Challenges to good governance in Latin America are historically linked to inequitable land distribution, cumbersome land tenure processes and conflicting land-use priorities. The inability of governments to resolve land conflicts and engage the wide range of actors has led to systematic forced displacement, distorted land prices and armed conflict in both Colombia and Guatemala. Violence often prevails over dialogue and good governance as the main land dispute mechanism.
Recognizing the potential for a mutual exchange of best practices and lessons learned in land conflict resolution between Colombia and Guatemala, Mercy Corps launched the Latin America South-South Initiative in 2009. The South-South model for cooperation is an exchange of peer expertise between CSOs, governments and individuals from developing countries. The Initiative leverages pragmatic, contextually relevant knowledge based on local capacities and experience.