Bolivia and Peru Strengthen Historic Ties in Binational Cabinet Meeting

The President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, visited Bolivia to lead, together with President Luis Arce, a meeting between the ministries of the two countries. They signed 10 agreements, in order to coordinate tasks for the benefit of the peoples on both sides of the border.

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, arrived in the city of La Paz to lead, together with President Luis Arce, the binational cabinet meeting between the two countries. They signed agreements for the period 2021-2022 on environmental issues, hydrocarbons, culture and also on Lake Titicaca, which both countries share. The meeting was marked by the vindication of the indigenous roots carried out by the two leaders.

Castillo arrived at El Alto International Airport on the morning of Saturday, October 30. Officials from both countries had been working for weeks on the agreements that were signed in the afternoon at the Bolivian presidential palace Casa Grande del Pueblo, in downtown La Paz.

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“For us it is extremely important to reaffirm our identity,” Castillo said before starting the meeting with Arce and his officials. “We are brothers, we have been brothers because we share the same soil, the same history, the same dream, the same hope.”

“We do not see the territorial limits between Peru and Bolivia,” said President Castillo. In addition, he commented that the objective of the meeting was “to work on very important issues, so that the people feel it. So that the men and women of this binational space know that there is a cabinet on both sides, that are concerned about children, families, vulnerable peoples.”

After reception at the El Alto airport, Castillo descended the highway to the city of La Paz. In Plaza Murillo, where the presidential building is located, he shook Arce’s hand.

Together they delivered a wreath at the La Paz Cathedral of Andrés de Santa Cruz and Calahumana, a historical figure shared by both countries. Born in La Paz, this soldier was the president of Bolivia, also protector of Peru and protector of the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation, which united both nations between the turbulent years of 1836 and 1839, when the institutionality of the Latin American states began to consolidate.

The formal ceremony continued with the official photo, which was taken in the Plaza Murillo, with the buildings of the Casa Grande del Pueblo and the Plurinational Legislative Assembly in the background. The Peruvian residents’ association had gathered there to encourage the Peruvian president, and also Arce. “Lucho and Pedro: one heart,” they chanted.

After the photo, both presidents greeted the Peruvian residents of Bolivia, who put flower necklaces on them, took photos, and conveyed their support. Thereafter, the officials from both countries entered the government headquarters to continue the planned work.

10 binational agreements
The governments of Peru and Bolivia signed 10 agreements, on issues of interest to both countries. Two of the agreements were on the protection of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, at 3,800 meters above the sea level. In recent years, the lake of 36,000 hectares of water has been affected by climate change, which is manifested in a steep reduction in rainfall in this area. Added to this is pollution by sewage from cities, as well as the dumping of waste products of mining activity.

Four documents are on inter-institutional cooperation between the Ministry of Hydrocarbons of Bolivia and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Peru. One of them allows the commercialization of Bolivian LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) in Peru.

Another agreement advances energy integration between Bolivia and Peru through the interconnection of gas pipelines, as well as the construction and operation of natural gas distribution networks in Peruvian border towns.

Another agrrement was reached, which will allow the urea produced at the Cochabamba factory to be sold to Peru for agricultural use.

And a perhaps anecdotal point: Bolivia and Peru are in permanent debate over the ownership of certain folk dances, such as the Diablada and the Morenada. In order to avoid future cultural friction, an inter-institutional cooperation agreement was signed between the Bolivian National Service of Intellectual Property (SENAPI) and the Peruvian National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI).

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Two centuries of fraternal relations
“We are successfully completing our sixth binational cabinet in Bolivia and Peru,” declared Arce after the meeting ended in the afternoon. “After three years, it is a great satisfaction to receive in Bolivia a president of the Republic of Peru.”

The Bolivian president stressed that, on this occasion “we celebrate 195 years of establishment of our diplomatic relations, which have been developed within the framework of friendship, understanding, and mutual respect between our peoples.”

Arce recalled that since 1879 Bolivia lost its sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean, when the department of Litoral was taken from it by the Republic of Chile through war. Peru too lost some of its southern territories in that war. Referring to this, President Arce stressed that the relationship with Peru allows “Bolivia to connect to the Pacific and expand our trade through the port of Ilo.”

He emphasized that the brotherhood between the two countries comes “from the deep roots shared between our indigenous peoples, who are protagonists in the changes in the development model, which reinforce the construction of spaces where brotherhood, peace and life prevail.”

Before the arrival of the Spanish monarchy in this region, the territories that are now Peru and Bolivia were part of the same empire: the Tawantinsuyu, the country of the Incas, Aymaras and Quechuas.

After the signing of the 10 agreements, President Arce conferred upon Castillo the Cóndor de los Andes, the highest recognition that the Plurinational State of Bolivia gives to people from any country, for outstanding services rendered to Bolivia and humanity.

“Today I carry Bolivia in my heart, and I am going to take her to my homeland for a common ideal, which is to strengthen our historical ties of brotherhood,” President Castillo said as he received the honor.

“This recognition confirms our commitment to continue working for the development and progress of our peoples,” Castillo added. He stressed that the work of the binational cabinet “will allow us to advance and strengthen our mutual agreements, placing special emphasis on improving the living conditions of the populations that live on both sides of our borders.”


Featured image: Peruvian President Pedro Castillo (left) and Bolivian President Luis Arce (right) greet each other. Photo: Reuters / Claudia Morales

(Mundo Sputnik) by Sebastián Ochoa

Translation: Orinoco Tribune




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