In an unprecedented decision, the Ibagué Supreme Court ordered the President to be placed under house arrest, Ivan DukeAlleged contempt of the guardianship of the Supreme Court of Justice.
(Read in context: Court declares Nevados Nature Park a subject of rights).
The decision is about the fact that the president did not comply with the guardianship order. Supreme Court of Justice Approving the recognition of Nevados National Park as a rights issue.
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This protection order of the Court, which the Supreme Court upheld in the second instance court a decision by the Ibagué High Court in October 2020, had given several orders to the Presidency and other officials while considering the ecosystem to be treated as a Subject. You have the right to the protection of your life, health and healthy environment. Thus, it has determined that its legal representative is President Iván Duque.
The supreme court therefore considered a division of the President, Nature Parks, Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda and Tolima departments, among other institutions. Joint plan to save, maintain and protect Nevados National Park, It’s a policy that needs to develop a strategy to clear these lands from livestock activities, agriculture and other practices that harm this place, and a policy that needs to be eradicated in the region.
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Also, as the supreme head of the Armed Forces, he ordered President Duque to appoint a special group from the Military Forces or Police. permanently accompany conservation and conservation work it is run by the site’s Nature Parks.
This decision of the Supreme Court is from November 2020, and the Court – upheld by the Court – from October of the same year, but to date, to appoint the special group of the Public Power to the preservation of the park, the Ibagué Court stated.
Minutes after learning of the decision, President Duque spoke. As “unconstitutional”, the head of state announced the Ibagué High Court’s house arrest order against him for allegedly disobeying the guardianship of the Supreme Court of Justice.
“Today, we saw, for the first time, an inexplicable act of wanting to circumvent the constitutional jurisdiction under which the President’s arrest was ordered for non-compliance with this sentence. “This sentence has been overdone, and the reports are there,” he said.
Minister of Justice Wilson Ruiz also made a statement on the subject and said that despite the collection of evidence regarding compliance with the penalty in the process, the alleged violation was announced and it was decided to impose sanctions.
“With this decision, the authority ignores the efforts of the national government to protect all natural areas of the country, as well as its own powers and the powers of other officials who must participate in making such a decision. Constitutional jurisdiction is not considered a clear violation of the legal system of the state. in front of the president. which prudence is not sound”.
During the contempt process, the Court asked the interested parties to indicate how far the compliance with the orders of the second instance decision of the Court of Cassation had progressed.
In response, the Presidency, through a special representative, said that the order given by the Supreme Court “because Operations officer of the 5th division appointed in charge of directing the actions necessary to comply with what is ordered in the guardianship decree; In the capitals of the departments concerned with compliance, protected area worksheets have already been drawn up and even a follow-up matrix has been established,” he said.
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Later, the Court stated that the representative of the Presidency stated that “if what the Court and the Court want is the creation of a special group of the military and the national police to ensure a sustained and permanent presence for the entire kilometer.” The park is technically, missionary, normative, and functionally impossible based on his presentation of the functions and roles of each of these entities, and because Colombia ‘needs bigger security challenges and a strong foot’. Likewise, there is already a group of parks and nature reserves in the field of environmental safety.”
It is read that the Presidency argues that even the decision declaring disrespect was not fulfilled. “The subjective and objective elements so that the Court finally has a sanction for disrespect”, and “the president obeyed the order ‘through his representatives’,” he said.
However, faced with the reasons for the restrictions to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Public Power special group, the Court decided in the first place that these were inadmissible as excuses.About 18 months after the Supreme Institution gave the guardianship order“.
But also because “the order is clear and specific in the sense of the appointment by the President of a special group of military forces or the national police to accompany the conservation, management and preservation duties that run the National Natural Parks. Permanently and permanently in Colombia’s Nevados National Park, without being able to think or accept that the fulfillment of such a task can be done by simply setting up inter-institutional tables.from different offices, in different cities, in occasional meetings whose schedule is not even met”.
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The third reason why the Court did not accept the Presidency’s statements was that national governments had already implemented “so-called high mountain battalions” for several years to carry out support duties in the different mountain regions of the country. “
The Court then referred to the foregoing, saying that the specific and specific mechanisms unfamiliar to the aims and functions of the military did not comply with the order of the Court and were not as the legal representative of the President said. He said the special group designated for this should move “through the mile of the park” because their work should be directed to areas where early warnings have been reported.
By keeping an office or working desks, trying to comply with the guardianship decision, offering the support of the public power according to certain needs and needs programs, this is bullshit; That’s not what the probationary judge ordered at the time”.
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Likewise, the institution drew attention to the fact that he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Public Power of the Nation and that such duties were carried out in person or in person, although the representative of the President said in response to the insult and it was true. The file through the Department of Defense failed to show that both complied with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“To date, 18 months after the issuance of the order that led to this action for non-compliance, there is no concrete regulation to enact the designation, formation and enactment of the President’s Special Forces Group. Public Power.
In this sense, the court declared Duque disdainful and sentenced him to five days’ house arrest and a fine equivalent to the current legal monthly minimum wage of 15.
Paula Andrea Huertas Arcila, Minister of Judicial Representation and Defense of the Quindío Department, was also declared humiliating and was arrested for 5 days.
And since acts declaring contempt were not subject to appeal, the Court decided that its decision should be sent immediately to the Labor Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Court, which may preserve, alter, or overturn it.
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Experts consulted by EL TIEMPO noted that the Court’s decision would be unenforceable due to several key factors: firstly, because The President’s jurisdiction is absolute.Any action against and against him should be referred to the House Impeachment Committee for criminal or administrative matters.
Second, because such a comprehensive decision about a head of state can only be discussed in a higher court, not a higher court.
The interviewed experts also stated that although the President is the highest commander of the Armed Forces, there are dozens of officials under his command that can file a custody case, questioning the applicability of the decision.
In the history of the guardianship created in 1991, a President has never received an arrest warrant.
Since the court has forwarded its decision to the Supreme Court Labor Office for review, there is a high probability that custody will fall there. The experts consulted by EL TIEMPO added that in any case, the final word will reach the Constitutional Court without any chance of arrest against the Head of State.
Constitutional lawyer Johann Patiño said unequivocally that the non-criminal remedial measure of contempt and detention is subject to consultation over the next 3 days and will not be finalized until the consultation is complete.
“To the extent that the working of guardianship against any authority and humiliation was a corrective rather than a criminal decision, there was room for interpretation by the court in some way; however, if the judicial representation was examined, there would be no place for truth. A decision of such a nature must be weighed and for that, “It should be understood that the responsibility to make this decision is supported not only by the objective fact of responsibility for the violation, but also by the feasibility of the conduct. … In a narrow sense, it should not be possible to arrest the president, because it means leaving the most important position in the executive branch without a head,” he said.
Kenneth Burbano Villamarín, director of the Free University Constitutional Observatory, said that the Ibagué Supreme Court He was authorized to impose the sanction of contempt of the President.
“The presidential jurisdiction in Article 199 of the Constitution does not function because the president has not been prosecuted or tried for crimes. It is the non-compliance for several months with the decision of the Supreme Court Working Chamber in his capacity as a constitutional judge,” he exposed.
He stated that it is up to the first-instance judge to ensure that Article 52 of the Decree Law No. 2591 dated 1991 and the case-law of the Constitutional Court is complied with in the guardianship penalties, and that he may impose a contempt sanction for this purpose. “If the sanction power is transferred to the House of Representatives, which is not a guardianship judge, the procedure and function of the constitutional judge will be impaired,” he said.
The university professor also said, “In terms of the protection of fundamental rights, it is clear that no office, including the President, can escape the orders of the constitutional judges, otherwise it will violate the constitutional order and the balance of power.” and generally, the rule of law”.