A group of squatters that took over land in May 1996 in Juan Pablo or Juan Pablo II, a shanty town in the outskirts of Lima, and a protest held by them after being evicted in the same year; whether land titles are given to squatters who take over undeveloped land, and criteria for granting such titles (1996) [PER29966.E]

No information on a group of squatters taking over land in May 1996 in a shanty town or area of Lima known as Juan Pablo or Juan Pablo II, or protesting their eviction later that year, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Regarding granting of land titles to squatters, in 1996 the central government established a special committee under the responsibility of the Minister of Transport, the Comite de Formalizacion de la Propiedad (COFOPRI), to accelerate the granting of land titles to persons living in occupied sites (Caretas 16 May 1996). The problem was considered extensive since, according to the provincial municipality of Lima, by May 1996 there were 370,000 untitled lots in shanty towns or "human settlements" (asentamientos humanos) and 180,000 in housing cooperatives or associations throughout the metropolitan area; of these, 200,000 were already in the process of being issued property titles, while 120,000 had not yet been properly identified or registered for titling purposes and some 50,000 had been "informally divided" (divididos informalmente) (ibid.). Until then, the provincial municipality's designation of a "human settlement" for relocation or granting titles depended mostly on its location and on the general guidelines for urban expansion involving the occupied area; the latter were normally prepared by or fell under the jurisdiction of the district municipalities (ibid.).

In late 1997 COFOPRI's new authority to issue titles was questioned by the opposition in congress; it was pointed out that although COFOPRI had been established to expedite the granting of property titles to squatters and thus facilitate their access to utilities, the committee's legal mandate waived the infrastructural "feasibility" (factibilidad) and other technical considerations for granting titles, which meant that some legally recognized settlements could be out of practical reach from utility networks (El Comercio 17 Oct. 1997). A new law passed in 1997 regulating COFOPRI's activities effectively eliminated the existing authority of the provincial municipality of Lima to grant titles for human settlements; a congresswoman of the ruling party explained that COFOPRI would exercise its authority to grant titles for occupied farm land that had been expropriated, while district municipalities would participate in the granting of other titles (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Caretas [Lima]. 16 May 1996. "Titulacion a la carrera: Lo que le espera a la ministra de Transportes Elsa Carrera como engargada del COFOPRI." [Internet] http:// ekeko.rcp.net.pe/CARETAS/1414/mdf/mdf.htm [Accessed 28 Sept. 1998]

El Comercio [Lima]. 17 October 1997. "Advierten problemas tecnico-legales en proyecto que da facultad a la Cofopri." [Internet] http://www.comercio.com.pe/3/1997/10/ 17/estrada.txt.html [Accessed 28 Sept. 1998]

Additional Sources Consulted

Andean Newsletter [Lima]. 1996-98.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. 1996.

Human Rights Watch World Report. 1996-98.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1996-97.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1996-98.

Latin American Regional Reports: Andean Group Report [London]. 1996-98.

News from Americas Watch [New York]. 1996-98.

Newspapers and periodicals pertaining to the appropriate region.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Global NewsBank, NEXIS, Internet, Refworld, WNC.


This list is not exhaustive. Country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.