El gobierno de Colombia intenta limitar las consultas populares y los municipios lo impiden

The Colombian government has a new strategy to limit popular consultations but communities are proving it wrong

Artículo original en: http://www.cronicadelquindio.com/noticia-completa-titulo-tutela_para_financiacin_de_consulta_en_crdoba_es_procedente-seccion-la_regin-nota-115574

Tras el boom de las consultas populares en Colombia como efecto de la victoria de la consulta popular que se llevó a cabo en Cajamarca, Tolima en marzo de este año, el gobierno nacional ha intentado limitar las consultas populares en el país a través de diferentes estrategias. Desde entonces, otros 54 municipios han manifestado su interés en llevar a cabo consultas populares respecto a temas mineros, y seis de ellos han llevado a cabo consultas populares exitosas con victorias por encima del 90% de los votos manifestándose en contra de la minería en su municipio. La nueva estrategia del gobierno nacional, intimidado por este efecto domino, es decir que no hay presupuesto disponible para llevar a cabo la votación, como lo han indicado la registraduría de la nación y el Ministerio de Hacienda, por lo que se afirma que está debe ser financiada con presupuesto del gobierno local. Córdoba, un municipio en la región del Quindío, interpuso una tutela para defender el derecho de sus habitantes a expresar su opinión mediante mecanismos de participación ciudadana, los cuales deben ser financiados por el gobierno nacional como lo indica la ley.

Tutela para financiación de consulta en Córdoba es procedente

El Tribunal Administrativo del Quindío emitió un comunicado en el que indica que la acción legal, interpuesta por el alcalde de la localidad, es procedente.

El Tribunal Administrativo del Quindío admitió la acción de tutela que interpuso el alcalde de Córdoba, Guillermo Andrés Valencia Henao, en contra del ministerio de Hacienda, la Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil y el Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE, por la no financiación de la consulta popular en contra de la megaminería, la cual está programada para el próximo 3 de diciembre.

En contexto: Tutela, último recurso para salvar la consulta de Córdoba

El mandatario argumenta que están violando el derecho fundamental de la participación y la igualdad de los habitantes del municipio.

“La tutela se interpuso porque, aunque el ministro de Hacienda dijo que era responsabilidad de las alcaldías financiar tales actividades, cuando me reuní con la Registraduría para acordar un convenio que me permitiera transferirle dichos recursos, la entidad manifestó que, según la ley, solo el ministerio de Hacienda podía hacerlo, si es así, entonces le están violando los derechos a los cordobeses negándose a financiar la consulta”, dijo Valencia Henao.

Lo que busca el mandatario es que se obligue al despacho a disponer del dinero necesario para desarrollar el mecanismo de participación en la fecha ya establecida y así no tener que aplazarla, como ha pasado en otros municipios del país.

“Ellos tienen 10 días hábiles, a partir de ayer, para emitir un fallo. Yo espero que, si sale a favor, puedan cumplir con el compromiso el próximo 3 de diciembre, y no sigan dilatando como lo han venido haciendo”.

Recomendado: “Si nos toca, asumimos el costo de la consulta popular”

En el texto presentado por Valencia Henao ante el tribunal el martes pasado, hace referencia a las consultas que se han realizado en el país durante el último año, que en su totalidad fueron financiadas por la Nación.

“Hasta el momento se han realizado 9 consultas populares similares en el país en el Tolima, Casanare, Cundinamarca, Quindío, Meta y Santander y todas financiadas por la Nación”, dice el documento.

Asegura que en la localidad cordillerana hay tres solicitudes de contratos de concesión para explotación de metales preciosos, las cuales incluyen siete polígonos ubicados en lugares donde nunca se ha presentado explotación aurífera o donde se ha realizado tradicionalmente explotación minera de otros materiales como arcilla y serpentina. 

“Diferentes organizaciones de ciudadanos de nuestra colectividad manifestaron la intención de participar en una consulta para decidir si favorecen o no la realización de los proyectos mineros”.

Vea también: Pinzón le apuesta a una minería sin afectar el medio ambiente

La tutela asegura: “La Registraduría y el Consejo Nacional Electoral están legitimados al ser las entidades encargadas por orden constitucional y legal, para coordinar y llevar a cabo las acciones relativas al desarrollo de los eventos electorales sin distinción, y del escrutinio general de las votaciones. En desarrollo de estas funciones, dichas entidades tienen competencia relativa para definir la elaboración de su propio presupuesto y la ordenación del gasto para su funcionamiento”. 

Agrega: “El ministerio de Hacienda se encuentra legitimado, ya que le corresponde de manera exclusiva las decisiones fiscales que afectan el presupuesto general de la nación y el presupuesto general de gastos, dentro de los cuales se incluyen las partidas presupuestales relativas al funcionamiento de la Registraduría  Nacional y el Consejo Nacional Electoral”.

Esperan que se declare improcedente la tutela de Minminas

Los promotores de la consulta popular en contra de la megaminería en Córdoba esperan que el próximo lunes el Consejo de Estado declare improcedente la acción de tutela interpuesta por el ministerio de Minas y Energía en contra del Tribunal Administrativo del Quindío, en la cual pretenden anular el fallo que dio vía libre a la realización del mecanismo de participación.

“Ese mismo texto ya fue declarado improcedente con respecto a otros municipios como El Peñón, en Santander, entonces esperamos que pase lo mismo. Pensamos que iba a salir esta semana, pero parece que nos tocó esperar hasta el lunes”, dijo Carlos Andrés Gómez, vocero general del comité promotor.

Le puede interesar: “Minería a gran escala debería estar proscrita en el departamento”

La acción interpuesta por Minminas asegura que con la actividad se viola el derecho al trabajo.  “Dicen que hay una contraposición de derechos fundamentales. Ellos argumentan que tiene prelación el derecho fundamental al trabajo sobre el derecho fundamental al medio ambiente sano”, aseguró Gómez.

Afirmó que es una maniobra dilatoria, ya que en el documento solicitan decretar una medida cautelar que tiene como fin la suspensión del fallo y, por ende, la suspensión de la consulta.

Recomendado: Andi critica la “incertidumbre jurídica” en conflicto del páramo de Santurbán

“Solicitan una medida cautelar que consiste en la suspensión del fallo y consecuentemente de todo el proceso de la consulta. El fallo al que hacen referencia es en el cual el tribunal dio viabilidad y concepto favorable frente a la legalidad y constitucionalidad”.

Tatiana Palacio Mejía
LA CRÓNICA

The Colombian Government is taking steps to stop citizens participating in decisions about the future of their territories. But the people of Córdoba are fighting back.

Article translated from Spanish to English by Yes to Life no to Mining. 23/11/17. For original article, click here.

As a result of the boom in popular consultations across Colombia- a ripple effect of the successful consultation held in Cajamarca, Tolima, which stopped the world’s largest planned gold mine this March- the national government is trying to limit these processes.

Since then, 54 other municipalities have expressed their interest in holding popular consultations, and six of them have had victories in which over 90% of the votes cast have said no to mining.

Intimidated by this ripple effect, the national government´s latest strategy is to say there is no central budget to enable municipalities to hold the votes, and therefore these should be financed by local governments.

In response, Córdoba, a municipality in the region of Quindío, has registered a tutelage in order to defend the right of its inhabitants  to express their opinion through democratic participation mechanisms, like popular consultations, which should be financed by the national government according to law.

Tutelage for financing consultation in Córdoba is legitimate

 The Administrative Court of Quindío in Colombia issued an announcement indicating that the legal action, lodged by the mayor of the town, is legitimate. 

The Administrative Court of Quindío has accepted the tutelage lodged by the mayor of Córdoba, Guillermo Andrés Valencia Henao, against the Ministry of Finance, the National Registry of Civil Status, and the National Electoral Council (CNE), for not financing the popular consultation against the large-scale mining, which is scheduled for next December 3rd.

The tutelage argues that the fundamental right of participation and equality of the inhabitants of the municipality is being infringed.

“The tutelage was put forward because although the Finance Minister said it was the responsibility of the municipal mayor’s office to finance such activities, when I gathered with the Registry to agree on an accord that would allow me to transfer those resources (for the popular consultation to take place), the entity stated that, according to the law, only the Ministry of Finance could do it. If that is the case, then they are violating the rights of the people of Córdoba by refusing to finance the consultation”, said Mayor Valencia Henao.

What the mayor is looking to do is force the Ministry of Finance to provide the necessary money to develop the popular consultation on the date already established, and thus to avoid postponing it, as has happened in other municipalities of the country.

“They have 10 business days, starting yesterday, to issue a ruling. I hope that, if it comes out in favour, the Ministry can fulfill their commitment on December 3rd, and  not continue delaying as they have been doing”, says Henao.

In the text presented by Valencia Henao before the court last Tuesday, reference is made to the consultations that have been held in the country during the last year, which were financed by the Nation.

“So far, 9 similar popular consultations have been done in the country in Tolima, Casanare, Cundinamarca, Quindío, Meta, and Santander, and all financed by the Nation”, says the document.

Furthermore, the Mayor assures that in the Cordilleran locality there are three requests for concession contracts for exploitation of precious metals, which include seven polygons located in places where gold exploitation has never been presented, or where traditional mining has been carried out of other materials such as clay and serpentine.

“Different organizations of citizens of our community expressed the intention to participate in a consultation to decide whether or not they agree on the realization of mining projects.”

 The tutelage guarantees: “The Registry and the National Electoral Council are legitimized to be the entities in charge by constitutional and legal order, to coordinate and carry out the actions related to the development of the electoral events without distinction, and the general scrutiny of the votes. In the development of these functions, these entities have the relative competence to define the preparation of their own budget and the management of the expense for its operation”.
 He adds: “The Ministry of Finance is legitimized, since it is exclusively responsible for tax decisions that affect the general budget of the nation and the general budget of expenditures, within include the budget items related to the operation of the National Registry and the National Electoral Council”.

 

They expect the tutelage of Minminas to be declared inadmissible

The promoters of the popular referendum against the mega-mining in Córdoba, hope that next Monday the State Council will declare unfair the tutelage lodged by the Ministry of Mines and Energy against the Administrative Tribunal of Quindío, in which they intend to repeal the ruling that gave way to the realization of the participation mechanism.

“That same text was already declared inadmissible with respect to other municipalities such as El Peñón in Santander, so we expect the same thing to happen. We thought it was coming out this week, but it seems we have to wait until Monday”, said Carlos Andrés Gómez, general spokesman of the promoter committee.

The action interposed by Minminas ensures that the right to work is violated with the activity. “They say there is a contrast of fundamental rights. They argue that the fundamental right to work has precedence over the fundamental right to a healthy environment”, said Gomez.

 Also, he stated that it is a delaying maneuver since in the document they request the issuance of a precautionary measure, that has the purpose of suspending the ruling and, therefore, suspending the consultation.

“They request a caution consisting of the suspension of the ruling and consequently of the entire process of the consultation. The ruling referred to, is the one in which the court gave viability and favourable concept against the legality and constitutionality”.

 

 

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