Land Seizures in Northern Colombia and their effect on the Peasant Movement

Colombia's land conflict is one of the fundamental obstacles to achieving the peace accords. Armed conflict leads to forced displacement of the peasant population and to the abandonment or seizure of land. These dynamics are closely related to the process of property accumulation by drug traffickers or warlords. Understanding the roots and historic dimension of the unresolved land question is therefore crucial to ending the conflict.

This grant will allow a research team coordinated by a member of Colombia's Commission for Historical Memory to elaborate a historical account of the relationship between internal violence and the agrarian problem in the provinces of Cordoba and Sucre on the Caribbean Coast, where the problem has been particularly acute. The team will analyze the evolution and decline of the peasant movement in defence of land rights, which was one of the factors that facilitated land seizures. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of land seizures on peasant women.

The project is expected to inform an inclusive design of gender-sensitive reparations and land tenure programs and may also lay the groundwork for a truth commission.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, February 23, 2009

End Date

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


14 months

IDRC Officer

Gottsbacher, Markus

Total funding

CA$ 286,650


Colombia, South America, North and Central America


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

New PL


International Organization for Migration

Institution Country


Institution Website