Despite the current context and the fact that it is a historic decision in the city of Medellín, the positive vote of a motion of censure in the District Council is not the first that has happened in the department.
In May 2009, the Council of Copacabana went down in history as the first in Antioquia to implement this mechanism to remove an official from office. That Sunday, 10 out of 15 councilors approved the alleged punishment against the then Secretary of Infrastructure, Claudia Marín.
However, on Monday, despite the fact that the mayor Diego Echeverry was informed of the decision, he examined whether Marín’s dismissal was necessary immediately or not, considering the novelty of the mechanism.
“Also, it was very difficult because he was a very good Secretary,” said Echeverry, who also questioned the decision, considering it one of the most political difficulties he has experienced in the Council. Finally, that same week, the mayor had to remove Marín from office.
As it happened in Medellín today, 14 years ago, the paradox is that the former councilors Alejandro Arango and Carlos Vanegas-who until 20 days ago before the vote were part of the Government coalition-are the proposer of the motion.
“Even if we support the Mayor, we don’t have to agree with him in everything and we have to control the Administration,” Arango said at the time, explaining that the motion was due to the fact that “the management of the official is compared to the Development Plan and not as suggested.”
Vanegas also initiated another motion of censure against the Secretary of Transit, but he presented his resignation, which the mayor accepted, Vanegas recalled.
Therefore, Copacabana became the first town where this method of political control of a Council was successful, where before 2007 there were only observational actions without major concrete effects.
After 14 years, this figure is becoming more and more relevant and it is certain that from now on it will become an effective tool so that the councils can exercise political control over the administrations if their secretaries deviate from good management.
Although Vanegas warned that a motion of censure unfortunately has no legal or disciplinary repercussions against the official. Because of this, the mayor (in this case of Medellín) can put him in another position without any kind of hindrance.