In 4 Years Brazil Gets Its Old Dream Road from Sea to Shining Sea

The presidents of Peru, Bolivia and Brazil inaugurated a US$ 810 million highway project to connect Brazil’s Atlantic coast to Peru’s Pacific port before the end of the decade.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Bolivia’s Eduardo Rodriguez and Peru’s Alejandro Toledo traveled to the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado in Peru’s southeast Amazon for groundbreaking ceremony.


“Today we are starting the physical integration of our nations,” Lula da Silva said in a speech carried live on Peru’s government-run Channel 7.


“The physical integration of South America is an urgent demand so that our region comes together to compete in the globalized economy.”


Toledo said the Transoceanic 2,500-mile highway would increase commerce and boost Peru’s economy by $1 billion a year.


A paved highway extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the jungle town of Assis, on the Brazilian side of the Rio Acre, which marks the border between Peru and Brazil.


But on the other side of the river, the path turns to dirt and mud as it winds from the Peruvian border town of Inapari into the lush Peruvian jungle and on toward the Andes Mountains and the Pacific coast beyond.


Lula da Silva and Toledo met in Assis in August 2004, and signed a deal for Brazil to help fund construction of a highway over the 680 miles between Inapari and Peru’s ports of Matarani, Ilo and Marcona.


The highway is expected to take four years to complete and will allow Brazil to transport products to Peruvian ports for transfer to its markets in Asia.


It will also allow landlocked Bolivia access to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.


“As a Bolivian, in the name of all my countrymen, I say thank you very much,” Rodriguez told his Peruvian and Brazilian counterparts.


But not everyone is pleased with the prospect of a coast-to-coast thoroughfare.


Environmentalists fear a paved highway cutting through Peru’s virgin rain forest will expose the Amazon to farmers and loggers who, with better access, could deforest the jungle with greater speed.


This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Guest

    Citizen
    Re.last comment, Make the road, and if loggers deforest…beyond what it is legal arrest them.” Sure, since we all know the long and incorruptible arm of the law scrupulously punishes every incidence of illegal logging, mining, poaching, etc. in Brazil and Peru. And that no legal logging, etc. ever damages the rainforest. Get real. If they build it, the loggers and landgrabbers will come, and the forest will wither, just as along every other highway.
    Here’s one suggestion to mitigate (it wouldn’t entirely stop) the destruction: a toll on the new highway dedicated to funding enforcement and other conservation measures along the route.

  • Guest

    Note to Presidente LULA:
    Note to Presidente LULA: While you’re up for creating a new Atlantic-Pacific road, how about taking the extra step of, oh, I don’t know, making the roads more than two frickin’ lanes? Brasil has no viable train system for moving goods and cargo, and so immense (and immensely slow) trucks galore dominate the two-lane (yes, one lane each way) so-called “highways” of Brasil, especially in the western states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, etc. Your society will thrive MUCH MORE QUICKLY if people and goods can be made more mobile by improved transportation systems such as larger and better roads (not to mention trains). Trade usually requires trading over a *distance* and, well, that’s what roads are for. Poor roads means poor ability to trade, with the result that the desired march to prosperity is kept sluggish (if not stagnated) for several more generations, all the while much of the rest of the world rockets even further ahead of Brasil economically.

  • Guest

    Amazon concern in last sentence of above
    Caralho, what the hell is the point of preseving a few more acres of jungle at the cost of inhibiting millions of citizens in 3 countries (Peru, Bolivia, Brasil) from improving their standard of living via increased trade and facilitated transportion? Make the road, and if loggers deforest the surrounding woodlands/jungle/forest beyond what is legal, arrest them. Simple as that.

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