T-778/05. Right to cultural identity on the exercise of political representation


Summary: In this occasion the petitioner, an indigenous woman elected to the Concejo de Bogotá (Council of Bogotá), requested the protection of her fundamental right to the due process.  Multiple lawsuits were presented pursuing the annulment of her election as a councillor, adducing that she didn’t reunite the minimum requisites for that position (in particular having the same age required to be a member of the House of Representatives). All claims were accumulated and decided by the Tribunal Administrativo de Cundinamarca, who declared de nullity of her election. Given that panorama, the plaintiff formulated acción de tutela against the decision made by the Tribunal, alleging that the norm applied was derogated at the time, requesting the nullity of the sentence. The Constitutional Court considered that the Tribunal should have applied the institution of etnocultural exception (excepción etnocultural) in order to safeguard the right to cultural identity in the context of the exercise of political representation, and as a consequence ordered the suspension of the effects of the sentence uttered by the Tribunal