Collective land tenure in Colombia: Data and trends

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Key messages

  • Collective land tenure in Colombia covers almost 38 million hectares, including land recognized both as indigenous resguardos and as collective lands of Afro-descendant communities. Yet, land titling has stagnated since the 1990s.
  • Among Latin American countries, Colombia stands out for the amount of land under collective tenure, which represents 34% of the total Colombian continental area. Indigenous peoples alone own 28.4% of the country under the mechanism of community-based tenure.
  • The existence of legal instruments to foster collective territory rights is a major achievement of ethnic social movements and of the State, which, even in the midst of land-concentration processes (Gini index of 0.85) and of armed conflict, has succeeded in adopting regulatory frameworks to safeguard these rights.
  • There are also collective territories with no State recognition. Thus, in the present context of the implementation of the Peace Agreement, constituting resguardos and collective lands to benefit ethnic groups demanding increased participation in this new national scenario needs to be on the political agenda.


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