THE HOMELAND | MANIZALES
The final stretch began to go to the polls and vote YES or NO for the Metropolitan Area (AM) of the South Center of Caldas. Six days before the consultation, the voices for and against are served. Sunday and yesterday, andThe issue reached the councils of Manizales and Chinchináwhile the auditorium of the Autonomous University of Manizales He summoned the elected mayors of the five municipalities involved and the Caldense congressmen to join the regional discussion.
In the Manizales Council
With the YES shirt on, Carlos Ánderson García Guerrero, Secretary of Planning of Caldas, settled in the Manizales Council to socialize the AM and indicate that the The campaign got off to a good start on the first of this month because last month attention was focused on the regional elections.
Among the arguments he gave for voting in favor are that among the six most competitive departments in the country, four have AM, which Those who make up an MA increase their Gross Domestic Product three percentage points above those who do not. and that “only in the universities of Manizales and Caldas there are 1,500 students who reside in Neira, Palestine and Chinchiná, and in the last nine months Palestine alone has referred 1,900 patients who today have to pay $17,000 to come to Manizales” said García Guerrero.
The concilor Víctor Hugo Cortés, of the Liberal Partycriticized the time and day in which the socialization took place (Sunday, November 19, 7:00 pm) and He asked to know the disadvantages of the AM, since the secretary only spoke of the positive and did not want to name the disadvantages because his commitment is for the YES. In that same sense, Adriana Arango of the Green Party, described the secretary’s presentation as deficient and indicated that she hoped to hear “what is the Development Plan of the AM that must be known to vote. What are the needs, with what argument are we going to tell the community to vote. What are the priority projects and programs and what are we going to bet on because the answer cannot be first we vote and then we look.”
The voice for NO came from the teacher Luis Fernando Acebedo Restrepoarchitect and urban planner, who proposed three hypotheses. In the first, he said that the call is undemocratic because it does not guarantee broad citizen participation and there is no possibility of choosing YES or NO in an informed manner. Furthermore, the reform that the metropolitan areas law underwent (Law 1624 of 2013) reduced the percentage of citizen participation from 25% to 5% of the electoral roll, so a minority will decide for the AM.
“The second hypothesis is that voting NO does not mean denying the need for the territory to plan metropolitan events and to associate to achieve it. It means that We do not share the political and territorial project, around which we have been called to unite, and we do not believe that the AM instrument is adequate to guarantee environmental and territorial justice in the midst of the climate crisis.. The third hypothesis is that the political project of the AM is a rehash of the projects that the elites have defended for 40 years and have not been able to execute such as the international airport,” he noted. Acebedo Restrepo.
In the Council of Chinchiná
In this precinct 14 of the 15 councilors said NO. The session was attended by the general community, delegates from political parties, the Mayor’s Office of Chinchiná, the Government and representatives of transportation companies in the municipality.
Topics such as unified transportation, advantages and disadvantages of integration, unified property costs and the annual fee that each municipality must contribute for regional projects predominated in the interventions. Likewise, consolidate a more economical ticket and new bus routes to and from Manizales, Palestine, Neira and Chinchiná.
According to the exhibitors, The new routes would improve the quality of life and reduce the cost of bus transportation to Manizales, which today costs $5,000.. In addition, metropolitan events could generate more jobs and bring universities to the municipalities.
“Chinchiná would benefit the most, since national companies converge in the municipality and it is intended to carry out major works. The Ecological Coffee Processing Center, a regional slaughterhouse, the Caldas Departmental Police Command and the connection with the future air terminal of Aerocafé, in Palestine,” indicated those who are in favor of YES.
The elected mayor and councilor Carlos Riveros defended the NO vote. “I have been rejecting this proposal for more than four years. Manizales has little regard for Chinchiná and at a time when they need us they do come to ask for help”
Auditorium of the National University
In this scenario, the representatives to the Chamber Wilder Escobar (Gente en Movimiento), Santiago Osorio (Green Party) and Senator Guido Echeverry (En Marcha) add to the benefits that an AM would bring in the future, as well as the elected mayors of Manizales , Villamaría and Neira. However, Chinchiná leaned towards NO and emphasized that he is in favor of associations, but that more socialization is needed.
Augusto Pinto, senior advisor of the UN Habitat Andean Countries, stated that the Being metropolitan does help, since the MA is not only the sum of the urban territories, but also the rural ones. because a large part of that metropolitan pantry depends on that rurality, so in the integrated metropolitan development plans and in the strategic plans of Metropolitan Territorial Planning, adding the rural is important.
“With the constitution of the AM I begin a management. The planning and the facts come later because first I establish myself and then I plan so that that area works better. One of the problems I have encountered is financing and I ask that you review the numbers carefully because an AM requires resources for its sustainability. and these resources come from the contributions of the municipalities, but the MA is not efficient if it cannot translate its planning into programs or projects. “They must go out and look for resources with the Government, with the National Government, with the environmental corporation, with Royalties, with international cooperation and multilateral banking.”
The consultant for territorial planning and metropolitan areas stated that If connectivity and mobility conditions are improved, poverty issues are resolved because there is better access to work.