The Bolivian Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration, dependent on the Foreign Ministry, Benjamín Blanco, stressed yesterday that both nations share a firm political will and have the necessary budget to materialize the international bridge construction project. Bolivia shares more than 3,000 kilometers of border with Brazil in the Amazon region.
“I want to confirm that the construction of the bridge is a priority, not only with the best conditions but as soon as possible. “It is an emergency issue and it is a priority for the Government,” he explained.
At the meeting held in Guayaramerín it was reported that an important technical meeting would be held today, Wednesday, between the specialized teams from Brazil and Bolivia, led by the Ministry of Public Works.
The purpose of this meeting is to define the necessary specifications for the construction of the binational bridge – more than a kilometer in length – that will extend over the Amazonian Mamoré River, connecting the regions of Guayaramerín in Beni, Bolivia, and Guajará Mirín, in Brazil.
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The vice minister highlighted that at the moment both governments are in the process of exchanging technical information, both on the Brazilian side – which sent the technical proposal – and on the Bolivian side – on behalf of the Ministry of Public Works – which made the corresponding technical observations. according to the procedures established for the construction of this work.
Furthermore, Blanco explained that the new bidding process (since the previous one was canceled last July) must be approved by the Joint Commission of Brazil and Bolivia, to be implemented after the approval of the technical proposal. And he announced that the local authorities of Beni and Guayaramerín will be summoned to this process.
The binational bridge, whose construction will require more than 50 million dollars, will be carried out by Brazil as part of the commitments assumed by that country in the Treaty of Petropolis of 1903, which defined the current border limits between both nations.
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Demonstrations in favor of the binational bridge
The residents of the municipality of Guayaramerín, in the Amazonian department of Beni (north), are protesting to demand speed in the construction of the aforementioned bridge, requiring that the Bolivian Government withdraw the observations it made to Brazil’s proposal for the urgent construction of the bridge. same.
The demonstrations were concentrated in the port terminal of Guayaramerín and in Trinidad, the capital city of the Beni department. Furthermore, the national media reported that Blanco and the Minister of Public Works, Édgar Montaño, were detained in Guayamerín until early Tuesday morning by protesters, who demanded that Bolivia immediately withdraw its observations.
Given these events, both Blanco and Montaño had to show a series of documents before the Bolivia TV cameras explaining that Brazil had unilaterally suspended the tender last July for the construction of the work, a month before the Bolivian Foreign Ministry sent the report. technical with the observations requested by the counterpart.
In this framework, the Bolivian Government stated that a technical meeting is planned with the Brazilian authorities to make the project viable as soon as possible.