Brazil and Bolivia decided to establish a technical group to evaluate property holdings along their border. During Monday’s, May 22, meeting between the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, and the Bolivian chancellor, David Choquehuanca, one of the items on the agenda was the question of landholdings.
The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, decreed changes in the country’s laws in order to declare unoccupied or illegally occupied lands susceptible to agrarian reform. Since the decision affects Brazilians who live in the border region, the two governments will accompany the process.
Brazilian soybean farmers have already expressed their concern about losing their land, but minister Amorim said that those who possess productive farms and legitimate deeds have no need to worry.
"The soybean producers can remain calm, because they are productive and have legitimate deeds. The problem involves the border properties and unoccupied lands considered of interest for agrarian reform," he said.
"The territory is Bolivian, and it is their decision. But the creation of a work group is very positive, because it will allow us to argue in favor of our Brazilians and follow up on everything that is reasonable on their behalf," Amorim stated.
According to the National Association of Oilseed Producers (ANAPO), which is based in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de La Sierra, Brazilians account for 40% of the Bolivian soybean crop, which represents 14% of Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).