March 13, 2007

Brief Summary of What Happened in Cobija, Pando

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As you read in my previous post, the Constituent Assembly is traveling around to compile opinions from citizens. The first stop was the small city of Cobija, Pando. Cobija city is located around 600 km (373 mi.) north of La Paz, in the Amazon Basin on the border of Brazil and is the capital of the Pando department. Cobija lies on banks of the Acre river, across from the Brazilian city Brasiléia and it has around 26.000 inhabitants. Its elevation is around 280 m (920 ft.) above sea level and has a tropical and rainy climate.

The members of the assembly held several meetings with the citizens and hear what they had to say. Very loud, the citizens yelled autonomy. An additional demand was that the Amazon region was treated in a special manner. They asked for recognition, respect and development.

The economic development commission met with representatives of local exporters, producers, ranchers, medium and small businessmen and workers. They asked for support.

One important observation was made by Pando assembly member, David Torrico. He said that many people did not know what the assembly was for. The lack of information was spread and worrisome. Other assembly members agreed, there were plenty of seats available in the meetings.

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