Amazon Road Construction Resumed at $2.18 Million Per Mile
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