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Evictions and Human Rights: Land Disputes in Bogotá, Colombia
Habitat International (2001)
  • Margaret Everett, Portland State University
Even though many governments in Latin America, including Colombia, have improved the legalization and regularization of peripheral settlements, recognized the right to housing, and acknowledged the United Nations’ position on evictions as violations of fundamental human rights, urban displacement continues. Forced eviction brings devastation to families and neighborhoods and hampers efforts to improve large areas of the city. Over the past twenty-five years in the hills of eastern Bogotá, growing competition for land combined with the competing claims of squatters, semi-legal settlements, title-holders and government agencies has led to frequent and sometimes violent land disputes. These disputes result either directly or indirectly from public and private development in the area. This paper will document the history of displacement in this sector of Bogotá as a case study in order to evaluate current policy guidelines related to forced displacement.1 There is a wealth of ethnographic data on the effects of evictions, as documented below, and yet this data, typically in the form of Social Impact Assessment, rarely translates into lasting policy guidelines. Economists, geographers, and other social scientists have also documented the negative effects of forced displacement. This study evaluates current policies from a human rights perspective. I argue that human rights can make land policies not only more equitable but also more efficient in Latin America if our current knowledge about displaced communities can be translated into public policy.
Publication Date
October, 2001
Citation Information
Margaret Everett. "Evictions and Human Rights: Land Disputes in Bogotá, Colombia" Habitat International Vol. 25 Iss. 4 (2001)
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