August 11 is remembered with great affection because in 1813, under the leadership of Juan del Corral, Antioquia declared absolute independence from the Spanish crown. This date coincides with the transcendental Day of the Antioqueño; and in parallel, the Féria de las Flores Flower Fair is also held. However, this year, in 2020 everything was different.
Given the health crisis caused from the COVID19 pandemic, in May the postponement of the emblematic and traditional Silleteros Parade was announced, and August arrived in the middle of a quarantine where citizens are practically locked in their homes. However, more surprises were to come on the eve of one more celebration of the historic date beginning a series of official events led by the Mayor of Medellin and his CEO of the EPM company that motivated a tsunami of reactions from all principal sectors and representatives of the city leading to the resignation of the Board of Directors of the company and hours later, the crisis would continue with another entity admired by Antioqueños and no less important than it is Ruta-N where the resignation of its chief executive was requested arguing he had “achieved some technical and no political results,” this in an entity supposedly shielded from the bureaucratic game of the politicians on duty.
August 11, 2020, which should be a day of joy with the Flower Fair, or a quasi-work day within the quarantine that we live in, but this year it will be a day difficult to forget, or a day to remember without wanting to remember it. The trust built over decades between the city’s private, government and academic sector players blew up like an explosive wave that destroys everything around it.
The decisions of Mayor Quintero and his CEO at EPM without having his Board of Directors present on one side; and on the other with a similar behavior in Route N put asunder respect for the institutions and good governance of both entities; valuable heritage of our community. Transparency is a fundamental part of that trust that is built, day by day, decision by decision, letter by letter to make the entities sustainable and the importance they represent for Medellin, the region and for the country, adhering to the established rules of the game that must be met without discussion.
All this goes against one of the principles of the independent political movement, (www.movimientoindependientes.com) led by Mayor Quintero, which has in one of its foundations “The protection and defense of the government is not negotiable” and “The public administration must be exercised with transparency and efficiency “; and none of this was seen this week culminating in high tension and broken trust between the public and private sectors.
From that trust came the internationalization that Medellin had achieved in recent years, placing its name on the map of international investors; of world tourism; and of the aid workers and other subjects of international law interested in the continuous process of resilience that Medellin has been developing and is a benchmark throughout the world.
Anyway, it will be a week to remember where we must learn from mistakes; and, a week to forget what should not have happened and allow us to regain the bonds of trust to guide Medellin and its inhabitants to an integral development that is built day by day. It will be a week for the records.