They order a five-day house arrest for Iván Duque, the president of Colombia


The Ibagué Superior Court ordered Colombian President Iván Duque under house arrest for five days for disobeying a court order to protect the Los Nevados National Natural Park, in the Eje Cafetero region.

The sanction had been issued by the Labor Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, which declared the Nevados National Natural Park as a subject of rights in 2020.

The high court also ordered a fine

According to the sentence published by local media this Saturday, supposedly the Government headed by Duque has not complied with the creation of a Special Command of the Public Force for environmental crimes in that national park.

The judicial order imposed “house arrest for five days”, for which the director of the Colombian Police or the superior who attends the functions in the Palacio de Nariño, headquarters of the Executive, will be in charge.

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The high court also ordered a fine of fifteen current monthly legal minimum wages for the Colombian head of state “unless compliance with the order held as fulfilled is previously proven.”

In December 2020, the Supreme Court of Justice gave the national, departmental and local authorities a peremptory period of one year to implement a joint plan for the recovery, maintenance, management and conservation of the Los Nevados National Natural Park, which considered as a subject of rights to life, health and environment.

The Colombian president says that the Court’s decision is a “prevarication”

For his part, President Duque said that the decision of the Superior Court of Ibagué was a “prevarication” and that it went over the Constitution.

“That sentence is more than fulfilled and the reports are there, but apart from that the decision is not only unconstitutional, it is not final, it is an open prevarication,” said the head of state in the Caribbean city of Montería, capital of the department of Cordova.

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The Colombian Constitution says that the jurisdiction of the President of the Republic is absolute, and any action should be referred to the Accusation Commission of the House of Representatives, regardless of whether they are administrative or criminal matters.

Duque explained that they abide by the judicial decisions because with their officials they have been “working to comply with the protection of the Los Nevados Park.” He requested that the Attorney General’s Office (Public Ministry) act so that “it is absolutely clear and it is possible to know what the true meaning of a political decision was, without legal support.” He added that the government will be ready to “respond to all calls but always within the constitutional order.”

The Park is made up of five snowy peaks: Ruiz, Tolima, Cisne, Santa Isabel and Quindío and covers land in the departments of Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda and Tolima, in the center of the country.

Parque de los Nevados, in Colombia

Parque de los Nevados, in Colombia

Alvaro Sanchez Garces

At the time, the Court ordered President Duque, Natural Parks and the departments of Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda and Tolima to prepare a joint plan to “recover, maintain and conserve the Nevados National Park.”

In addition to housing ecosystems of moors and high Andean forests, which are characterized by the presence of three snow-capped volcanoes that make it visible throughout the Eje Cafetero ecoregion. Likewise, it has a water potential represented as it has more than 100 micro-basins that supply aqueducts, and lakes, lagoons, dams and groundwater.

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