Inspector general tells court to end state of emergency

Colombia’s inspector general orders the Constitutional Court to overturn an extension of the state of emergency declared after the disastrous rainy season, Colombian media reported Tuesday.

Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez ordered the prolongation of the decree to be overturned on the grounds that the state of emergency had technically expired prior to the date of extension.

The original “economic, social, and ecological” state of emergency was declared by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in early December 2010 in response to heavy rains and floods that swept Colombia over previous months, causing numerous deaths and destruction of property.

The decree had a provision that if the length of the state of emergency proved insufficient, it could be extended at any point before its expiration date at midnight on January 5th.

The decree was extended a day after this date, and came into force on the 7th of January.

The Public Ministry published a report regarding the matter, which is quoted by Caracol Radio as saying, “The events that occurred in November 2010 … are relevant to justify this [the first] declaration, but not to justify the second declaration made on January 7 … In this sense the motivation of the decree under examination is, to say the least, inadequate.”

Ordoñez added that nothing new has happened in the state of emergency, making the second decree inappropriate.

The court will review the report before making a final decision.

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