President of Colombia sentenced to five days of house arrest

A regional court in Columbia has ordered a five-day house arrest for President Ivan Duque, accused of failing to comply with a court order to protect the Los Nevados National Natural Park.

The Superior Court of Ibague, a city in central Colombia, ordered “the imposition of a house arrest sentence for five days as a sanction”, the implementation of the decision being the responsibility of the Colombian police director or superior with such powers at Casa de Narino, the seat of the Colombian presidency.

The court in Ibague also sentenced Duque to pay a fine equivalent to 15 times the minimum monthly salary, reported the daily El Espectador, quoted by dpa, taken over by Agerpres.

According to the Colombian publication, President Duque did not comply with a court order imposed on the government of Bogota to protect the national park in question. The park is located in the Eje Cafetero region (the coffee region, also known as the Coffee Triangle – no.), Declared a “legal entity” in 2020.

According to the sentence published on Saturday by the local press, the government led by Duque did not respect a decision on the creation of a Special Command of the Public Force for environmental crimes in this national park.

Radio Caracol reported that plants and animals were trafficked from the Los Nevados protected area, which is particularly important for its water resources.

In a speech in the northern city of Monteria, Duque insisted that his government is committed to respecting biodiversity and protecting the Los Nevados Nature Park. He deplored the decision of the High Court as unconstitutional.

The Colombian constitution stipulates that the institution of the President of the Republic (who is also the head of government – no.) Is the supreme authority of the state and any action must be submitted to the House of Representatives Commission of Inquiry, whether administrative or criminal matters, writes EFE.

Duque also called on the Prosecutor’s Office (the Public Prosecutor’s Office) to act “in order to be as clear as possible and to know the true meaning of a political decision without a legal basis.” He added that the government is ready “to respond to all appeals, but always only within the constitutional order”.

Glaciers in the Los Nevados Natural Park, a source of water

Los Nevados Natural Park, located in the Cordillera Central in the Colombian Andes, comprises a volcanic complex consisting of Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado del Tolima, Nevado de Santa Isabel, Cisne and Quindio. The park covers four departments in the center of the country: Caldas, Quindio, Risaralda and Tolima.

Protected area is important for the region due to the many sources of water that come from within. Glaciers – currently three in number, El Nevado del Ruiz, Santa Isabel and Tolima, occupy 4% of the park area. At the end of the 19th century, there were six glaciers, but three of them completely melted by the end of the 1970s, and among the remaining ones, specialists point out that Nevado del Tolima and Santa Isabel could disappear completely by 2040 or 2050.

Glacier melting water gives rise to rivers that originate in the park and form numerous basins and streams of different sizes and characteristics. The park’s hydrographic networks provide water for many in the region, including coffee growers.

Editor: BP

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