Should Corposanpedro be terminated? • La Nación

Should Corposanpedro be terminated? • La Nación
Should Corposanpedro be terminated? • La Nación

Following the many complaints filed by queens and artists related to the Bambuco Festival, the need to maintain or end Corposanpedro has been put on the table, an entity that on paper should be in charge of coordinating, operating, promoting and strengthening the Opita festivities. Opinions are divided.

Johan Eduardo Rojas Lopez

[email protected]

The organization of the Bambuco Festival has been strongly criticized in recent days by complaints of discrimination, exclusion and censorship, made by queens, former queens and artists. Although the mayor of Neiva, German Casagua Bonilla and the governor of Huila, Rodrigo Villalba Mosquera, gave a positive assessment of this version of the Festival, the reality is that the continuity of Corposanpedro has been questioned, which, according to some cultural managers, has not met its objectives and, they have even referred to the stubbornness of keeping the current director Adriana Rojas Salazar in office.

Sandra Patricia Barrios Castrillón, former Director of Culture of Neiva, has been emphatic in stating that, regardless of the scandals generated, it is irresponsible of the Governor of Huila to continue supporting Corposanpedro because it was created by an ordinance with a specific purpose of coordinating, operating, promoting, strengthening, protecting and assisting in the financing of Opita festivities, and what has been witnessed is that it is not fully complying.

According to her, all of this has an underlying component and is based on the fact that the institution is using the resource of culture to sustain political favors in the entity. “Corposanpedro was created with the aim of being self-sustaining, in fact, the board of directors has been dissolving because large unions have been withdrawing after the first four years of creation and that was already a warning sign,” she said.

He clarified that this is not new, since what is currently happening is due to a ‘snowball’ that has been growing for 13 years, that is, since before the creation of Corposanpedro, through the mandate of Carlos Mauricio Iriarte, Carlos Julio González Villa and Luis Enrique Dussán, who have chosen directors who are not interested in culture.

“The Dussán government committed the biggest shamelessness towards the cultural sector because it created ordinance 004 of 2021, where it transferred the specific pro-culture stamp resources to Corposanpedro and with that they should not be used to pay administration, contractors and others, but rather, they should be destined to the cultural area,” said the former director of culture.

Under this scenario, according to his criteria, Corposanpedro has only done something for the festivals by taking over the resources of the cultural sector to pay a parallel payroll indicated by the Governor in power. “The current governors are burying the folk festival because of their big egos. Not only the current ones, but also those who have passed away,” he concluded.

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Greater management is needed

In turn, for the cultural manager, Julio César Prieto, there is a lack of greater management to meet the objectives with which Corposanpedro was created. “We are dedicated only to the reign, but the cultural part is quite affected by multiple circumstances, above all what one notices and what people are saying is that the Director does not have the best human relations, due among other things to the fact that she does not enforce her role as operator, but rather seeks to safeguard her position. That is where a political leak is evident,” mentioned the cultural manager.

But that is not all, because for him it is essential to know in depth what is the reality that exists within the board of directors and the way in which they make decisions. “They must sit down and reflect on where the festival is going with the considerations that must be taken into account. It is no secret that at the last minute they are hiring people recommended as bureaucratic quotas, and when that happens, and they do not have expertise, they end up doing things wrong. This is a political manipulation and it is no secret to anyone, that is seen and evident,” the manager denounced.

And independence?

“I believe that CorpoSanpedro has fulfilled the objective of its creation in many aspects. However, there is always room for improvement and evolution, especially in response to constructive criticism. Instead of focusing on the dismissal of the Director, I consider it more constructive to conduct a thorough evaluation of her management and establish an action plan that addresses the concerns expressed by queens, former queens and artists. It is essential that transparency and accountability mechanisms be implemented to ensure that functions are adequately fulfilled and inclusive and respectful environments are fostered,” said the representative to the House for Huila, Luz Ayda Pastrana.

She also argued that it is crucial for Corposanpedro to maintain its independence and focus on the cultural and tourist interests of the people of Huila. For all these reasons, the congresswoman believes that the solution is not to end the entity, but rather to strengthen it, improve its internal processes and encourage greater participation and feedback from all the actors involved.

Corposanpedro was created 10 years ago under ordinance 016 of 2014.

To rethink several aspects

For Deputy Omar Alexis Díaz, there is no doubt that the entity was created precisely to operate the San Pedro festivities in the department of Huila, but also to serve as a liaison with the other festivities. However, to date, only one entity has been observed that is operating the San Pedro festivities with some shortcomings.

“We are most concerned about the economy, where it has not met expectations in terms of managing the necessary and sufficient resources not only for its maintenance but also for the contribution to the San Pedro festivities and so on. I think that the Director of Corposanpedro has failed to listen to the cultural managers, she has failed to detach herself a little from her individuality or in some cases from the people who surround her and go beyond to listen to, get to know and be able to interact with the different artists,” said the deputy, who took the opportunity to invite them to reconsider many aspects.

It’s not from now

In the face of all this controversy, Councilwoman Lourdes Mateus recalled that Corposanpedro has been questioned for many years on several points, hence the importance of reflecting on whether the corporation really promotes the Bambuco Festival as a regional folkloric event or prioritizes marketing issues that are increasingly removed from Huila traditions. Along those lines, for her, Corposanpedro has fulfilled its promise because it has operated the festival for several years, however, the question is where it is taking it.

“In my opinion, I do believe that there is a lack of empathy on the part of the Director regarding some of the situations that have been reported this year in specific cases that could undoubtedly have been handled better, but I also understand that the problem with Corposanpedro is structural and, therefore, goes beyond the continuity or not of the Director. Corposanpedro has a board of directors that ultimately makes the decisions about the festival and that is where it should be reconsidered,” said the councilor, who added that she does not believe that the entity should end, although it does require a major restructuring that has to go hand in hand with the preservation of folkloric traditions.

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Councillor Héctor Javier Osorio, for his part, indicated that the entity has not fulfilled all the ambitious goals proposed in the departmental ordinance that ordered its creation ten years ago. This is due to three reasons: “first, the weak institutional capacity that is not maintained over time; second, the absence of sustainable and non-conjunctural sources of funding and third, the weak structuring of a cultural policy to promote our most transcendent folklore that has been unable to articulate traditional expressions with artistic cultural ventures and new audiences. We have become a “one-stop shop” for some time now.”

To this end, he proposes that a high-level commission be created to review and strengthen the enormous potential that folklore has, including San Pedro festivities, by overcoming the structural deficiencies that have existed for some time. “It is time to open a debate and review what is provided for in the ordinance. This discussion is a good thing,” concluded the councilor.

“Learning to improve”

German Casagua Bonilla, mayor of Neiva, also referred to the issue and said that he considers Corposanpedro to be an entity that gains experience year after year and that allows it to improve without a doubt the strengthening of culture and folklore. “It is an important entity that allows us to improve what was sometimes criticized or questioned and that is that every four years people come to make decisions in cultural matters without any knowledge. I consider that fortuitous events do not stop occurring in each of the festivities, that clearly allows us to learn in order to constantly improve,” the president added.

“He is playing the role for which he was created”

Governor Rodrigo Villalba Mosquera stated that the current Director’s position is not at risk and, on the contrary, a calm assessment must be made because it is such a large event in which not everything goes perfectly. “The balance is positive, obviously nothing is perfect. Corposanpedro is playing the role for which it was created, but I think it needs to be improved. This entity has to become a permanent entity, it cannot be just for the festivities. So it is not contemplated at any time to end, the entity is what is needed, maybe if someone does not work they will leave, but the entity must be maintained.”

Finally, both the director of Corposanpedro, Adriana Rojas, and the Departmental Secretary of Culture, Betsabé Polania, decided to remain silent when LA NACIÓN approached them for this journalistic article.

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