Questions about the pork rinds from El Zorro in the Arboleda del Campestre

By Víctor Sánchez – Cultural Manager


What happens in the Arboleda del Campestre complex is the result of the abuse of the construction company and the Institute in charge of supplying household water and sewage services, IBAL.

In this area of ​​the city, La Arboleda del Campestre, more than 10,000 families live in overcrowded “prison cells” of forty square meters and, according to the claimants, most of them cannot bathe or wash their clothes, nor do they have drinking water to cook their food.

This is not social justice. In the month of March 2020, the Dicastery for Integral Human Development published in Rome a document of the Catholic Church entitled “Aqua Fons Vitae”, the Water Source of Life, a document with which Pope Francis demonstrates and insists in the forums on the commitment that all pastors, parishioners, parish groups and any person who claims to be a Christian must promote: Respect for the goods of creation and especially for water as a common good, an element that has a fundamental impact so that every human family can live in conditions of dignity and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations can be achieved in the world. United Nations Organization since 2015. In light of these purposes, the construction companies and the State have responsibilities that they must not evade.

According to the statistics of the Colombian Chamber of the Construction Industry, CAMACOL, the construction and sale of Social Interest Housing has reached historical peaks never before recorded in the majority of intermediate cities and capitals of the country. The scheme established by the National Government and the Ministry of Housing to subsidize housing supply has been successful for construction companies and financial entities; Apparently, it is a success supported by the hardships of its clients.

In Ibagué, and especially in the areas where more than 18 Partial Urban Development Plans are being developed, real estate development is evident, diligently supported by the governments, who claim to attack the unemployment figures in this way due to the high incidence generated by the construction sector in the activation of the economy, in addition to responding to the housing deficit in the city.

Infrastructure works such as the avenue to the Perales airport, or the Bypass on 145th Street, built with a public budget, By virtue of these public works, they convert the old rice-producing farms in the rural area into urbanized lots where they develop projects that meet the high demand for housing; they design a circular economy round business that involves landowners, builders, producers of materials and supplies and the financial sector; they are based on presenting an offer to the high housing deficit for the middle classes of the population that has incomes of up to four minimum wages, They benefit from the State subsidy for this sector of the population, because the subsidy goes directly to the financial entity that approves the long-term housing purchase loans.

For the sample, an exemplary case: The estates of Hacienda El Zorro, where today the Arboleda Campestre macro housing project is being developed in the Picaleña sector, in commune nine of the municipality of Ibagué. First, it received a positive affectation due to the variants of the Ibagué plateau built by the National Government that crossed its land, and in its transition from rural to urban property, its owners also processed the request for exemption from the payment of capital gains before the Ministry of Municipal Planning, in November 2019, argue its allocation to social interest housing in accordance with the regulations and the Territorial Planning Plan, POT.

Several families in the country are allied in this real estate business. The Laserna family, owner of Hacienda El Zorro, it must be said that the different local and national governments have treated it very well, of course the city owes them a lot, it is the opinion of some. At the beginning of the last century, it was the businessmen who supplied electricity to Ibagué, who built an intake and a canal from the upper part of the Combeima River, which was first to move the turbines of the “Luz Laserna” in Papayo and later served as irrigation channel for the supply of water to the growers of the extensive and fertile plateau of Ibagué; they have generated employment for the inhabitants of the city and the generosity of their agricultural companies is recognized.

Another family to which the country owes much for its undertakings and job creation is that of Don José Alejandro Cortés, owner of Grupo Bolívar, made up of a significant number of companies, including Davivienda bank, Constructora Bolívar and a company pioneer in the country as Seguros Bolívar, created in 1939. In their principles, values ​​and superior corporate purposes, they have as “I center the Human Being, enrich life with integrity, be better people every day and be able to create permanent value for our clients and communities”. By virtue of these laudable business purposes, they are the creators and financiers of the Simón Bolívar Journalism Awards and with the Bolívar-Davivienda foundation “they promote and develop talent to build a country” allied with Local Mayors and the Community, support projects such as the Cultivarte centers and the Young Philharmonic Orchestra.

Everything was going very well in this business alliance established ten years ago, especially the advance sales on plans, which was supported by the housing policy of the National Government that grants the subsidies, in the Mayor’s Office of Ibagué and the Urban Curators for the procedures, permits and licenses, and with Constructora Bolívar and Davivienda, for the different stages of the urban planning and construction project of the ten thousand homes in La Arboleda Campestre, until in 2014 Cortolima initiated a sanctioning process against the construction company due to complaints of the community for the polluting dumping of sewage into the La Honda creek, which forces them, in accordance with the regulations, to build a Residential Wastewater Treatment Plant, PETARD, a plant that apparently, to date, does not meet the technical requirements and has not been received by the IBAL.

In addition to this mismanagement of wastewater, there have been constant cuts in water service since then, which have been denounced for a long time by the owners and residents of the 15 housing complexes, due to the fact that, as became customary among the city’s developers, they request availability of public water and sewage services before the IBAL and this entity grants the anticipated availability, based on the future expansion projects of the system of networks and storage tanks and when the construction of the houses is finished and they are delivered to the anxious owners , it turns out that they realize that the capacity of the aqueduct is insufficient; the Complementary Aqueduct was started 25 years ago, since then, the candidates for mayor of Ibagué make promises and the administrative inefficiency and corruption have stagnated and tied it up.

The report of the Tolima Regional Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, published at the beginning of this month of October, (disclosed in El Cronista.co), points out each of these aspects and the Oversight Water for Ibagué, denounces that the agreement signed in a bad way and eagerly between the IBAL and the Construction Company for the Water Treatment Plant, not only is it insufficient to provide an immediate solution to the thirsty population, but it can also endanger people’s health by drinking highly contaminated water from the Laserna Canal.

In the face of these injustices, The voice of the Pastors of the Churches, who must hear the voice of Pope Francis, is not heard who cries out in “Laudato Si” for the poor of the earth, neither I listen to the spokespersons of the Committee of Economic Unions of Tolima who proclaim Corporate Social Responsibility, much less the responses of the entities responsible for controlling the use of public resources and dealing with these complaints.

I would like to know where is the coherence with the highest principles of corporate governance of Grupo Bolívar, that reported profits for more than one billion pesos before the Financial Superintendence for the period 2021, and today fails to comply with its thousands of clients and mortgage debtors, who in their eagerness to own a decent home, go to the good image and confidence that they project their companies. Where is the Cultivarte center that was promised three years ago for the residents of the restored and abandoned Picaleña Train Station? What do the professional designers, planning and urban planning consultants respond who did not foresee these risks or the difficulties of access and mobility in the sector because of this project? As in the classic fable, let’s wait what the cunning fox will answer.

We would love to thank the writer of this short article for this outstanding material

Questions about the pork rinds from El Zorro in the Arboleda del Campestre


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