The EUROsociAL+ and EUROFRONT cooperation programmes supported the organisation of this meeting on border cooperation in Titicaca
ALT, the Binational Lake Titicaca Authority set up a public meeting between authorities from Peru, Bolivia and experts in Latin American-European cooperation. Almost all those taking part agreed on two issues. The first of these was the critical climatic and socioeconomic vulnerability situation in which the region finds itself, while the second was the need for trust between the different actors that have an impact on it. “Titicaca unites us, it must be treated with respect and concrete actions” said Juan Ocola Salazar, the ALT director.
To contribute to this goal, two cooperation programmes supported the organisation of this meeting: EUROsociAL+ and EUROFRONT, both coordinated by FIIAPP and funded by the European Union. The experts were joined by representatives of the Foreign Ministries of Bolivia and Peru, local authorities on the shores of Lake Titicaca and other agents who live with its problems on a daily basis, highlighting environmental, economic and security issues. The aim is to establish a cross-border strategy for the region’s security, governance and development. To this end, a first strategy proposal was presented which had been worked on for months and which was submitted to the session for open debate.
The presence of representatives of the respective Foreign Ministries of Bolivia and Peru underlined the importance of the meeting for both countries. Eva Gloria Chuquimia, Vice Minister of Institutional and Consular Management of Bolivia, and Ambassador Ignacio Higueras, Principal Advisor to the Vice-Ministerial Office of Peru opened the meeting. In their addresses, both recalled the signing of the agreement by their respective presidents on 30 October in La Paz, where they recognised the importance of Lake Titicaca in the history of the integration of both nations, as well as for the peoples living in the region.
The meeting, held simultaneously in Copacabana and Puno, highlighted the need to act together. This will be achieved through the dialogue between nations represented by the Lake Titicaca National Authority itself, as well as by taking advantage of the synergies created between the participating European Union programmes. Such is the case of EUROFRONT and EUROsociAL+, who are seeking to strengthen institutions in Latin American countries from two complementary perspectives.
Both perspectives are clearly visible in the Lake Titicaca region. As far as EUROsociAL+’s work is concerned, the region has to ensure access to water for human consumption and basic sanitation for living, in addition to working for the consolidation of cooperation networks, the strengthening of governance structures and economic development. These same networks are also of vital importance to EUROFRONT, which works on the Desaguadero border that separates the towns of the same name in Peru and Bolivia. This border is highly vulnerable, with particularly critical points in terms of irregular flows, criminal activity and processes that pose a human rights risk.