The name of the game is INFRASTRUCTURE FOR DEEPER INTEGRATION IN SOUTH AMERICA. Also known as IIRSA.
“The Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA) is a bold effort by the governments of South America to construct a new infrastructure network for the continent, including roads, waterways, ports, and energy and communications interconnections.Many of the projects seek to provide road and river outlets to ocean ports, with the goal of providing incentives to increase exports of primary materials such as soybeans and other grains, timber, and minerals. ” (from http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/latin-america/iirsa)
Roads and rivers would be used to facilitate easier trade.
Dr. Pitou van Dijck, is stating in his article:
“The rise of China, however, not only contributes to Brazil’s export potential but may also jeopardize Brazil’s aspirations of becoming a platform for automobile assembly for the international market. Indeed, IIRSA’s plans for the construction of several transcontinental roads, linking the Atlantic side of the region with the Pacific, the so-called bioceánicas, not only facilitates Latin America’s export drive but may also contribute to competition in the regional market by emerging Asian exporting industries.”
amazonwatch.org is writing about one of the aspects of the IIRSA:
“The enormous Madeira River Complex, in the tri-border region of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil is one of the Integrated Regional Infrastructure for South America’s (IIRSA) anchor projects. It would transform the Madre de Dios-Beni-Mamoré-Itenez-Madeira river system into a major corridor for energy production and raw material export. The proposal includes the construction of four hydroelectric dams, most importantly the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams in Rondônia, Brazil. Together, these two dams would produce a projected 6,450 megawatts of hydroelectricity, totaling eight percent of the Brazilian energy matrix. By comparison, this is equal to half of the electricity produced by Itaipu dam in the Brazilian state of Paraná, the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant.”
The article at amazonwatch.org goes in depth into the problematic of the projects, while the pictures in Dr. Pitou van Dijck´s article are pointing on other problems.
A personally painful project for me is IIRSA´s project “Road Interconnection: Pucallpa-Cruzeiro do Sul”. This road would be cutting through virgin rainforest where many uncontacted tribes still live.
From an open letter to Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) from BIC (Bank Information Centre) October 2009:
“In Peru the proposed road will cut through the Isconahua Territorial Reserve, an area created by the regional government of Ucayali to protect indigenous peoples that are uncontacted or living in voluntary isolation. This region has also been designated, in recognition of its national significance, as the Zona Reservada Sierra del Divisor.”