managers of the company and the group of peasants that want to remain in the land.

Displacement of people

Displacement of people
Yes
Number of households actually displaced
80
Number of households displaced "only" from their agricultural fields
68
Comment on displacement of people
The municipality of Ovejas has seen 24205 displaced people in the decades of conflict it suffered. Specifically to the case of La Europa 80 families are still working the land there, but only 11 leave there due to life threats. On some occasions, the ranches and houses of the people residing on the farm have been burnt down. They argue that the workers of Arepas don Juancho are responsible of that.

Negative impacts for local communities

Negative impacts for local communities
Environmental degradation
Socio-economic
Eviction
Displacement
Violence
Comment on negative impacts for local communities
Due to the displacement and the impossibility to live on their lands, the peasants have to travel several hours to their fields. There is uncertainty on the ongoing legal process around the land rights of this farm.

Presence of organizations and actions taken (e.g. farmer organizations, NGOs, etc.)

Presence of organizations and actions taken (e.g. farmer organizations, NGOs, etc.)
MOVICE

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
Community
Comment on former land owner
The land was bought to the smallholders. But a share of them claim for the reversing the process declaring that the price paid was low and illegal. The land was allocated in a collective manner, which impedes the purchase of individual plots. Source: https://www.elespectador.com/entrevista-de-cecilia-orozco/decidimos-asumir-esta-lucha-y-vamos-hasta-el-final-articulo-352223

Former land use

Former land use
Smallholder agriculture

Former land cover

Former land cover
Cropland

Detailed crop, animal and mineral information

Crops area
Corn (Maize)
Livestock area
Cattle

Use of produce

Has domestic use
Yes

In country processing of produce

In country processing of produce
Yes
Comment on in country processing of produce
The company seems to commercialize prepared food in Colombia.

Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)

Application of Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)
No
Comment on VGGT
Land rights are not being respected. The company had confidential information from the INCODER (land institution by then) which might suggest corruption on the process. Land was bought under accurate values due to life threats. https://verdadabierta.com/la-mula-la-europa-y-la-otra-alemania/

Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (PRAI)

Application of Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (PRAI)
No
Comment on PRAI
Land rights are not being respected. The company had confidential information from the INCODER (land institution by then) which might suggest corruption on the process. Land was bought under accurate values due to life threats. https://verdadabierta.com/la-mula-la-europa-y-la-otra-alemania/

Overall comment

Overall comment
Import of error check - Coordinator's overview comment: Issue with size. Review all comments. Import of error check - Reviewer's overview comment: Like in much cases with issues, this is about the surface of land exactly hold by "investors". In this case (related with the cases 801 & 803), the 1200 ha owned by Arepas Don Pancho are not based upon an official source (but upon a local testimony). Moreover, the problem exceeds the 3000 ha of sold land mentioned for a specific municipality, but concerns all the land abandoned by peasants displaced by violence, at the scale of the country. The land protection program, which depends of the presidency, freezed transactions upon more than 3 millions of ha. Much of this land could be appropriated by opportunist actors, sometimes through violence. M. Macedo: The case is being questioned by the government for the legal irregularities in the whole process and for its violence background Up until now (12/2018) the legal process around these lands has not been resolved. Some families are still living there, but under constant pressure of "unknown" armed actors. Several assassination attempts have occurred to human right activists and the leaders of the land restitution process. It seems that both company and peasants are simultaneously producing the land.

June 17, 2019, 6:49 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

Dec. 5, 2018, 7:02 p.m.

overwritten

This version

Compare with previous version

Aug. 17, 2016, 7:43 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

Jan. 22, 2016, 5:44 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

Oct. 16, 2013, 10:56 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

May 14, 2013, 8:27 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

May 14, 2013, 8:27 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

May 14, 2013, 8:26 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

March 27, 2013, 6:18 p.m.

overwritten

Show this version

Compare with previous version

Feb. 15, 2013, 5 p.m.

active

Show this version

First version