They recognize the Cauca River as a "subject of rights" and regain order



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The Fourth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of MedellĂ­n revoked the judgment of the Fourth Circuit Court and determined the recognition of the rights of the Cauca River, violated, according to the sentence, by the maneuvers carried out during the contingency of the Hidroituango project.

The closure of the second lock of the engine room on February 5 reduced the flow of the river to historic lows of only 20% of its average. The water volume was normalized four days later, after the water in the reservoir began to leave the project embankment.

The court said in the trial that the event generated an unprecedented crisis that affected the ecosystem of the fauna and flora that depend on the river. "It requires, demands, a process of recovery and for this deserves not only the current compensation, but the materialization of the future generation as a subject of law," indicated the providence.

Measures to adopt

The Court ordered the National Government to exercise the legal guardianship and representation of the rights of the river, together with the communities. This way, the Cauca happens to have the called "Guardians of the river". The Office of the Attorney General coordinates and holds a hearing at which election of the same shall occur.

Likewise, the Fourth Civil Chamber of the Court granted supervision, monitoring and advisory services to the Guardian Commission of Rio Cauca, which will be composed of two designated officials and an advisory team composed of the Humboldt Institute, the National Aquaculture Authority, Corantioquia and Universities; and ordered the Attorney General's Office, Ombudsman's Office and Comptroller's Office to submit biannual reports on its management with compliance indicators.

The sentence, the product of a lawsuit filed by Senator Juan Luis Castro and activist Diego David Ochoa, grants intercommunity effects, that is, it also protects riverine populations that are in the same situation, even if they are not linked. for the same process.

Precautionary measures have already failed

A security control judge ordered EPM on June 12 to set up a technical panel with national authorities and communities to assess the situation of the Hidroituango project and the stability of the rocky massif on which the project is supported.

Read: The precautionary measures ordered by a judge by the Hidroituango

The Prosecutor's Office argued that several community rights were being violated, so their health was at risk as well as the environment in which they lived.

The judge's order specifies that the delegates of the Prosecutor's Office, the Comptroller's Office, the Attorney General's Office, the Antioquia Governor's Office, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Health, the National Environmental Licensing Agency, EPM and Hidroituango must have seat.

What is sought with this precautionary measure is whether or not to determine the continuity of the project or its suspension. The reports that this technical table must submit must be sent every ten days and up to sixty days after the decision is final.

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