Serious environmental damage in Pilcomayo river basin

El Dia flags a serious environmental damage that not only affects indigenous habitants close to the Pilcomayo basin but also endangers our wildlife and economy. This is one issue that current government needs to tackle fast; get their facts straight, and even more if it is a “binational project” between Argentina and Paraguay; it is strange that a binational project could take place when it touches another country’s rights. If current Bolivian government preaches its excellent relations with that of Argentina, then, it is time to act!

‘Pantaleon’ binational project

The Pilcomayo almost without Sabalo (Shad) because of a Paraguayan project

Action. Identifies the diversion of the waters as a cause of the fish death-toll.

The second captain of the Weenhayek Captaincies organization and Tapieté of Tarija (ORKAWETA), Jacinto Hugarte, pointed out that the Government told them that it cannot intervene in the Pantaleón project that diverted the waters of the Pilcomayo River to the Paraguay. That is why the indigenous people announced to cease fishing because the Sabalo [Tarpon, Shad] begins to fade.

Danger. To Hugarte the problem is greater as the Shad will eventually not reach the markets in the country, because of that, he asks the authorities the implementation of sustainable projects, so that indigenous people do not beg in the cities.

“The Chancellor (David Choquehuanca) told us in La Paz that they could do their best endeavours, but there is no particular territory available, so there is no hope.” “Shad fishing has come to an end for Bolivia and we hope what is what nature can do,” said the indigenous person.

Meeting. Indigenous Peoples recently held a meeting with the native Wichis from Argentina in Foromosa, which addressed the problem of the Pilcomayo. Hugarte told that the situation in the neighboring country is more critical, because people drive their motorcycles into the Pilcomayo channel because the water level began to descend and go fishing to Paraguay. He added that many meetings are held, because the decision to bring resolution to this conflict depends on the political will of Paraguay and Argentina.

“Everything depends on the willingness of the Government of Paraguay”. “That country has a bi-national project (Pantaleon) with Argentina and they defend it to the death.”

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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