After more than a year of meetings and protest, COFOA leaders from La Galilea witnessed the vote by the full National Assembly giving more than 306 families from 12 communities clear title to the homes where they have lived for more than 20 years. Victory means these families now have equity in their homes worth more than $3 million. Congratulations COFOA!
This historic “yes” vote by 64 legislators adopted the “Special Law” that legalized properties by using the Judicial National Popular Housing Fund to settle the lawsuit brought against the Salvadoran Association of Promotion, Training and Development (PROCADES). This law transfers properties as a donation to families who acquired and paid PROCADES for those properties. It instructs the courts to carry out the proper paper work to complete the transfer.
This legislation is the result of numerous meetings with elected representatives and FONDAVIPO (the agency responsible for managing property issues in El Salvador) officials over the past two years. After numerous delays, more than 100 people conducted demonstrations at the FONDAVIPO offices and later again at the National Assembly that finally got the Legislative Commission on Public Works, Land and Transportation to forward the Presidential Decree approved by President Salvador Sánchez Cerén on to the full assembly .
In the process, COFOA leaders learned that there were many other communities suffering the same injustice so they combined forces to help move the needed legislation. In the end 306 families from Usulután and Puerto el Triunfo in Usulután Department; Tecoluca in San Vicente Department; El Rosario and Cuyultitán in La Paz; Cuscatancingo, Ciudad Delgado, Ilopango and Ayutuxtepeque in San Salvador; and San Juan Opico and San Pablo Tacachico in the Department of La Libertad benefitted from the diligent organizing by COFOA and the leaders of La Galilea.