Construction of the Metro would affect the environment in Barrios Unidos

The felling of trees due to the works on the First Line and the Transmilenio trunk line on Avenida 68, would be some of the factors

Antonio Carrillo, local mayor, spoke with EL NUEVO SIGLO about the problems in the area, investment budget and security outlook; among other issues of interest to the community.

Barrios Unidos is the 12th locality in Bogotá, it has a total extension of 1,189.52 hectares, all of them in the urban area, and it is the fifth smallest locality in the District.

THE NEW CENTURY: What are the main problems of the town?

ANTONIO CARRILLO: There are some social factors that affect the manifestation and escalation of the scenarios of social conflict in the locality. In this sense, there are conditions of vulnerability that affect the fulfillment of objectives such as high-impact crimes, violations of Human Rights, sexual and gender-based violence, use and appropriation of public space.

The conflicts associated with the use of public space can be understood in two dimensions within the locality. On the one hand, those related to commercial activities of a formal and informal nature and on the other, those related to human settlements for permanent or temporary appropriation in public space. Sometimes both scenarios are related to high-impact crimes such as theft, fights and drug trafficking.

In addition, the commercial activities associated with shoe stores, purchase and sale of automobile parts, and automotive service workshops have generated environmental and social problems and degradation and invasion of public space.

At the same time, visual pollution is one of the main environmental problems of the town, caused mainly by outdoor advertising of formal and informal commercial activities.

The risks

ENS: What risk scenarios or situations have you identified in the locality?

AC: A risk scenario that has been identified from local sources and as stated by the community, is the one that corresponds to school environments, both outside the facilities and inside them. These educational spaces have gradually become risk scenarios for children and adolescents.

The main ecological structure of the town is the El Salitre Wetland. In addition, the town is crossed by the channels of the Salitre River and the Negro River. The Salitre River presents a high level of contamination, which is why it generates health problems, deterioration of the landscape and devaluation of the surrounding areas.

Another environmental problem in the town is related to the inadequate management of solid waste since it is one of the main causes of contamination of water sources, the deterioration of public space and green areas.

The presence of garbage in public spaces generates public health risks due to the possible presence of infectious waste, bad odors and proliferation of vectors, which also generates a problem of environmental degradation that could imply economic consequences for the locality.

Regarding problems associated with the Land Management Plan (POT), some sectors of the community have submitted reservations to possible effects on the El Salitre Wetland due to urban projects. There are tensions due to the construction of the Salitre Living Residential Complex, as well as the possible impact in terms of felling trees due to projects such as the construction of the Transmilenio trunk line on Avenida 68 and the first line of the Metro.

ENS: How much is the investment budget for the year 2023?

AC: For this year, the town of Barrios Unidos has a budget of $37,404,409,000


ENS: What is the current security situation?

AC: The current panorama in terms of security in the town is calm, we are fortunate to have ended the year being the third town with the lowest rates in 2022 and we are currently constantly developing a presence in actions and operations thanks to the National Police and to inter-institutional development together with our staff, as well as the Secretariat for Citizen Security, the National Army, the Secretariat for Integration and others that accompany us on a daily basis, in our streets.

Thanks logically to our population, with which we currently have 65 security fronts and more than 20 citizen security groups.

ENS: What is the panorama in mobility?

AC: Project To the school by bike, is a project that accompanied caravans of students to the different schools, supervising sectors with guide personnel and monitors from the Ministry of Mobility.

Regarding control, 24,477 subpoenas were generated for different traffic violations. In all of 2021, there were more than 1,100 accidents, with one death occurring every 33 days and 4 hours.

The JACs

ENS: How do you articulate the actions of the Mayor’s Office with those of the JAC?

AC: Under the parameters of Law 2166 of 2021, we strengthen community activity and exercise through periodic meetings with the president of the Association of Community Boards of the town -ASOJUNTAS, work tables with the presidents and/or dignitaries of each of the JAC, according to their need.

We have official channels, website, social networks and special groups on WhatsApp to attend in a timely manner.

We have a matrix to review and follow up on the different requests or requests by the community organization, this allows us to have a greater effectiveness in the responses and rapprochement between the Action Boards with the district and local administration.

ENS: What initiatives are you leading from the Mayor’s Office to encourage citizen participation?

AC: The Local Mayor’s Office, under the development of Participatory Budgets, carries as its flag different projects in which the community actively participates, among these stands out Cuídate en familia y paz with gender equity, in which women caregivers and the people in charge participate in different outdoor activities.

On the other hand, the Animal Care and Love Fair is an initiative of veterinary medical brigades, adoption and training for animals and local owners, these activities are constantly being carried out both in the Hogares de paso and in the parks of the 4 UPZ.

Finally, the initiatives of the cultural sector stand out, such as the “Entre cine” cinema and performance workshop, the Festival of Magic and Joy, and IV Festiunidos por la cultura, these initiatives are the cultural heart of the town since there are important cultural places such as San Felipe, Art Galleries, Theaters, among others.

From the Mayor’s Office we continue working every day to strengthen the processes that link the community and that allow us to improve citizen participation in the different spaces and projects.


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