Constitutionalist Union of Santa Magdalena
Unión Constitucionalista de Santa Magdalena (Agranian)
Coat of arms
Motto: Mantenla Santa Por El Servicio (Agranian)
Keep Her Holy By Service (Anglic)
|Ethnic groups |
|Religion||Marian Church of Santa Magdalena|
|Government||Federal dominant-party semi-presidential constitutional republic|
• First Minister
|Independence from Agrana y Griegro|
|22 February 1820|
|19 July 1832|
• Current Constitution
|1 January 1835|
|568,925 km2 (219,663 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
|29.3/km2 (75.9/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Magdalenian Peso (₱) (MGP)|
Santa Magdalena, officially the Constitutionalist Union of Santa Magdalena (Agranian: Unión Constitucionalista de Santa Magdalena), is a federal dominant-party semi-presidential constitutional republic in Southern Avalonia bordered by Albaterra to the east, Baileneu Ma to the north and the Coral Sea to the west. What is now Santa Magdalena was first discovered by Jungastian explorers by land in the late 16th century although it would not be settled until the Agranian monarchy first established permanent settlements in the 17th century. The capital of Ciudadela is both the country's largest and first colonial settlement, having been where Agranian military explorers first landed in the 1632. Santa Magdalena covers an area of 568,925 km2 (219,663 sq mi) with a population of 16.7 million people as of 2020.
The bulk of the country's coast and eastern interior are tropical monsoon climates which act as intermediary zones between the Floresta de Deus rainforest that extends into northeast Santa Magdalena from Albaterra and the drier tropical savanna of its central interior. Thus the majority of Santa Magdalena experiences pronounced wet and dry seasons, with the exception of its tropical rainforest region which experiences heavy rainfall throughout the year. Access to these regions are largely afforded by an expansive, sprawling river system originating in parts of Albaterra and eastern Santa Magdalena and flowing out into the Coral Sea.
The former Agranian colony is considered to be a federacy composed of nine provinces further divided into 39 parishes. Of the nine provinces, five native-dominant provinces have restricted voting power in the People's Council—the lower house of the bicameral High Chamber—accomplished through disproportional seat allocation and are barred from sending Envoys to the Noble Council—the upper house of the High Chamber. President Maximiliano Torrero acted as Santa Magdalene's head of state since 1994, having de facto inherited the position from his father Jorge Torrero following his death. President Torrero's great-grandfather founded the right-wing ethnonationalist party Una Verdad which has held supermajorities in both the People's Council and Noble Council since 1922. This dominance has been purported as a case of Santa Magdalene's deep institutional racism as Una Verdad's control of the legislature and Presidency have been achieved primarily through the disenfranchisement of most of the nation's native population and restrictions on the number of seats native parties may hold.
Since emerging from colonialism Santa Magdalena has been a small power in the context of Southern and Central Avalonia geopolitics. Although able to rival some neighboring states militarily, such as SiWallqanqa, at certain points in history, Santa Magdalena is for the most part eclipsed by large military and economic great powers such as Kaya. Santa Magdalena is considered to be aligned with the North-South Concordant, largely to balance against ECOSEAS who have threatened military action due to injustices committed by the government and social strife facing the nation. However, the Concordant is alleged to have refused Santa Magdalena membership on multiple occasions due to its volatility and pre-existing conflicts.
Santa Magdalena has been in a state of civil unrest since 1978, caused largely by the subjugation of its native populations by the ethnically Agranian minority government. ECOSEAS have undertaken a joint peacekeeping mission in southern Santa Magdalena since 2008 at the behest of several native, pro-democracy parties in response to several dozen government killings in the region and increasingly aggressive rhetoric from the Torrero administration. Peacekeeping operations have generally been accepted by the international community on humanitarian grounds, although the North-South Concordant has denounced the mission as a violation of Santa Magdalena's territorial sovereignty. Extrajudicial killings have only increased since the beginning of the peacekeeping mission with paramilitaries actively detaining native villages and combating local militias in the country's northwestern regions that lay outside of the peacekeepers' mandate.
In 1640, Agrana y Griegro bestowed the name Santa Magdalena upon its colonial holdings west of Jungastia's possession of Albaterra. This was in honor of Mary Magdalene—also known as Mary of Magdala—canonical founder of the Marian Church of Agrana y Griegro and a central figure to several Marian churches of Western Artemia. Santa Magdalena literally translated from Arganian means Saint Magdalene, the common name for Mary Magdalene in Agrana y Griegro. Although the colony gained full independence from Agrana y Griegro in 1832, Santa Magdalena maintains a branch of the Agranian church known as the Marian Church of Santa Magdalena that holds most of the core tenets of the Agranian Marian Church including reverence for Mary Magdalene.
Agranian colonization (1632—1820)
Revolutionary war (1820—1832)
Early republic (1832—1922)
Stabilization with one-party rule (1922—1972)
Oil boom (1972—2000)
Contemporary era (2000—Present)
Unrest and foreign intervention
In April 2008, the several leading members of ECOSEAS issued an ultimatum to the Santa Magdalenian government demanded the withdrawal of government forces from two of five of the country's native-dominant provinces or face the threat of foreign military intervention. This was directly in response to several high profile killings of native political party officials and the razing of a village where a federal civil guardsman had been killed, although leading members of ECOSEAS had been calling for intervention for years prior. With the ultimatum gone unanswered, ECOSEAS announced on 4 May 2008 that a joint peacekeeping mission would commence on 18 May with the objective of creating a safe haven for subjugated natives in the southwestern region of Santa Magdalena. The organization would provide a contingent of peacekeepers. The states involved included Zahava representing ECOSEAS.
By late 2017, the civil unrest that had been brewing in the northwestern province of Mojadoza had escalated into a civil war with government forces actively battling nationalist and communist insurgents. Acts of terror within the privileged provinces too increased during the period between mid-2017 to mid-2018, including frequent bombings, shootings, and kidnappings in broad daylight. President Torrero declared a state of war with the tribal alliances known to have been sympathetic towards the nationalist and communist movements in eastern Santa Magdalena on 18 October 2017, deploying the federal military to reinforce gendarmerie and federal police in the Floresta de Deus rainforest. For the time being this conflict existed outside of the mandate of the ECOSEAS peacekeeping mission which was confined to the southwest pro-democratic region of the country. However, uncovering of government atrocities would lead to the expansion of the mandate and armed conflict between the peacekeeping forces and the government military.
Human rights monitors had gained access to the eastern provinces of Santa Magdalena in January 2018 to observe the policing of native populations and the conduct of the ongoing civil war. Among these were a contingent of ECOSEAS monitors operating from out of the ECOSEAS peacekeeping zone who had been allowed access under threat of heavy sanctions and blockade. On 4 February 2018, on the way to inspect a purported prison camp just outside of the occupation zone in Mojadulto with a Zahavan military escort, ECOSEAS monitors were turned back by government forces citing a no-go zone for foreign nationals. After withdrawing back towards a forest that divided the occupation zone from government-controlled Mojadulto to bypass the checkpoints, the monitor's Zahavan escorts used a drone to inspect the area near the location of the prison. The team discovered a death camp embedded in a forest, with thousands of prisoners housed in huts flanked by piles of murdered natives. The camp was visibly guarded by the Santa Magdalenian police and soldiers. Analysts at the time were uncertain as to whether the death camps were specifically targeting natives in general or if they were camps for political prisoners and insurgents, although since peacekeepers have found evidence of both types of camps. After returning to the peacekeeping zone, footage of the camps was passed up to peacekeeping command. With the footage being released to the media soon after and circulated worldwide, it was announced on 10 Feruary 2018 that the joint peacekeeping mission would be expanded from just the southwest region of the country to include the east as well.
President Torrero denounced the peacekeepers as foreign invaders, questioning the validity of the footage attained by ECOSEAS monitors and labelling the action as a violent overthrow of his sovereign government. However, the ECOSEAS diplomats did not back down, stating that they would be going forward with a mandate expansion in response to evidence of an ongoing genocide of the Rarámuri and Muysca peoples. The peacekeeping corps was expanded to also include SiWallqanqan forces. Meanwhile, several other participants increased their commitments to the mission, chief among these being the Zahavan contingent. The Tiperyn and Modrovian governments stated that they had analyzed the footage and were unconvinced that the camps were not prison camps for terrorists and that they would be maintaining their military deployments in privileged provinces to keep the peacekeeping operation contained. However, much of the public opposition to the peacekeeping operation disappeared during this period, with the Kayan government in particular withdrawing their opposition after it independently verified the drone footage to be genuine.
ECOSEAS forces broke the cordon on 10 April 2018, advancing forces into the province of Mojadulto. While the mission itself was still referred to as peacekeeping, with the objective of separating government forces from native-dominant non-privileged provinces entirely, the operation took on a more military character with heavy mechanization, motorization, and light air support. The task force encountered light resistance from Santa Magdalenian federal police and ethnically Agranian paramilitaries in Mojadulto, the main contingent of police and military withdrawing north into Río de Oro and Mojadoza. Stiffer resistance was encountered as coalition forces entered Río de Oro, with the push to expand the cordon zone more resembling a large scale military offensive against prepared defensive positions. As of 2020 the coalition is currently battling with government forces in the rain forests of Mojadulto, as well as defending against sporadic attempts by the government to break the cordon. Additionally, the coalition has had to take on the secondary mission of separating nationalist and communist native militia groups within the cordon who had broken their non-hostility agreements in late 2019 and actively attacked each other. In early 2020 Baileneu Ma began taking in large amounts of native refugees displaced by the civil war, with local militias being tasked with maintaining security at the border in order to ensure the safe passage of migrants. Baileneu Ma has also began training native nationalist groups in guerrilla warfare techniques in order to assist other ECOSEAS nations in their efforts with the civil war.
In 2021 Osorra Mining Corporation signed a 400 million dollar contract with Konzdor to protect mining infrastructure in the country. The corporation urged the PMC not to support "either side" and simply protect economically vital assets until a peace deal can be attained. Osorra has offered several times to hold peace negotiations between ECOSEAS and the Santa Mag government.
Government and politics
The Santa Magdalenian government is an asymmetrically federative semi-presidential republic. Santa Magdalena is considered to be an illiberal democracy due to policies that heavily restrict the representation of the native population, the suppression of opposition parties and the nearly unbridled de facto power of the Presidency.
The federal government consists of the Office of the President (Executive), High Chamber and Cabinet Ministries (Legislative) and Constitutional Court (Judiciary).
The President acts as the head of state and is elected by popular vote among the four privileged provinces to five-year terms with no term limits. The head of states holds broad executive powers over the military and law enforcement in order to enforce federal law passed by through legislation and policies pass by federal agencies. The President also approves all legislation passed by the High Chamber, holds unlimited veto power on bills approved by the Noble Council, and may declares states of emergency or war without legislative approval. They may also make unilateral foreign policy decisions that can supersede those made in the High Chamber if contradictory. The current President is Maximiliano Torrero who succeeded his father Jorge Torrero in 1994.
Meanwhile, the High Chamber is the legislative body of federal government. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Noble Council—the upper house—and the People's Council—the lower house.
The People's Council consists of 300 Deputies representing all 39 parishes and is chaired by the First Minister—the leader of the majority party—who also acts as the deputy head of government. It is primarily responsible for the drafting of legislation and conducting Constitutional Inquiries, which are essentially non-binding federal investigations. Most bills originate in the People's Council, including annual appropriations, which may be approved by a majority vote to be passed on to the Noble Council for editing and a vote. Thus, although the People's Council is integral in the formation of laws, the lower house does not actually vote on the final bill that may become law. The composition of the People's Council is pegged to the presidential election, with individual parties organizing a closed list of candidates that it may appoint to fill their allocated seats. In the nation's four privileged provinces—typically dominated by ethnic Agranians—the allocation of seats is directly proportional to their population. The remaining five provinces are classified as non-privileged, with only 18% of seats being allocated to them despite housing approximately 50% of the population. This system has largely led to further stratification along lines of race, as ethnic Agranians may self-select to live in over-represented areas and while natives are heavily restricted in their movement. Additionally, states of emergency and war allow the President to adjust the composition of the People's Council during the entire duration of the emergency. For example, as of 2018, the native-dominant province of Mojadoza in northwestern Santa Magdalena has been barred from sending Deputies to the People's Council due to the outbreak of civil war localized to that region, with its 12 Deputies being suspended. These seats were redistributed to the other provinces.
The Noble Council consists of 72 Envoys representing 24 parishes within the four privileged provinces, with three Envoys allocated per parish. Parishes from the non-privileged provinces are not represented in the Noble Council. Envoys are selected by a caucus of citizens in the privileged provinces. To qualify to attend a caucus meeting, individuals must be land-owning citizens of Santa Magdalena, university graduates and own assets above a pre-determined inflation-adjusted figure. Considered to be the "informed body", the Noble Council is responsible for taking the draft bills drafted by the People's Council and turning them into laws. The Noble Council is chaired by the Premier, who is elected by the Envoys themselves—in practice the leader of the majority party in the Noble Council—and acts as the head of government. The Premier appoints Cabinet Ministers from the Noble Council to head the various federal departments, although these appointments may be vetoed by the President who may then make their appointments from either the Noble Council or People's Council after addressing a joint session of the High Chamber.
The Constitutional Court is the highest court in Santa Magdalena and deals with issues of constitutionality with regards to laws passed by the High Chamber and signed by the President, as well as executive decrees issued by the President. The Constitutional Court consists of seven judges who are appointed to 10 year terms by the President with the option for re-appointment. Judges may only be removed from the court with both the President's approval and a majority vote in the Noble Council. The court differs from lower courts in that it is not an appellate court, it does not hear criminal matters and does it hear cases of constitutionality brought forth by private citizens. Bureaucrats employed by the court screen all legislation and decrees issued, referring any suspect policies to the court's judges.