Bolivia's Minister of Public Works, Édgar Montaño, Monday rated Chilean senator José Miguel Insulza's comments urging to resume the test of the La Paz-Arica railroad as “irresponsible.”
Testing had been halted last week due to pressure from Bolivian lorry drivers. Insulza had regretted the suspension of the test and recalled that the section had been delivered to Bolivia as part of the compensation for the maritime loss in the 1904 Treaty. He stated that he expects a momentary suspension and that the initiative be resumed, due to its importance to the economy of the region.
Montaño criticized Insulza because he considered the Chilean lawmaker lacked sufficient information to make such a statement: “I want to tell the Chilean senator, who gave his opinion on the Arica-Visviri issue that corresponds to Chileans, to look at the books of their economy, they have not yet granted that section. What can this senator speak? Irresponsible, in addition to that because obviously before giving an opinion on economic issues and on the issue of the Peace Treaty, he must review why his government has not granted this section so far,” the Bolivian Minister stressed.
He also pointed out that the suspension of the test was a decision of the same railway company in view of the slowdown in cargo shipments as a consequence of the pandemic and insisted that since carriers do not reject the train or waterways, it cannot be ruled out that the test will be carried out later.
But he underlined that before any resumption, the borders, which have been closed out of sanitary reasons amid the covid-19 crisis, need first to be reopened.