Organizaciones nacionales e internacionales piden a la Corte Constitucional evitar un retroceso sobre las consultas populares

National and international organizations ask the Colombian Constitutional Court to stop the recoil of Popular Consultations


Por: Valentina Camacho Montealegre

@valentinacmpm (enlazar al twitter)

Mediante una carta pública dirigida a la Corte Constitucional, 14 organizaciones internacionales, 112 organizaciones nacionales, 6 grupos de investigación y 90 personalidades, expertos y líderes sociales, manifestaron su oposición frente al anuncio realizado por el alto tribunal de establecer límites a las consultas populares.

En dicho documento, las organizaciones socio-ambientales llaman la atención sobre el hecho de que desde el momento en que la Corte Constitucional seleccionó para revisión la tutela que interpuso la empresa Mansarovar Energy en contra de la Consulta Popular de Cumaral, Meta, se haya señalado que tiene como fin “establecer los límites y el alcance de las consultas populares a nivel territorial”. Para los suscriptores de la carta, este hecho está poniendo de presente un sesgo hacia una decisión que aún no ha surtido el procedimiento correspondiente.

Según el abogado Rodrigo Negrete, lo que están buscando es generar un retroceso en materia jurídica para desconocer la autonomía territorial, los instrumentos de planificación y ordenamiento local, la vocación del suelo, el patrimonio ecológico municipal, la participación ciudadana y la posibilidad de que cada ente territorial decida sobre sus propias formas de desarrollo.

“Enviamos una carta abierta a la Corte Constitucional pronunciándonos sobre el anuncio de que revisará la tutela sobre la consulta popular de Cumaral para ‘limitar el alcance’ de este mecanismo democrático. Nos preocupa que lo hagan nugatorio de manera que las comunidades locales no puedan rechazar el desarrollo de actividades extractivas que el Gobierno Nacional impone desde Bogotá y que la Corte le haga el juego a los intereses del gobierno nacional y de las empresas extractivas, poniendo a primar los intereses económicos sobre los derechos fundamentales y la autonomía territorial, explicó Negrete.

Y agregó: “También preocupa que la Magistrada ponente sea Cristina Pardo, quien hasta hace unos meses era secretaria Jurídica de la presidencia, así como las opiniones expresadas por el magistrado Alejandro Linares en el Congreso de la Agencia Colombiana de Minería en Cartagena, en contra de decisiones de la Corte a la que pertenece”. (Vea el vídeo)

Por su parte Renzo Alexander García, vocero del Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida manifestó: “Es inaceptable que se pretenda mutilar la democracia colombiana con el pretexto de proteger los intereses foráneos de las empresas mineras. Es incoherente que en el marco del proceso de paz se quieran aniquilar los principios constitucionales de la soberanía popular, la autonomía territorial, la descentralización política, la participación ciudadana y desconocer el derecho colectivo al ambiente sano que tenemos todos los hombres y mujeres que habitamos este bello país”.

En el documento, firmado por personalidades como el exministro de Medio Ambiente, Manuel Rodríguez Becerra; el exMinistro de Minas y Energía, Jorge Eduardo Cook; el exdirector del IDEAM, Pablo Leyva; y el expresidente de la Asamblea Constituyente y exMinistro de Energía y Minas de Ecuador, Alberto Acosta, solicitan que se reafirme la participación ciudadana como principio constitucional que yace en una de las columnas vertebrales del Estado social de derecho colombiano.

Es importante resaltar el apoyo internacional de organizaciones como el M4, la Red de Solidaridad Global Sí a la Vida, No a la Minería (YLNM), el Center For International Environmental Law (CIEL) y Earthworks de Estados Unidos, junto a otras organizaciones de Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Panamá, México, Suiza y Bélgica, a esta inciativa.

La revisión de esa tutela se suma al proyecto de ley estatutaria, las demandas a los acuerdos municipales y las amenazas a los municipios de no percibir regalías si prohíben las extractivas, como acciones del gobierno para debilitar la participación ciudadana en temas de la política mineroenergética.

Hasta la fecha se han realizado nueve consultas populares donde, de manera mayoritaria, los habitantes de los municipios se han pronunciado en contra del desarrollo de actividades extractivas en sus jurisdicciones.

Carta a la Corte Constitucional


by: Valentina Camacho Montealegre

@valentinacmpm (twitter)

Through a public letter to the Colombian Constitutional Court, 14 international organizations, 112 Colombian organizations, six research groups and 90 experts and social leaders expressed their opposition against the pronouncement made by the high court saying they are looking at ways of limiting popular consultations

With this letter, social and environmental organizations call attention over the decision taken by the Constitutional Court of revising a tutelage interposed by Mansarovar Energy against the popular consultation held in Cumaral, Meta with the purpose of “establishing the limits and scope of popular consultations at a territorial level”. For the organizations signing the letter, this makes the bias of the government evident towards the decision taken by the people, which has not yet completed its procedure.

According to the lawyer Rodrigo Negrete, what they are trying to do is to create a recoil in the legal matters to ignore the territorial autonomy, the planning tools and the local law, the soil´s vocation, the ecological heritage of the municipality, the citizen participation and the possibility of each territorial agency to define its own development models.

“We sent an open letter to the Constitutional Court expressing our opinion regarding their announcement of revising the tutelage of the Cumaral case in order to limit the scope of the democratic participation mechanism. We are worried with the possibility of making it nugatory so the local communities will not be able to reject the development of extractive activities imposed by the National Government, and that the Court benefits the national government and the company’s interests, putting the economic interests over the fundamental rights and the territorial autonomy”, explained Negrete.

He also added: “The fact that the Magistrate speaker is Cristina Pardo worries us as well, for she was the legal secretariat of the Presidency of the country until a few months ago, as well as the opinions expressed by the Magistrate Alejandro Linares in the convention organized by the National Mining Agency in Colombia (see video), against the decisions taken by the Court of which he is member of, regarding these matters”.

Renzo Alexander García, spokesman of the Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida manifested: “It is unacceptable that they are trying to cripple the Colombian democracy with the pretext of protecting the foreign interests of international mining companies. It makes no sense that in the frame of the peace process they are interested in annihilating the constitutional principles of the popular sovereignty, territorial autonomy, political decentralization, civil society participation and ignore the collective right to a healthy environment that all human men and women hold as inhabitants of this beautiful country”.

In the document, signed by recognized figures like the first Colombian Minister of Environment Manuel Rodriguez Becerra, the former Minister of Mining and Energy Jorge Eduardo Cook, former director of IDEAM (governmental meteorological institution) Pablo Leyva, and the former president of the constituent Assembly and former Minister of Mining and Energy of Ecuador Alberto Acosta, it is requested for the civil society participation to be ratified as a constitutional principle which is one of the central elements of the Colombian Rule of Law.

It is important to highlight the international support offered by organizations like the M4 Movement, Yes to Life No to Mining (YLNM), the Center for International Law (CIEL) and EarthWorks USA, along with other organizations from Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Panama, Mexico, Switzerland and Belgium.

This revision of the tutelage adds to the statutory bill, the plaints towards municipality agreements regarding these matters and the threats received by the municipalities of not receiving the royalties if they reject extractive industries, as well as governmental actions to weaken the civil society participation in matters regarding mining and energy issues.

Till the date, 9 popular consultations have been held in Colombia regarding these matters, of which in all cases the inhabitants of these nine municipalities have pronounced baldly against the development of extractive activities in their territories.

Carta a la Corte Constitucional

 

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