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Constitution of the Republic of Colombia (7th August, 1886) [microform] online

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which shall be composed of one Deputy for each
twelve thousand inhabitants.

The law may change the preceding computation.

ARTICLE 184.

The Assemblies shall meet ordinarily every two
years in the capital of the Department.

ARTICLE 185.

The Assemblies shall direct and encourage, by
means of ordinances and with the resources belonging
to the Department, primary education and charitable



— 51 —

works, industrial establishments and the introduction
of new improvements, inmigration, the introduction
of foreign capital, the colonization of Department
lands, the opening of roads and navigable canals, the
construction of railways, the utilization of woods be-
longing to the Department, the improvement of
rivers, matters relating to the local police, the Super-
intendence of the revenues and expenses of the dis-
tricts, and generally whatever relates to local interests
and to internal progress.

ARTICLE 186.
The Assemblies of the Departments shall also create
and abolish municipalities upon the basis of popula-
tion established by law, and restrict or enlarge the
municipal limits as local interests may require. If any
euiriplaints should be made, of injury done on account
of any act restricting or enlarging said limits, the
Congress shall have cognizance of the said complaints.

ARTICLE 187.
The Assemblies of the Departments may, by the
authorization of Congress, exercise other functions than
those especially belonging to them by law.

ARTICLE 188.

The property, rights, values and shares which, by
the laws or by the decrees of the national Government
or by any other title, may have formerly belonged to
the late sovereign States, are hereby conveyed to the
respective Departments and shall belong to them
during their legal existence.

The immovable property referred to in article 202
is not included in this conveyance.

ARTICLE 189.

The Assemblies shall vote every two years the esti-
mate of revenues and expenses of their respective
Departments, and shall, according to law, make the



— 52 —

appropriations necessary to meet the expenses so esti-
mated.

ARTICLE 190.
The Assemblies of the Departments may, in order
to discharge the expenses of administration, levy ta-
xes under the conditions and within the limits pres-
cribed by law.

ARTICLE 191.

The ordinances enacted by the Assemblies shall
be enforceable and binding as long as they shall not be
suspended by the Governor nor by judicial authority.

ARTICLE 192.
All persons injured by acts of the Assemblies may
appeal for relief to a competent Tribunal, which may,
as a measure of prompt relief and to avert a serious
injury suspend the act complained of.

ARTICLE 193.
There shall be a Governor in each Department
who shall exercise the functions of the Executive Po-
wer as Agent of the Central Administration, on the
one part, and on the other, as Superior Chief of the
Administration of the Department.

ARTICLE 194.

The Governors shall be appointed for the term of
three years, and they may be reappointed.

ARTICLE 195.

The Governor shall be vested with the following
powers ;

1. To obey the orders of the Government himself
and to see that they are obeyed by others in the De-
partment.

2. To direct administrative action in the Depart-
ment, to appoint and remove his agents, to reform
and revoke their acts and to adopt all necessary mea-



— 5:\ —

sures for the conduct of the several branches of the
administration.

3. To be the organ of the Department and to re-
present it in all political and administrative matters.

4. To assist the administration of justice within
the limits prescribed by law.

5. To supervise and protect official corporations
and public establishments.

6. To approve, in the manner determined by law,
the ordinances that may be enacted by the Assemblies
of Departments.

7. To suspend, by virtue of his office or on peti-
tion of the party aggrieved, and by an order setting
forth his reasons therefor, and wilhin ten daj'S after
their issue, such ordinances of the Assemblies as
have been enacted without authority, or in violation
of law, or in contravention of the rights of third
parties ; and he shall submit such suspension to the
Government for its ratiiication or rejection.

8. To review the acts of the Municipalities and of
the mayors, to suspend the fitrmer and to revoke the
latter by orders setting forth his reasons therefor, which
reasons should onl}- be for incompetency of the autho-
rities or for illegality of their acts.

And such other powers as may be conferred uppn
him by law. , ' ' .

ARTICLE 196. . - ' "• •

Tlie Governors shall be subject to the Executive
and Judicial powers of the Nation. They shall be
removable by the Government, and they shall be
answerable to the Supreme Court for oifences comrait-
ed in tlie exercise of their functions.

ARTICLE 197.
The Governor may call the National force to his
aid, aT\d the military Chief shall obey his orders unless
in contravention of other provisions made by the Go-
vernment.



— 54 —

ARTICLE 198.

In each municipal district there shall be establish-
ed a corporation to be designated by the name of
the municipal council.

ARTICLE 19!}.

The Municipal councils shall enact such resolutions
and local regulations as may be necessary for the pro-
per administration of the districts ; they shall, in
accordance with the ordinances of the Assemblies,
levy local taxes and determine local expenditures ;
they shall keep an annual register of the population ;
they shall take a census whenever required by law ;
and they shall perform such other duties as may be
assigned to them by law.

ARTICLE 200.
The mayor shall be the chief administrative officer
in the district, and he shall hold the dual character of
Governmental Agent and public authority.

ARTICLE 201.

The Department of Panama shall be subject to
the direct authority of the Government, and it shall
be admixiistered by laws especially enacted therefor.



TITLE XIX.

OF FINANCE.

Abstract. — Property and liabilities of tlie Nation.— General
rules regarding taxation.— Revenue and expenses.

ARTICLE 202.

The following property shall belong to the Repu-
blic of Colombia :

1. The estates, revenues, lands, valuables, rights
and shares that belonged to the Colombian Union on
the 15'" day of April, 1886.



— 55 —

2, The uncultivated domain, mines and salt works
that belonged to the States, the property in which
now vests in the Nation, without prejudice to rights
acquired by tiiird persons from the said States or held
by the latter from the Nation under title of indemni-
fication.

3. All mines, whether of gold, silver, platinum or
precious stones that lie within the national territory,
without prejudice to rights acquired undef previous
laws by the discoverers and workers of either of them.

ARTICLE 203.

The Republic shall be responsible for the foreign
and domestic debts that have been recognized or that
may be hereafter recognized, and for the expenses of
the public national service.

The law shall determine the order and manner of
satisfying these obligations.

ARTICLE 204.

No indirect tax nor any increase of such tax al-
ready existing, shall take effect within six months
after the promulgation of the law establishing the
same.

ARTICLE 205.

No alteration in the customs tariff shall take
effect within ninety days after the approval of the
law enacting the same ; and all increase or diminution
of the import dues shall be divided into ten parts to
take effect, in such decimal proportion, during the ten
following months.

This provision and that of the preceding article,
shall not limit the extraordinary powers of the Go-
vernment in any case in which it may be invested
therewith.

ARTICLE 206.
Each Ministry shall every two years prepare an
estimate of its expenditures and deliver the same to



— 56 —

the Treasury Department, and the latter shall, from
the estimates so received, prepare a general budget
for the Nation and submit it to the approval of Con-
gress, together with an estimate of the appropria-
tions necessary to meet the national liabilities.

If Congress shall fail to provide for the expenses
of the fiscal period of two years, the law enacted for
the preceding period shall continue in force.

ARTICLE 207.

No expenditure of public money shall be made
without a previous authorization thereof by Congress,
by the Assemblies of Departments, or by the munici-
palities ; nor shall any appropriation be diverted from
the object for which it was made.

ARTICLE 208.

Whenever, in the judgment of the Government,
the necessity arises for an indispensable expenditure,
and the two Houses should not be in session or the
appropriation made should be inadequate, a supple-
mental or extraordinary sum may be added to the
appropriation of the respective Ministry. These sup-
plemental amounts shall be authorized by the Coun-
cil of Ministers upon proof of their necessity and after
consulting with the Council of State.

Congress shall legalize these authorized payments.
The Government may petition Congress for appro-
priations in addition to those already made.



TITLE XX.

OF THE AMENDMENT OF THIS CONSTITUTION AND THE ABRO-
GATION OF THE FORMER.

ARTICLE 209.

This Constitution maybe amended by a legislative
act, discussed and adopted after three several readings
in the usual manner by Congress, submitted by the



— 57 —

Government to the next following Legislature for its
definitive action, and by it newly discussed and fina-
lly adopted by two-thirds of the members voting in
both Houses.

ARTICLE 210.
The Constitution of the 8."> of May, 1863, which is
inoperative by reason of accomplished facts, is hereby
abolished ; and, in the fame manner, all legislative
provisions in conflict with this Constitution are hereby
repealed.



TITLE XXI.

(Additional).

TEMPORARY PROVISIONS.

ARTICLE A.

The first presidential term shall begin on the
7.^^ day of August of the present year.

On the same day shall begin the first constitutio-
nal term of the Vice-President of the Republic and
of the Designado.

The first constitutional term of the Councilors of
State and of the Attorney-General of the Nation shall
begin on the 1.'^ day of September.

The new judges of the national Supreme Court
shall take possession of their offices on the l.**^ day of
September of the present year.

ARTICLE J^.

The first constitutional Congress shall assemble
on the 20/'' day of July, 1888.

ARTICLE O.

As soon as this Constitution shall be adopted, the
National Council of Delegates shall assume legislative
functions and all others belonging to Congress or to
either House thereof. Besides these functions it shall
exercise that mentioned in article 77.



— 58 —

ARTICLE D.

Before the date fixed for the assembling of the
first constitutional Congress the constituent national
Council shall exercise legislative functions whenever
convoked in extraordinary session by the Governmeot.

ARTICLE E.

The National Council shall elect, by two separate
votes, the members of the Council of State whose
election is provided for by the Senate and House of
Representatives respectively, and in each of these
votes shall elect two persons. The person receiving
the largest number of votes shall be declared a Coun-
cilor for the term of four years, and the person receiv-
ing the next highest nuniber of votes, for the term
of two years. In case of a tie in the vote, it shall be
decided by lot.

The two Councilors whose appointment is pro-
vided for by the Government, shall be elected at the
same time, and lot shall be cast before the Council of
Ministers to determine which of the two shall serve
for four years and which for two j^ears.

ARTICLE F.

In the performance of the duty n.° 2 of the Coun-
cil of State, that body may add to each of its sec-
tions one or two persons learned in the law. These
persons shall cease to act as Councilors on the 20.*^ day
of July, 1888:

ARTICLE O.

The revenues and taxes which had been establish-
ed for the late States of the Union, shall continue
the same for the Departments respectively, as long as
other provisions are not made by the Legislative
Power.

The revenues which by late decrees of the Execu-
tive Power were intended for the national service,
shall be excepted from the foregoing provision.



— 59 —

ARTICLE II.

As long as the Legislative Power shall not pro-
vide otherwise, the laws existing in the several States
shall continue in force in the respective Departments.
After the constituent National Council shall have
assumed the functions of a legislative body, it shall
at once proceed to enact a law in regard to the adop-
tion of Codes and the revision of national legislation.

ARTICLE /.

All laws of the late States that may have been
suspended by the federal Supreme Court, and all laws
considered by said Court but not suspended by an un-
animous vote, shall be referred to the Council of Dele-
gates for its final decision thereupon.

ARTICLE J.

If before the enactment of the law referred to in
article H any person should be tried for any of the
offences mentioned in article 29, the trial thereof shall
be conducted under Code of the late State of Cundi-
namarca, approved October 16."" 1858.

ARTICLE K.

Pending the enactment of a law regulating the
press, the Cfovernment shall be empowered to prevent
and suppress the abuses thereof.

ARTICLE L.

All acts of a legislative character promulgated by
the President of the Republic before the adoption of
this Constitution, shall continue in force, even though
in conflict herewith, until they be expressly repealed
by the legislative body or revoked by the Government.

ARTICLE M.

The President ot the Republic shall appoint, the
first time, the Judges of th(? Supreme Court and of
the Superior Tribunals, and he shall submit such
appointments to the approval of the National Council.



— 60 —

ARTICLE N.

All permanent vacancies among the members of
the National Council, from and after the date of its
becoming a legislative body, shall be filled by the
Governors of Departments.

ARTICLE 0.

This Constitution shall go into effect, for the high
National Powers, from and after the day on which it
shall be approved ; and for the Nation, thirty days after
its publication in the Diario Oficial.

Given at Bogota, on the i."" day of August, 1886.

Juan de Dios Ulloa,
President of the Constituent National Council, and
Delegate for the State of Cauca.

Jose JiLaria Rubio Frade,
Vice-President of the Constituent National Coun-
cil, and Delegate for the State of Cundinamarca.

Simon de Herrera,
Delegate from State of Antioquia.

Jose Domlngo Ospina Camacho,
Delegate from State of Antioquia.

Jose M. Samper,
Delegate from State of Bolivar.

JuAK Campo Serrano,
Delegate from State of Bolivar.

Carlos Calderon Reyes,
Delegate from State of Boyaca,

Francisco Mendoza Perez,
Delegate from State of Boyaci.



— 61 —

Rafael Reyes,
Delegate from State of Cauea.

Jesus Casas Rojas,
Delegate from State of Cnndinamarca.

Luis M. Robles,
Delegate from State of Magdalena.

Miguel Antonio Caro,
Delegate from State of Panama.

Felipe F. Paul,
Delegate from State of Panama.

Guillermo Quintero Calderon,
Delegate from State of Santander.

Antonio CarreJ^o R.,
Delegate from State of Santander.

ACISCLO MOLANO,

Delegate from State of Tolima.

Roberto Sarmiento,
Delegate from State of ToJi'ma.

Julio A. Corredor., Secretary. — Victor Mallari-
no, Secretary.



— 62 —

National Executive Power. — Bogota^ August 5^^ 1886.

Let it be obeyed and published.

J. M. CAMPO SERRANO.

Aristides Calderon,
Home Secretary.

Vicente Restrepo,
Secretary for foreign Affairs.

Antonio Roldan,
Secretary of Finance, in charge of War Depart-
ment.

Jorge Holguin,
Secretary of the Treasury.

Enrique Alvarez,
Secretary of Piibb'c Instruction, in cliarge of De-
partment of Public Works.



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Online LibraryColombiaConstitution of the Republic of Colombia (7th August, 1886) [microform] → online text (page 4 of 4)