Colombia

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Colombia
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Social Movements & Grassroots Groups
OP-ICESCR

Colombia's Constitutional Court reviewed a tutela action case (action seeking protection of constitutional rights) which looked into whether the mining operations of the company Drummond had violated the rights to life, to a healthy environment, to privacy and to health of a citizen and his family living near the Pribbenow open-pit mine, located in La Loma, municipality of El Paso, department of Cesar, in the North of Colombia.  Based in the United States, Drummond develops and processes coal in both the US and Colombia.

Ninety-year-old Eduardo Navia brought this tutela action seeking to receive disability payments from the State. He had undergone heart surgery in May 1998 and January 2008, with both surgeries limiting his ability to work. Relying on a certification of disability issued by the Social Security Agency (ISS) Section of Bolivar on September 14, 2007, he applied for disability benefits to the ISS on October 5, 2007. The ISS determined his date of disability to be March 6, 2007, but denied his application claiming that he had failed to comply with the requirements of Art.

IELSUR, ESCR-Net and the NGO Coalition for an OP-ICESCR organized an open public event and workshop on strategic litigation under the OP-ICESCR on August 14-15 in Montevideo.  Leading domestic organizations in Uruguay attended the event.

In 2002/2003, as the city of Bogota began the process of privatizing its waste collection services, recycling organizations in Bogota attempted to participate in a bidding process to compete for a waste collection and transportation contracts with the city. The recyclers were de jure precluded from competing for these contracts in big cities because they were not equity-owned, “share held corporations” as required by the law for public procurement, but rather, non-profit cooperatives of informal working poor.

In Bogota, recyclable materials have traditionally been collected and sold by individuals and families organized into recycling associations. Recyclers are among the poorest, most marginalized members of society.

Recycling activities in Colombia have traditionally been carried out by extremely poor and marginalized sectors of society, who collect materials from landfills or inorganic waste from the streets to transport and sell them as recyclable material to intermediary informal warehouses of the national and multinational industry from refuse deposited on the street and sell it to warehouses for modest sums.

The International Network on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), the Centre for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) organized the first Latin America Strategic Workshop on Enforcement of Positive Decisions on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Bogota (Colombia) on February 7-8, 2013, bringing together 20 lawyers and activists from across the region. The workshop was supported by the Ford Foundation and the University of Los Andes.

The plaintiff filed an injunction aimed at guaranteeing the right of a 12 year-old girl to her mental health, among other rights. The girl became pregnant in early 2011 and started presenting symptoms of anxiety and depression, as diagnosed by different physicians, who recommended the interruption of her pregnancy.

The mother of an intellectually disabled girl initiated a tutela action because her daughter had been diagnosed with cognitive deficit and microcephaly, and she could not afford the recommended integrated program of therapy and special education. The Constitutional Court accepted to review the case and ordered EPS Coomeva to coordinate with local education agencies to obtain a comprehensive medical assessment of the minor, as well as to determine the medical and educational services required for her disability.