Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

The International Poetry Festival of Medellín
Declared Cultural Heritage of Colombia

The Constitutional Court of Colombia in a recent ruling declared executable the Law of the Congress of the Republic declaring the International Poetry Festival of Medellín a Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

The bill went through a tortuous process of two years during which it was approved by the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate, at the end of which president Uribe refused to ratify it maintaining that there was no clarity around the budget assignations in its support, which caused the angry reaction of the Festival director, Fernando Rendón, during the opening of last year’s Festival. To this reaction followed attacks by the local media and columnists, and a strong movement of public solidarity and poets of all the world.

As a result of this, the bill returned to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, which again approved it. The Attorney General Office next considered that the Constitutional Court should declare executable the Law declaring the International Poetry Festival of Medellín Cultural Heritage of the Nation, which it did last December thus setting the bill on a firm basis pending its inclusion in the general budget of the Nation by the Ministry of Culture.

The Court adopted the decision to “authorize the National Government to include in the General Budget of the Nation the specific appropriation for the financing, execution and development of the Festival, as a contribution to the promotion, protection and spread of the cultural values enhanced by the event and its organization.”

The congressman Germán Reyes, author and promoter of the Bill, expressed his satisfaction to the media and declared: “It is a fair recognition of an activity that has contributed to the promotion, protection and spread of cultural values in Antioquia and Colombia, not only in the country but on the world stage.” He also expressed his gratitude to the congressmen of the different parties who supported his initiative because, as he said, this kind of event “contributes to the cultural development of Colombians and to the building of a more cultured society.”

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