Colombia: NGO report examines land grabbing due to industrial projects in Orinoquia region

This report examines the grabbing of land and territories by political, economic and armed groups in the Colombian Orinoquia region and how agro-industrial, energy, mining, forestry and infrastructure projects have negatively affected local communities and indigenous peoples.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the main companies mentioned in this report: Cargill, Corficolombiana, Ecopetrol, New Granada Energy, Riopaila-Castilla and Poligrow.  New Granada Energy declined to respond, and Corficolombiana, Ecopetrol, Riopaila-Castilla and Poligrow responded in Spanish only.  Cargill’s response is available.

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Company response
12 February 2018

Response by Cargill

Author: Cargill

Cargill has policies on Labor and Human Rights and Land Rights and requires its suppliers to adhere to the Cargill Supplier Code of Conduct…The report, “Dispossession and Displacement: Strategies for Orinoquia's Development,” relates to an agricultural development investment in Colombia made by a fund managed by Proterra Investment Partners, an asset management firm. Proterra was formerly part of Cargill subsidiary Black River Asset Management. In January and February of 2016, all of Black River's operating entities were spun out into three, independently owned firms, and Black River was closed. Cargill has no ownership positions in the three new firms.

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Article
11 December 2017

“Dispossession and Displacement: Strategies for Orinoquia's Development”

Author: Humanidad Vigente & 11 additional organizations

The present report is about the Colombian Orinoco region, paying special attention to the grabbing of land and territories by political, economic and armed groups, particularly paramilitaries and/or drug traffickers. The aim is to provide elements to understand how the scramble for land has had an impact on the local campesino and settler population and the indigenous communities of the region. In order to do this, we present the story of Yeny Chipiaje, an indigenous woman of the Sikuani-Kubeo community, born in the town of La Primavera (Vichada). Her case shows how she became a victim and illustrates the impacts of agro-industrial enterprises in the Altillanura. Through her narrative we try to answer some of the questions raised by victims: why did the armed actors come to their territory? What have been the interests and who are the beneficiaries of the 5 Dispossession and Displacement: Strategies for Orinoquia’ s Development conflict in this territory? Why have the victims not been duly acknowledged nor received reparations? Why have public policies in the area been aimed at promoting private sector interests? Surely these questions are the same as those posed by the victims in other regions of the country as they are witnessing how the economic power that has been accumulated through violence is in the hands of specific beneficiaries, their representatives or heirs. We shall focus on the Eastern Plains region, which includes the Departments of Casanare, Meta, 5 Vichada, Guaviare, 6 Arauca, 7 Guainía and Vaupés.

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