In this case, the plaintiffs were representative from the indigenous community of reserve of Anacarco in the region of Tolima. They required that the court order an emergency plan to remedy with the food security, water and health issues met by the indigenous community in the reserve of Anacarco. Thus they petitioned the court to order the government and the regional and municipal authorities to construct a modern irrigation system and to restore the ecosystems of the reserve.

They based their claims on the fact that the absence of those measures are a violation of their constitutional rights such as the right to life, the right to an healthy ecosystem and the right to water. The court of first instance dismissed the petition as it considered that the plaintiff could not show any violation of their constitutional rights as they could not provide any precise circumstances where their rights were made vulnerable by the inaction of the government both at the regional and national level.

The plaintiffs sought appeal of the decision of the court of first instance in front of the Supreme Court. The judges of the Supreme Court considered that there was a violation of the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs but that they could not petition the court to order the defendants to take action because they could not provide any evidences that they had petitioned the defendants before going in front of the court. Indeed, the court can only issue an order to the administrations in case of the refusal of the administration to take action. Here the absence of petitions to the different administrations at the regional and national level prevented the court from issuing an order.

Therefore, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Type of document: 
Court name: 
Supreme Court
Court jurisdiction: 
Reference number: 
Number of pages: 
Luis Armando Tolosa Villabona; Margarita Cabello Blanco; Álvaro Fernando García Restrepo; Fernando Giraldo Gutiérrez; Ariel Salazar Ramírez
ECOLEX subject(s): 
Seat of court: 
Date of entry: 
Thu, 28 April 2016
Date of text: 
Fri, 20 November 2015
Data source: 
Source language: 
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