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Negotiation processes of the Land Division of Mechoacán and the Land Division and Hamlet of Platanal

General Remarks

MECHOACÁN

This land division, previously known as Hacienda Mechoacán, is located in the rural jurisdiction of the municipality of la Jagua de Ibirico. This rural property acquired by the Incora (Colombian Institute of Land Reform) from its former owners in 1994, subdivided by this entity into 131 plots of land that were awarded in 1996 to the same number of families who had occupied said property.

The Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development approved the Environmental Management Plan of La Loma project through Resolution 017 of 2007, establishing the obligation of resettling, among others, the town settled in the Land Division of Mechoacán located in the municipality of La Jagua de Ibirico.

The negotiation process of the land division of Mechoacán is developed at the behest of the Colombian State by means of a public and institutional bargaining table in which the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Incoder, representatives of the owners of an area of land, representatives from Drummond Ltd. participate, with the permanent accompaniment and monitoring of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation as guarantor entity of the rights of the owners of an area of land.

The decision of the community was to choose a purchase and sale agreement of their plots of land and within the negotiation, the compensations of the nature of these processes were contemplated.

The negotiations were carried out during almost 18 months. The final agreement of the bargaining table was registered in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on September 24, 2008 between Drummond Ltd., the representatives of the owners of an area of land and the Incoder, in which the conditions applicable to the purchase and sale agreements that Drummond Ltd. signed with the owners and the holders of the plots of land were established.

The Incoder, entity that indicated to Drummond Ltd. with whom it had to sign the contracts and in what capacity, prepared the studies of titles.

Pursuant to the mentioned MOU, Drummond Ltd. signed and executed all the contracts that were legally feasible in accordance with the study of titles, acquiring property rights and/or ownership over 101 plots of land out of the 131 that make up the land division. To date, there are 20 plots of land still pending negotiation, which have legal hitches, detected in the study of titles that have not yet been resolved or legalized by their owners or occupants.

PLATANAL

Through Resolution 1343 of 2008, the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development assessed Drummond Ltd. the obligation of beginning the resettlement process, relocation and/or direct negotiation with the land division and the hamlet of Platanal and with the entirety of the lots of land that are within the specific area of influence of El Descanso Project.

Land Division

The negotiation process with the land division of Platanal, made up by 38 plots of land that were awarded by the Incora in the decade of the 80s, was carried out by means of an agreement on concerted action table made up by 10 representatives of the owners of an area of land appointed by the community and Drummond ltd.

The meetings were held during the months of March and December 2009. The community expressed their intention of not being resettled, unanimously opting for a direct negotiation process to agree on the sale of the plots of land to the company. The agreements reached were socialized and approved by all the owners of an area of land in a meeting to which the Agricultural General Attorney of Cesar attended. The signing and execution of the contracts was done during the year 2010. Out of 38 plots of land that make up the land division, Drummond Ltd. acquired 37 and is awaiting the settlement of judicial proceedings in order to acquire the pending plot of land.

Hamlet of Platanal

The hamlet of Platanal was made up by 23 families distributed in two sectors referred to as Km 28 and Puente Platanal, occupying small areas adjacent to the road that leads to the township of La Loma to the municipality of Casacará. In order to conduct the negotiation process with these families, Drummond Ltd. hired the consultancy and monitoring of the Corporación Minuto de Dios, entity that structured a plan of ways of life and social inclusion for the benefited families.

The methodology used by el Minuto de Dios, taking into consideration the condition of vulnerability of the benefited families, was to contemplate a socioeconomically and psycho-social diagnosis that enabled gathering the information of all social units present in the hamlets, their level of income, occupation, work place, means of survival, composition of the family nucleus, as well as the social scope of each of them (access to education and health services, ways of social organization). Activities were carried out such as the following:

  • Orientation and awareness workshop to let the relocation procedure and the phases for meeting the process be known
  • Family interview
  • Individual negotiation meetings
  • Permanent follow up to specify the alternative of investment of each family
  • Development of participating workshops.
  • Transfer to the places chosen for the relocation.
  • Monitoring and consultancy for the investment options
  • Preparation of Social Inclusion Plans
  • Housing adaptation
  • Filing of documents in the Mayor’s Offices for the linking of the beneficiaries of the social networks
  • Personalized attention of complex situations

All the families that lived in the hamlets were relocated and they have a home registered in their name. Currently Drummond Ltd. once again hired the services of the Corporación Minuto de Dios for the monitoring and evaluation of the post resettlement socio-economical conditions of the families, activity that implies a revision of the plans and programs of sustainability that were devised for those families, understanding the strengthening of the productive units that so require it.