El Diario reports:
Incessant fire, devastation and death
EU: Fire in Chiquitania is a dire situation
The head of business of the United States Embassy, Bruce Williamson, reiterated that the Trump administration is on the lookout for more help request from Bolivia. The country’s Foreign Ministry informed the diplomatic corps about the situation in Roboré
The European Union (EU), through its ambassador to Bolivia, León de la Torre Krais, expressed concern about the uncontrollable fires that have been raging in Chiquitania since the beginning of August and said that it is a dire situation that is going through this region. He also said that the national disaster declaration has technical aspects that would allow access to other types of assistance; however, he reiterated that European countries are in solidarity with the tragedy that the east of our country is experiencing.
“It is a very dire situation. The weather situation is adverse. The declaration (of national disaster) has some technical aspects that allow access to other types of aid,” said the diplomatic representative.
Yesterday, in the city of La Paz, the chancellor of Bolivia, Diego Pary, met with the diplomatic corps accredited in Bolivia to those who informed them about the actions carried out by the central government to deal with the emergency and alleviate the fire and heat sources in the Chiquitania, taking into account that several countries and international organizations sent aid to Bolivia without the central government declaring a national disaster.
“Today (yesterday) [9/12/2019] we had the presence of all accredited Ambassadors in Bolivia and it is the example of the teamwork we are doing (…). We are working on the Prevention, Mitigation and Reforestation Plan,” said Pary.
For León de la Torre, the situation is worrisome and the consultation of journalists in the sense of what the national disaster declaration implies, the diplomat stressed that the figure can activate mechanisms with which [Bolivia] now does not have, however, said the fact that the Government of Bolivia has not declared a disaster or national emergency to the European Union, it does not affect the aid it may grant to Bolivia.
“It doesn’t exactly matter to us (.) The European Union has not been affected. With the request of the current situation we have been able to respond and we have declared solidarity with Bolivia since day one,” said de la Torre and added that in that line the European countries sent 56 experts to put out forest fires and yesterday another group joined.
The Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Bolivia, Bruce Williamson, also expressed concern about the fires in Chiquitania and said that “the fires have to be extinguished.”
“As an Embassy and as a country, we are happy to support the efforts of the Bolivian community (as well as) the various governments in firefighting efforts in the eastern part of the country,” said Williamson.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Diego Pary reported that until yesterday, the central government spent around $15 million dollars on work to put out the fires and international economic aid reached $2 million dollars.
According to official data, heat sources in Chiquitania dropped from 8,461, on August 17, to 634 until yesterday.
In the San Ignacio de Velasco Command, 181 operations were carried out; in Concepcion, 108; in Puerto Suárez, 88 and in Roboré, 449, making a total of 825 ground operations.
Among the ships operating in the region of the fire are the Supertanker plane that to date made 76 discharges with a total of 5,700,000 liters of water, the Russian Ilyushin, who recently arrived in the country, already made five discharges with a total of 200,000 liters of water.
At present, 193 operating vehicles, 40 tanks, 25 ambulances, 19 aircraft and 5,535 people operate in the eastern region, including experts, volunteers, firefighters, soldiers of the Armed Forces and the Police.
Bolivian Thoughts opinion: evo’s main concern is to remain in power, at all cost, despite loosing a Referendum that said NO more to him. evo’s government was extremely slow and incompetent at the time of allowing international aid to enter the country. He refuses to issue the Declaration of a National Disaster because he fears that by doing it, he would loose some votes in the upcoming election. Furthermore, he does not want international teams that would arrive, to start obtaining information to assess the causes of these fires. He offered land to coca growers and cattle ranchers, he needs to get money as natural gas exports evaporated as he failed to find gas to replenish our depleted reserves.