KPA: Dozens Died and Hundreds Criminalized Due to Land Dispute


Anticipation of land dispute with the people does not necessarily require the mass mobilization of fully-armed law enforcement. The Government was also asked to prioritize mediation with the proper procedure.

KBR, Jakarta – Consortium for Agrarian Reform (Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria/KPA) assessed that the settlement process for land disputes often lead to violence. As a result of that, according to KPA record, there are at least 13 victims loss their lives and hundreds other become criminalized also persecution. That numbers is the result of KPA monitoring for the whole 2017 related to land dispute cases in various parts of Indonesia.

Head of Policy Advocacy in Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA), Yahya Zakaria revealed, deceased victims were caused, in average, by persecution using guns or beatings by law enforcements.

While the injured victims of criminalization and persecutions are at least 300 people in the last year. However Yahya stated that number is limited to the victims whom reported their cases to KPA. He assumed that there might be more victims haven’t reported their cases yet.

"369 people criminalized, e.g. charged with “rubber” articles (loopholes in the articles of law to procure sentences to the suspects). Then 224 individuals, including women, were persecuted. And 13 residents has deceased, 6 individuals were shot. That’s within agrarian conflict,” revealed Yahya in Walhi Secretariat Jakarta, Wednesday (2/5/2018).

Quoted from KPA website, in 2014 there are 256 individuals were criminalized. They aren’t supported by proper legal aid. Although favoring agrarian reform program, he assumed that Jokowi presidency are still stammering in handling land disputes. These were supported by their conflict resolving process that, according to Yahya, tend to apply violence other than mediation.

“This Agrarian Reform is supposed to be the promise of President Jokowi, no? But, what about the people’s land rights? In fact there are still several cases such as the ones in South Sumatera and PTPN Cinta Manis that hasn’t been resolved yet. And his approach were always promoting violences, the police are always placed in front of the goons, what kind of justice is this?” Yahya protested while asking.

Although, Yahya appreciated the government’s step toward compiling the agrarian reform scheme which were supposed to be applied as its target. But unfortunately, the government progress is much too slow and unable to resolve the unequality in land tenure problems. He even stated that there seem to be an unrealistic impression which caused the recurring of agrarian conflicts.

 Therefore, Yahya also suggested that the government evaluate the handling of conflict by the security forces. He said, the anticipation of land disputes with residents no longer needed to mobilize the apparatus in large numbers and fully armed. The government was also asked to prioritize mediation with the right procedure.

Yahya said, in resolving conflicts, the government must more closely trace the history and ownership status of disputed land.

"The practice of mediation should look at its history, they have occupied the land for decades, suddenly there are companies entering then out of nowhere, appeared certificates of Building Use Rights (HGB) & Business Use Rights (HGU) on community land," he explained.

"That’s what always been the problem. For example, when there is tourism development. It must be seen how they develop but not monopolize local residents, how the residents can still exist socially and economically," Yahya added.

According to KPA, the number of cases of land disputes increases every year since 2015. Note that during 2017 there were 659 agrarian conflicts which had an impact on 652,738 heads of families.


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National Secretariat KPA:

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