A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Colombia Constitutional Court revokes mining licenses

[JURIST] Colombia's Constitutional Court [official website, Spanish] on Monday revoked the mining licenses of all 347 private mining companies that had previously been granted approval to develop the ecologically endangered Colombian Andes. The resolution contradicts [Colombiareports article] part of the National Development Plan organized by the National Planning Department [official website, Spanish], which had banned the granting of new mining licenses, but had kept those already granted intact. The change in policy comes as an effort to protect the South American Paramo, a delicate tropical mountain ecosystem stretching along the Andes through Colombia to northern Peru. Additionally, the court revoked portions of the National Development Plan that prevented previously war-displaced individuals from reclaiming lands and that allowed courts to forcibly expropriate land for certain projects.

In November Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported that the Colombian government should prioritize the rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities [report, PDF] above corporate interests [JURIST report]. Similarly, in November 2014, AI released a report [press release] detailing its concern that people hoping to gain their land back [JURIST report] under the Victims Land and Restitution Law [Law 1448, text, in Spanish] in Colombia may face problems ranging from bureaucracy to intimidation, causing them to fail to receive their land. The report, entitled "Colombia: A land title is not enough: Ensuring sustainable land restitution in Colombia" [report, PDF], describes that those trying to restore land rights were likely to meet violent resistance and economic hardships in doing so because of the ongoing armed conflict [Insight Conflict backgrounder].

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.