A Colombian court in the town of Ibagué has issued an arrest warrant against President Iván Duque for disobeying a previous judicial mandate to protect the Los Nevados National Natural Park located in the Eje cafetero (Coffee Axis) region, it was announced.
As per the ruling, Duque should serve 5 days under house arrest for disavowing the Supreme Court's Labor Branch decision to declare Los Nevados National Natural Park as a subject of rights.
According to the sentence published on local media during the weekend, the Duque administration has not complied with the creation of a Special Command of the Public Force for environmental crimes in that national park.
The court has ordered a measure of house arrest for five days against the director of the Colombian Police or his superior. The court also fined the culprit fifteen legal monthly minimum wages unless compliance with the [previous] order ... is ... accredited.
In December 2020, the Supreme Court of Justice gave national, departmental, and local authorities one year to implement a joint plan for the recovery, maintenance, management, and conservation of the Los Nevados National Natural Park, which was then deemed a subject that had rights.
Today we have seen an act, first, that is inexplicable because it wants to go over the constitutional jurisdiction, where supposedly the arrest of the President of the Republic is ordered, supposedly for not complying with that sentence, Duque said.
That sentence is more than complied with and the reports are there, but apart from that, the decision is not only unconstitutional, it is not final, it is an open prevarication, he added.
The Colombian Constitution states that the President of the Republic's immunity 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 also explained that the judiciary decisions had been complied with and asked the Attorney General's Office to take action. The head of state also pointed out the Government would respond to all calls, but always within the constitutional order.
At the time, the Court ordered Duque, Parques Naturales, and the departments of Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, and Tolima to develop a joint plan to recover, maintain and conserve the Nevados National Park.
The park also has a water potential because it has more than 100 micro-watersheds supplying aqueducts, lakes, lagoons, dams, and groundwater.
Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz pointed out that the decision of the Court must be reviewed ... and, in that case, it is not final. In his view, the Court ignored both the evidence that proves the efforts of the government for the conservation of all the areas of the country. Duque's effective arrest is completely unlikely given his constitutional immunity.