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Old 18 Dec 2009
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2012 New route to connect Panama and Venezuela


Home Travel in Colombia News

New route to connect Panama and Venezuela

A tourist route cutting through the currently impassable Darien Gap to link Panama with Venezuela will be constructed before 2012, Colombia’s transportation minister announced Wednesday.
The ambitious 2,000-km roadway would cost US$2.5 million, transportation minister Andrés Uriel Gallego said, according to French press agency AFP.
He did not give any details how the road would pass through the thick and lawless jungle of the Darien Gap, where currently tourists are highly discouraged from traveling.
“This would be more a tourism project than a transportation route, because we would have a connection with Panamá of just six hours by car, increasing the number of visitors to the country,” the minister said during a forum of business and tourism authorities in Cartagena.
Dubbing it the “Great Route of the Americas,” the minister said “the route will become real union with Central America and North America.
Environmental organizations have historically opposed roadways or other development through the Darien Gap.

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Old 18 Dec 2009
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Nothing new under the Pan American sky here. Darien talks come back to the negociating table every decade.

Efforts have been made for decades to remedy this missing link in the Pan-American highway. Planning began in 1971 with the help of U.S. funding, but were halted in 1974 after concerns raised by environmentalists. Another effort to build the road began in 1992, but by 1994 a United Nations agency reported that it would cause extensive environmental damage. There is evidence in favor of the argument that the Darién Gap has prevented the spread of diseased cattle into Central and North America, which have not seen foot and mouth disease since 1954, and at least since the 1970s this has been a substantial factor in preventing a road link through Darién Gap.[citation needed] Embera-Wounaan and Kuna Indians have also expressed concern that the road would bring about the potential erosion of their cultures
Maintainance costs would be similar to the transamazonian highway which slowly rots after its construction. Farcs won t be too happy seeing their territory patrolled in favor of tourists interests, and might have a predatory behaviour towards those daring the Darien. And of course nothing can be done without indigenous agreement, which will also ask for financial compensation. The bill, in the end, might be more costly than shipping by boat.
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Old 18 Dec 2009
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If he can build a 2000 km road for US$2.5 million, this man may find it easier to walk directly from Venezuela to Panama, because he can do miracles.
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Old 18 Dec 2009
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Yes, a highway built through swamp and jungle for roughly $1000 per km ($2.5 million/2000km) sounds a bit optimistic. I am confused as well about the lack of geographical awareness on display (does Venezuela border Panama?), as well as apparent ignorance of certain ongoing political issues between Colombia and Venezuela....but then again, maybe that's why I'm not the minister of transport, nor the headline writer for Colombia News.
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Old 18 Dec 2009
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Darien vs. Sahara

Regarding the Colombia News article, I am in total agreement with all analysis presented here. What is Sr. Minister thinking or perhaps not thinking?

Riding a motorcycle through the Darien gap on a highway that was built linking Panama to Venezuela, via Columbia, I hope Sr. Minister remembered Colombia, for $2.5 million would would be akin to dodging the terrorists/hostage takers who stalk foreign tourists while they ride the shifting sands of the Saraha.

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