CARACAS, Tuesday March 15, 2005 | Update
Eliézer Otaiza, the head of the National Lands Institute
(INTI), denied government expropriation of ranches El Charcote,
Piñero, Borges, Sanz and El Coco, as they are not private
lands, Reuters reported.
"In this case, they are recovered public lands," Otaiza noted.
Under article 61, Lands Law, "without excluding the issuance of the certificate of productive farm or certificate of improvable farm, the State reserves the right to expropriate for public or social reasons, whenever a special production or environmental project is needed, or where there are people fit for agrarian works who do not own or do not have enough lands."
In such cases, the State deals with private owners a compensation for these lands.
According to INTI president, expropriation applies in the case of private lands. However, according to an administrative ruling, the above-mentioned ranches are State property.
As a result, the State has ignored private ownership of El Charcote, Piñero, Sanz, Borges and El Coco. INTI reported that it would recover the lands, i.e., the State will take the ownership and issue agrarian notes to the peasants who have been working on the lands for more than four years.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.