Current Bolivian central government does exactly the opposite to its “political discourse”, the so-called environment protector is aiming at the destruction of our forest. A good Editorial from El Diario:
Is Bolivia returning to colonial depredation?
About ten years ago, several patriotic citizens denounced the Mutún iron ore deposit was being exploited by the Brazilian company EBX, which in order to smelt the ore in furnaces used charcoal produced from semiforested surrounding areas. The complaint caused the firm to be expelled from the region, the main cause for this decision was for producing charcoal, causing extensive damage to the regional ecology.
Great event! The EBX was expelled from the country in defense of plant and mineral wealth of the country, announcing at the same time, that in the future, the state would take over the Mutun operation, and that the possibility that the wealth of the Chaco forest to be used to produce the charcoal needed for iron smelting was suspended definitely.
But what is happening now after the failed contract with the dubious Indian firm Jindal Steel & Power Limited?
Indeed, the state steel company named Empresa Siderurgica Mutún (ESM) announced, by way of “planning” through its Manager, that it shall melt iron in this field and for this, will use charcoal in the same way EBX did ten years ago, that is based on the production of charcoal obtained by burning rain forests of wood all in handmade kilns of the most rudimentary technology [thus, not efficient and highly pollutant]. In short, an extraordinary destruction of the forest environment, meaning that the state company ESM will do exactly what the EBX was criticized for, with the aggravating circumstance that would be repeating the mistake. [ochlocracy has no limits, just incompetence!]
Confirming the implementation of this system, the state reported that Mutún Steel began work on “socialization” with Germán Busch Province and the Chaco, to indigenous communities and farmers of these areas to produce charcoal, which will serve as reactor for use in the high steel furnaces used by the Brazilian company operating in the free zone of Puerto Suarez and now it is not known whether they are state-owned or remain as EBX property.
It is worth remembering that the needs of charcoal for smelting furnaces truly reach considerable proportions and therefore the state company ESM authorize and facilitate the deforestation of large areas with sparse forests and fragile lands, which over the short to long term, will become deserts of sand, as it was already happening years ago. It adds that the production of charcoal as a reductor, by small farmers in the region, not only made around the Mutún hill but extend to all other regions of Chaco and Santa Cruz and also was said that “state-of-the-art technology will be used”! for such predator project.
Alarmingly, on the one hand, government agencies take action at all contrary to the claims in defense of “Mother Earth”, meaning that while they say one thing, they do the opposite and her words have no worth, just the facts. Also, surprisingly, in Mutún now change the state initiative of the reduction system with gas furnace and uses charcoal as reductor, which would confirm that there is currently no surplus quantity of gas to meet domestic needs and exports to Brazil and Argentina.
Finally, we note that the shift in the colonial Mutún case and many others, in Bolivia the policy has resulted in politics, as the defense of natural resources is becoming in the ruthless destruction thereof.