The possibility of an intricate road Darien jungle area of establishing communication between North America and South America is truncated, is one of the pressures of the global economy of Panama, the country should analyze in depth, they said experts at a forum on the topic.
The matter was discussed in the “Darien: Borders and future” forum sponsored by the City of Knowledge Foundation (FCDS), in the framework of future options in the Panamanian province of Darien and in light of integration processes underway in the continent, organizers stressed.
The director of the FCDS, Jorge Arosemena, said it is very important to open a debate on this issue of whether or not to open this jungle area known as the “Darien Gap” for joining the Pan American Highway, which runs from Alaska to Panama and Urabá (Colombia) to Patagonia, and so far, he said, it was in part “a taboo”.
Panamanian geographer Diana Laguna, a participant in the Forum, told Efe that globalization and the world economy have exerted and exert “pressure” for the interconnection of the region through the Darien.
Laguna remarked that “there are many pressures to make that connection,” but first we must discuss and analyze “if positive or not for the country, which involves the interconnection, or definitely continue with the Darien Gap theme of environmental protection and social “.
According to calculations made in Colombia and published in the local press, the cost to complete the 109-kilometer stretch of need (59 kilometers on the Colombian side of Panama and 50) would exceed $ 200 million.
The president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe said at the time his interest in land interconnect the two countries opened a road by the Darien jungle, although several sectors in Panama oppose this road interconnection for its potential environmental impact on the National Park Darien .
Darien National Park since 1980, was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1981.
Juan Moreno, economist FCDS acknowledged Efe that “is not an easy thing” to say whether future options for the Darien pass through the opening of its “jungle cap, but that it should bear in mind the context in which They’re moving big interests and the new geography of the global economy. “
Moreno added that there are many pressures on these areas and other ecosystems that have been preserved for many time, but “ideally keep those spaces with environmental efficiency policies mainly led by the Panamanian government and the locals who have inhabited these watersheds “.
In turn, Vice President of Research and Training FCDS, Guillermo Castro, said the problem is not so much a road or not Colombia, but the same situation Darien population of “backwardness, marginalization and neglect, including “.
Still, Castro acknowledged to be taken a decision on the possibility of that road interconnection, but, he stressed, “should be as well-informed decisions as possible and reach those decisions through a public debate as participatory as possible “.
Castro went further and said that without such interconnection “in fact there is already a constant in Darien terrestrial communication beyond the control of the State” with the passage of illegal immigrants from South America and extracontinental origin.
Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado
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