• Categories
  • Archives

Bolivian Protesters Take Ministers Hostage in Defense of Brazil

The border between Bolivia and Brazil has been closed since midnight, April 18, and remained closed Wednesday, April 19. Demonstrators closed the road between Arroyo Concepción in Bolivia and Corumbá in Brazil.

The demonstrators are protesting the refusal of the Bolivian government to permit a Brazilian consortium, EBX, to build a steel mill.

According to local Brazilian officials, no Brazilian police are involved in the demonstration, which is taking place on the Bolivian side of the border.

Besides blocking the border, protesters took the Bolivian ministers of Planning, Carlos Villegas, Economic Development, Celinda Sosa, and Mining, Walter Villarroel, hostage in the city of Porto Suarez, located some 100 kilometers from the border with Brazil.

Later reports are that the ministers were all rescued without anyone being injured.

The ministers were taken hostage by protesters who have been demonstrating in ten Bolivian municipalities, demanding that the Bolivian government permit a Brazilian holding company, EBX, to build a steel mill in the Germán Busch of Santa Cruz province.

The official Bolivian position regarding the EBX endeavor was expressed by the vice minister of Government, Rafael Puente, who said:

"The company is clearly illegal and they want to implant [a steel mill] in an area where such activity is expressly prohibited by the Constitution."

The area, according to the minister, is a forest reserve and he went on to say that the government would not bow to pressure from the population of Porto Suarez as that "would mean a violation of the Constitution."

In a note, EBX Siderurgia de Bolivia S.A., a Brazilian-controlled holding company which seeks to build a steel mill in Provincia Germán Busch de Santa Cruz, in Bolivia, says that the enterprise is "completely sustainable, in that it uses only local natural resources, and ecologically friendly."

The note goes on to say that it is, contrary to what the vice minister of Government, Rafael Puente, says, a legally constituted firm, duly registered in Bolivia where it pays taxes.

The note explains that EBX is active in mining, metals, energy, forestry, water and sanitation.

EBX complains that the government of Evo Morales has not given it an opportunity to explain its steel mill project and that local authorities have made it difficult for the firm to get an environmental license. EBX goes on to say that the project was discussed at length with the former government of Bolivia.

The EBX steel mill project will cost an estimated US$ 268 million and create 620 direct jobs and another 5,000 indirect jobs.

Agência Brasil

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazilian Congress Wants Access to Corruption-Linked Adman’s Account in the US

Senator DelcÀ­dio Amaral, from the Workers Party of Mato Grosso do Sul state, president ...

Brazil Wants World to Accept Abrolhos Park as Protected Area

Recognition of a an area in Brazil comprising five million hectares, including the Abrolhos ...

Lula Gives the IDB Lots of Ideas on How to Help Brazil

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva asked Thursday, February 16, the Inter-American Development ...

Charming Duo

Just a few days apart in October, Pope John Paul II and President Bill ...

Brazil to Break Record in Beef Exporting Despite Foot and Mouth Disease

Abattoir activity in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the country’s second ...

José Marcolino and family by Sérgio Tomizaki/Agência Meios

Recycling in Brazil Becomes Ticket Out of Poverty and Inspires World

When he was unemployed, after years working as a welder, 49-year-old José Marcolino da ...

It’s April in Brazil. Time for Invasions, Road Blocking, Marches by the Landless

Brazil’s MST, the Landless Rural Worker Movement has been demonstrating since the beginning of ...

Brazil’s Lula and Iraq

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made a public statement lamenting the onset of ...

World of High Decoration Gathers in Brazil for Abimad Fair

Abimad, the Brazilian High-End Furniture Manufacturers Association  and Apex-Brazil, the Brazilian Export and Investment ...

Lula Sends New Minimum Wage Bill to Brazilian Congress

In a formal ceremony today, Brazilian ministers Jaques Wagner, the head of the Secretariat ...