Bolivia turns to Brazil for drug war aid

Brazil agreed Jan. 15 to provide assistance to Bolivia to combat drug trafficking, taking up slack following the ouster of the US DEA from the Andean country last year. Meeting in the vast wetlands along the Bolivia-Brazil border, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva said he would grant Bolivian leader Evo Morales’ request for helicopters and other support to patrol the porous frontier that is a major cocaine-trafficking route from the Andes. “I want us to fight drugs together,” said Morales.

The meeting also highlighted construction of a new highway that will link landlocked Bolivia with the Atlantic and Pacific oceans when the last stretch is finished later this year. At the meeting, the two presidents inaugurated about 240 kilometers of newly paved highway between the border town of Arroyo Concepción and Roboré in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz department. The $170 million project was financed by the Andean Development Corporation. When the last 80 kilometers are completed later this year, the road will link Brazil’s port of Santos on the Atlantic coast with the Pacific port of Arequipa, Peru, and Iquique, Chile.

The meeting was something of a public relations coup for Brazil, which is eager to reward Bolivia for maintaining the supply of natural gas—and to showcase its development aid, as other South American countries like Ecuador and Paraguay consider renegotiating debt with Brazil. Odebrecht, one of three Brazilian companies that built the new trans-oceanic road, was ousted from Ecuador last year over a contractual dispute. “We won’t have lasting prosperity if all our South American brothers don’t have prosperity as well,” Lula said.

Lula also expressed support for Bolivia’s pending new constitution at the meeting, where Morales’ aides distributed miniature copies of the draft document he hopes will be approved in a Jan. 25 referendum. “Evo is giving an example of democracy that many of his predecessors didn’t,” said Lula, likening Morales to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela for bringing a long-oppressed majority to power. (Reuters, Jan. 15)

See our last post on Bolivia.

  1. Bolivia turns to Brazil
    Mr. Lula: I am sorry but to liken Mr. Morales to Nelson Mandela is completely absurd. There are few leaders in the world of the caliber of Mandela. Morales is not one of them. He is not bringing the “long oppressed majority” to power but himself and his cronies – a bunch of totally corrupt individuals very much like the former politicians of this grossly abused country.

    Morales had the historical chance to become a Latin American Mandela – he did not grasp it. Instead, he managed to completely divide the country, he is not a democrat, he hates the freedom of speech, and is only interested in perpetuating his position as president of Bolivia.

    Morales has all the makings of a tyrant, and since he does not read books, he does not know that tyrants have never lasted anywhere. One day his own followers will turn against him and apply the type of justice he so staunchly defends – the archaic communal justice (“justicia comunitaria”) which accepts lynching as a method of punishment even for minor wrongdoings such as stealing.

    1. Evil propaganda
      OK, give us some documentation that Evo supports lynching. Right now, Wolfgang. Otherwise, you are invited to eat your calumnies and refrain from posting any further vicious propaganda to my website. Thank you.

      For those of us who can remember back 25 years, Mandela was called a “terrorist” and “communist” too in his day.