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Former director of National Heritage to answer for Aquarela – Other Cities – Colombia

The multifamily building watercolorwhich is built near the San Felipe de Barajas Castlein Cartagenaagain opens the debate on the responsibility of local and national authorities that allowed the development of a tower, which according to Unesco, affects the landscaping of the heritage monument.

(You may be interested: Outrageous: Exploited children in Cartagena sleep in the streets of the Historic Center)

That is why, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation announced that he issued a statement of charges against the former technical director of Heritage and Memory of the Ministry of Culture, Alberto Escobar Wilson-Withe, for an alleged omission in his control function related to the construction of Aquarela.

Despite having been informed months in advance, the then official apparently did not take the required actions.

“Apparently, Escobar Wilson-Withe would not have promoted and adopted the necessary measures in a timely manner to prevent the development of the works from continuing to threaten and affect the landscape integrity of the San Felipe de Barajas Castle,” the control entity indicates.

Although On repeated occasions, Escobar Wilson has indicated that the decision was the direct responsibility of the Institute of Heritage and Culture of Cartagena. (IPCC), the directors of that entity explained to the researchers that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture to preserve that asset of the nation, because it was part of its powers.

(Also read: Study will say if demolishing ‘Aquarela’ is the route to recover the platform that invades)

The controversial ‘Aquarela’ Tower in Cartagena.


John Montaño- WEATHER

This is how the Public Ministry pointed out that, despite having been informed months in advance, “the then official apparently did not carry out the actions required to include the cadastral block where the project was being built within the area of ​​influence of the fortification, and thus provide it with the protection it required as a historical and cultural heritage of humanity”.

For those facts, the Attorney General’s Office classified Wilson-Withe’s apparent conduct as a serious offense committed by way of gross negligence.

Investigation in the Aquarela process archived

The ‘Aquarela’ Tower rises one block from the emblematic Castle of San Felipe de Barajas.


John Montaño- WEATHER

This case completes seven years, being a topic of debate not only in Cartagena, but in the country. Several former mayors and the current president have even been implicated; but on this occasion, because the Attorney General’s Office archived the disciplinary investigation that it was conducting against the Mayor of Cartagena, William Dau Chamatt; the former mayor (e), Pedrito Pereira Caballero; the former Infrastructure Secretaries, Gonzalo Jácome Peñaranda, Clara María Calderón and Edgar Marín Támara; the head of the District Disaster Risk Management Advisory Office, Fernando Abello Rubiano, and the former head of that same unit, Laura Marcela Mendoza Bernett.

(Read: In Cartagena the ‘Aquarela’ tower not only threatens heritage, it is a source of insecurity)

The same decision was adopted for the former Secretaries of District Planning, Guillermo Ávila Barragán and Iván Darío Castro Romero, who held the position as manager; the former legal chief of the mayor’s office, Jorge Carrillo Padrón; the urban curator No. 1 District at the time of the events, Ronald de Jesús Llamas Bustos, and the former manager of the Fund for Social Interest Housing and Urban Reform of Cartagena -Corvivienda-, Luis Alberto Vélez Carrasquilla.

Regarding the much-announced demolition order, the control body specified: “The municipalities governed by former mayor Pedrito Tomás Pereira Caballero and, currently, by mayor William Dau Chamatt have advanced all measures to achieve the most technical and safe way restitution of public space”.

(More news: Cartagena is looking for a company that is capable of demolishing the controversial Aquarela tower)

The Police Inspection ordered in July 2020 the Promoter Calle 47 SAS to restore the illegally invaded public space. The measure says that it should be fulfilled in five days but nearly two years have passed and the tower is still standing.

Recently, the Mayor’s Office of Cartagena announced that the supervision of the studies that will be carried out through an expert by the National Risk Management Unit that will define the mechanism to be implemented to demolish the work was contracted.

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