Latin America


November 30, 2019


OTEC and Collaborators: Barú Afro-Community Council, IOM-USAID, DeJusticia

Funding Amount:



Objective: defend the fundamental right to the territory of the afro-descendant community of Barú, in Cartagena, Colombia, through a legal-environmental and advocacy strategy to re-establish the collective titling process by the National Land Agency, ANT.

Evidence of Achievement:

-A well-documented legal action against the ANT administrative order was prepared. If successful, the strategy could result in a historical victory of restoring the Barú community’s collective rights and titling, which would set a precedent providing legal grounds for other Afro-descendant communities under similarly nebulous collective tenure situations.  Because of the judicial recess in December, the case will be submitted in early January 2020.

-A study compiling collective tenure information on the island, including the reconstruction of the property and cartographic information of the area occupied by the community was completed to complement and strengthen the preparation of the legal action. The study also analyzed the state of the natural resources essential for community livelihoods.

-An advocacy strategy through the community’s network of allies in the State and CSOs was implemented and this has strengthened integration of groups across the Colombian Caribbean.

-A media/communication campaign about the case is also planned to be launched in early 2020 to avoid it getting drowned out by the November/December 2019 media coverage of the protests in Colombia.