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Bolivia rescinds contract to build road through Amazon Indian reservation

Wednesday, April 11th 2012 - 02:09 UTC
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President Morales had to step back from the project financed by Brazil President Morales had to step back from the project financed by Brazil

Bolivian President Evo Morales says he is rescinding the contract of a Brazilian firm to build a controversial road through the Amazon rainforest. He accused the firm, OAS, of not complying with the terms of the deal.

The announcement casts further doubt on a road project that provoked angry anti-government protests last year.

President Morales had already suspended the most contentious section which was to pass through an indigenous rainforest reserve known as Tipnis. Now he is seeking to annul the contract to build the other two sections of the road between Villa Tunari and San Ignacio de Moxos.

“OAS suspended construction in these sections without justification or authorisation” Morales told a news conference in La Paz. He added the firm had repeatedly ignored instructions and failed to meet various contractual obligations.

Morales did not say if the road project would continue or if OAS would be compensated. There was no immediate response from the company.

Work on the central section of the road - which was to pass through the Isiboro-Secure reserve (Tipnis) - was suspended last year after a protest march by indigenous tribes.

They said it would destroy their rainforest homeland, opening it up to land grabs by coca farmers, smugglers and illegal loggers.

President Morales initially defended the highway saying it was vital for national development, but backed down as the protest gathered nationwide support.

Other communities protested in favour of the highway, saying would bring much-needed economic development to the Bolivian Amazon.

The road project was being funded by Brazil to link the Brazilian Amazon to ports on the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile.
 

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • Cruzansailor

    ...Other communities protested in favour of the highway, saying would bring much-needed economic development to the Bolivian Amazon.
    es Clear cutting, Gold Mining, Coca wars etc. It is one of the last frontiers relatively untouched b modern humans. Leave it be. Evo can fly over it with his US$27 million jet.

    Apr 12th, 2012 - 03:09 am 0
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