The Brazilian government is studying the implementation of development policies for frontier regions. According to the Minister of National Integration, Ciro Gomes, one of the ideas is to develop the Statute of the Border Citizen, which would be a means to create sustainable economic alternatives for the population that lives in frontier regions.
Brazil shares borders with 10 other South American countries. The 15 thousand kilometers of frontier coincide with 570 municipalities in eleven states, with a total population of approximately 10 million people.
Gomes participated today in the seminar “Border Strip – Integration, Development, and National Defense,” held in the Chamber of Deputies, in Brasília.
The Minister underscored, as well, the infrastructure projects for the frontier region.
“Brazil used to turn its back on its South American frontiers. President Lula’s determination is the reverse. We are launching various elements of physical structure: two bridges to Venezuela; an extension on the Mercosur border in the direction of the Pacific; railways; and the interconnection of energy systems. All this will provide an incentive that will enable us to consider ourselves one big South American community,” he pointed out.
Gomes affirmed that his Ministry has worked in conjunction with the Ministries of Foreign Relations and Defense. According to him, one of the things the Brazilian government decided was to divide the border strip by region: North, Center, and South.
For the president of the Commission on the Amazon, National Integration, and Regional Development, Júnior Betão (PPS-AC), the frontier region corresponds to 27% of Brazilian territory, and the inhabitants present a lower human development index (HDI) than the national average.
The HDI measures the population’s quality of life. “That is why it is necessary to have a definite policy for an area that has everything to do with national security,” he added.
Translator: David Silberstein