Since the 1990s, a new Constitution and progressive legal frameworks in Colombia facilitated the transition from a centralized and modernist urban planning paradigm to one where democratization, participation and the “social and ecological function of property” were privileged. However, thirty years later, studies show that participatory planning has had a limited impact in addressing the country’s heightened social and environmental injustices. While several Colombian mayors and planners have sought local and global recognition by constructing and circulating their cities as international “best practices,” vulnerable populations continue to be excluded from everyday planning decisions. The paper develop a typology of recurrent themes and actors involved in municipal legal action in Colombia and analyze select cases in Bogota. We conclude reflecting on the possibilities and limits of using legal actions to make urban planning processes more inclusive in cities of the Global South
Brazil features possibly the most fragmented party system in the world. Currently, there are 25 parties in the Lower House and 16 in the Senate. Presidents need thereby to build stable and disciplined political coalitions or they will face serious difficulties in advancing their agenda. Such a high level of party fragmentation, which is a structural dysfunctionality, may paradoxically serve as a shield against radical and authoritarian intents by the executive power. Brazil may be experiencing such a paradox: a dysfunctionality of its political system may well function to protect democracy against a president whose authoritarian mindset is undisputed. How parliaments behave and react to the rise of an authoritarian figure in the executive power may possibly play a more fundamental role in protecting democracy than constitutional courts themselves. This paper explores this still underexplored phenomenon as an invitation for further comparative analyses.
On November 21, 2019 (21N), a large national strike was called in Colombia for the measures that the government was going to take in terms of pensions, taxes and health in what was informally known as the “Duque package”. The government decided to issue a series of executive decrees that gave mayors the possibility of decreeing the curfew and using the ESMAD, which is the police responsible for dissolving the protests. During the protests, which lasted almost a month, there was the death of student Dylan Cruz with an unconventional police weapon, as well as arbitrary detentions, and mistreatment of protesters, especially students, who was denounced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Humans Rights in their Report for the Situation of human rights in Colombia in 2019. The paper will analyze the case of these protests within the framework of constitutional law and the right to protest.
The Office of the Attorney General also fulfills the role of reporting cases of human rights violations in Colombia. With the emergence of the protests of November 21 in Colombia, the Attorney General's Office took an active role in defending and reporting cases of human rights violations by the police and other State agencies. In the paper I will make an analysis of the measures taken by this agency in order to guarantee the rights of assembly, protest and demonstration