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 (Ley General de Cultura) 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 (Sistema General de Cultura) 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, such as the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, the RTVC Public Media System, the National Television Authority (Autoridad Nacional de Televisión) and the National Directorate of Copyright (Dirección Nacional de Derecho de Autor), among others.
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. The country has also acceded to an important set of international instruments, including the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Convention for the Promotion and Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.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. Conversely, civil society has been able to consolidate independent processes and initiatives that demonstrate the creative capacity and sustainabi