Brazilian president Lula da Silva will not be participating this week at Bolivia’s Evo Morales taking office ceremony. He will be represented by his foreign affairs advisor Marco Aurelio García, according to Valor Economico, a financial publication from Sao Paulo.
“Lula da Silva could change of idea, but in principle he will not be going to the ceremony; he believes he’s already helped the Bolivian president re-election by openly supporting him. He's willing to go back to La Paz when there are treaties to be signed”, according to Valor quoting “reliable” sources close to Planalto,
Marco Aurelio has several meetings planed with top officials from the Morales administration to consider and assess such sensitive issues as the drugs trade and arms smuggling.
Brazil’s Defence and Justice Ministries are particularly concerned with the increase of drugs coming into the country since President Morales expelled the US Drugs Enforcement Agency, DEA, from Bolivia.
Another pending issue is the signing of several agreements between La Paz and Brasilia for their enactment at the end of this year and beginning of 2011, which is after President Lula da Silva leaves office.
Brazil is also waiting for the final draft of the Hydrocarbons bill before it confirms investment plans in the area. Bolivia’s leading export is natural gas and Brazil the country’s main client. But both countries have clashed over the nationalization policies of President Morales that included much of the assets and investments made by Petrobras in Bolivia.
Besides the Brazilian company Brasken has plans to invest over 2 billion US dollars in Bolivia in the coming five years. Brasken with its 18 plants in Brazil produces 11 million tons annually of thermoplastic resins and basic petrochemicals.