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Return within the bounds of the Pinheiro Principles: The Colombian land restitution experience.

Attanasio, David L.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Washington University Global Studies Law Review. 11(1): 1-53.

In this Article, we argue that a successful program for land restitution
and return for victims of forced displacement that obeys the Pinheiro
Principles must take a comprehensive approach, or one that provides
support programs for returning victims through centralized
administration. We find that a minimalist restitution program, or one that
simply provides a legal mechanism for obtaining restitution, is much less
likely to succeed. In evaluating the likelihood of success, we consider
whether the program will (1) adequately preserve victim choice while
motivating victims to return, (2) provide for the fair and adequate
administration of both restitution and return, and (3) enable returning
victims to have more secure land tenure than when they were expelled
Along each of these dimensions of concern to returning victims, we
conclude that, to be successful, a policy must provide for centralized administration of all phases of restitution and return, including extensive
victim support.
Our evaluation of how public policy should implement the Pinheiro
Principles is based on an analysis of the Victim’s Law in Colombia in
which we examine its approach to land restitution for victims of the
Colombian armed conflict. Our analysis is grounded in the political, legal,
and social background to land restitution in Colombia. The armed conflict
in Colombia has lasted for over forty years and has left between three to
five million displaced persons. Conditions in Colombia present both
challenges and advantages for successful land restitution: challenges
because displacement is still taking place in Colombia and advantages
because the Constitutional Court has been a strong advocate for victims’
rights. (author’s abstract)


AbstractLatin AmericaPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in Schools
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