The visit by President Kuczynski to Bolivia, where he met with Evo Morales in Sucre, marks an improvement in relations between the two countries. These reached a particularly low point during the government of Alan García (2006-11), although that of Ollanta Humala (2011-16) did little to improve ties. Despite their ideological differences, Kuczynski and Morales pledged to mend fences. I am here “to promote reconciliation”, Kuczynski is quoted as saying.
Two key topics of conversation emerged at the meeting in Sucre.
The first was Peru’s support for the eventual construction of a railway linking Santos (in Brazil) with Ilo (Peru), passing through Bolivia. This seems to spell the end of a rival scheme, much touted during the Humala government, to build a railway through Brazilian and Peruvian Amazonia. This would have caused major environmental problems. Bolivia plans to ramp up its use of Ilo as a port on the Pacific as an alternative to ports in northern Chile.
The second was to act to deal with problems of environmental degradation in Lake Titicaca, the frontier between the two countries. Pollution in the lake is having major detrimental effects, chiefly the run-off from mining operations in the two countries.