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Amazon Road Construction Resumed at $2.18 Million Per Mile

Posted: admin on Jan 20 | Environment, Indigenous & Culture

The biodiverse cloud forest of Chaparé near where the highway begins. Photo by David Holman

The Bolivian Roads Administration's website showing the Amazonian highway under construction and the $415 million cost..

Bolivia’s Minister of Planning, Viviana Caro said today that Brazilian company OAS will continue building segments I and III of the infamous Amazon highway that the Bolivian government had agreed not to build after a march by indigenous protestors. Now, just three months after President Evo Morales agreed to demands that the would not be built, he has ordered two thirds of  it to be built. The highway is being built by a Brazilian firm using hundreds of millions of dollars that Bolivia is borrowing from Brazil. The Bolivian Roads Administration (ABC) states the cost to the Bolivian people for this 306 kilometer (190 miles) highway will be exactly $415,000,425.39 or $2.18 million per mile.

The route begins in Evo Morales’ home town of and coca-growing capital of Villa Tunari which in the most recent census had a population of 2,510 people. The highway will presumably end in the middle of the Amazon jungle at the border of the Isiboro Securé Indigenous Territory and National Park because the highway is not going either through or around the park at this point. The highway will then resume on the other side of the Amazonian national park and continue to a small town in jungle called San Ignacio de Moxos which has a population of roughly 14,300 people. Caro said, “We are just going to built two of the three parts of the road, we will have a reduction in the costs, these are issues that the Bolivian Roads Administration will handle, afterwards we’ll see how the how to fulfill the financial contract.” Despite passing the “Short Law” that ceased the highway construction and declared the Isiboro Securé park forever inviolable, the government is brining a highway to its doorstep just three months after agreeing not to. Caro justified the highway by saying that the work is perfectly legal, since the “Short Law” passed on October 24 only prevented highways inside the national park, not leading up to it from both sides.
To learn more see the ABC website and http://www.erbol.com.bo/noticia.php?identificador=2147483954460



2 Comments so far

  1. Amazon Road Construction Resumed at $2.18 Million Per Mile | NewsoftheWorld.nu on January 20, 2012 1:49 pm

    [...] Bolivia Weekly [...]

  2. Jimmy Coughlin Romero on January 22, 2012 2:43 pm

    This matter is an outstanding example of how biased this government is, and how such an important issue that this government itself has advocated in the World Climate Summit in 2010 (Tiquipaya) can be so easily overlooked. Let alone not mentioning that the “Ley Corta” law has been already passed by the head of state.
    This highway according to the happenings “will go through regardless of anything” as those were the actual words of Morales in many important issues concerning the destiny of Bolivia and this highway itself.
    In recent years of the 6 year period of MAS, the government has been stumbling on it’s own actions on an ever increasing rate. Why, it seems that this country is a proving ground for Morales and his like? That is no mystery, he has changed the Constitution, changed many laws, an has imposed a communitary type of law, where participation of local inhabitants in rural areas is imperative and obligatory for the administering of “justice.” There seems to be no end in sight.

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