The families were forced out of their homes in the middle of the night by 800 police Wednesday, and authorities began destroying their properties, following a lawsuit claiming they had been illegally built.
Following more than 30 legal complaints lodged by the residents, who say they were been deceived when they bought the land, and that their right to housing has been violated, the Constitutional Court suspended the demolition.
An unnamed individual who claims he owns the land on which the property is built had claimed that permission had not been granted — a claim backed by the area’s mayoral office, which also wants to build a park on the site.
According to RCN, the residents claim that the mayor, Martha Bolivar, and her legal advisor, Maria Luisa Garzon, are the business partners of two property developers who originally sold the plots of land to the families two years ago.
The court said Friday it was the obligation of the state to offer and protect the right to dignified housing to people, and that next Monday legal experts would go to the site to examine the situation.
Mayor Bolivar said that authorities were investigating one of the two developers, Ivan Olimpo Garzon, for selling plots of land which he did not own.
The families also say they have papers stating they had permission to build their houses.
Between 90 and 100 homes in the neighborhood have already been destroyed and 50 more face the wrecking ball. According to the mayor’s office, 30% of the demolished homes were inhabited.