The main normative reference for cultural policies in Colombia is the Political Constitution of 1991, which incorporated precepts that have been fundamental for the formulation of said policies and are expressed in the recognition of the multicultural and multiethnic character of the country, and of culture as the foundation of nationality and an engine for economic and social development. In 1997, the General Law of Culture was signed as a tool for the implementation of the growing number of public cultural policies. This normative framework created the Ministry of Culture and advocates policies that promote democratic access to knowledge, the production and enjoyment of cultural goods and services, the strengthening of creation and research, and the protection of the cultural heritage of the Nation
Since its inception as the governing body in this area, the Ministry of Culture has promoted the development of cultural and artistic policies, projects and activities where diversity is recognized and the protection of cultural heritage is paramount. In light of the above, the Ministry has created and implemented the General System of Culture as a process of policy decentralization, which coordinates the competencies and actions of the national, departmental and municipal authorities with spaces convergence for the formulation, implementation and monitoring of cultural policies. On the other hand, it is important to highlight the efforts that have been made from the public sector in relation to the recognition, promotion and favoring of the cultural and creative industries: the production of this type of goods and services has been acquiring greater relevance as an indicator of economic and social health
In this respect, specific public policies have been developed that are related to the 2005 Convention. These policies have been implemented by different entities. It should also be noted that sectoral legislation in Colombia has had a direct effect on industries such as publishing, film, performing arts, television and radio, as well as on the laws protecting copyright. This set of legislative measures determines the mechanisms, incentives and institutions, along with the main criteria, procedures and programs that must be considered for the strengthening and promotion of the cultural sector.
Similarly, civil society’s articulation with the public sector for the strengthening, implementation and execution of cultural policies and measures has been fundamental, not only as recipient thereof, but also as an active participant who gives constant feedback on state actions, for the benefit of the cultural and creative industries. Civil society has consolidated independent processes and initiatives that demonstrate the creative capacity and sustainability of the cultural sector
To sum up, this Report provides an overview of the actions taken by Colombia with the aim of protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions. A series of steps that began with the recognition of its importance in the 1991 Constitution and was ratified with the adhesion to the Convention of 2005
Our expectation is that this first report from Colombia will allow the construction of a road map that identifies areas for improvement and offers a guide for the collegial construction of policies and measures between the State and civil society, with the hope of perpetuating the conditions for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions