La Paz, Oct 13.- The Bolivian Senate passed on Thursday a law that protects Bolivia's Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (Tipnis) suspending the construction of the highway from Villa Tunari to San Ignacio de Moxos.
The regulation stipulates to hold a previous referendum, with the participation of the residents of the Amazon region.
The law also declares Tipnis an area of ecologic reserve, historic reproduction and habitat of the indigenous peoples such as tsimane, yucare and mojeño trinitario, whose protection is an essential interest of the Bolivian government. The initiative, previously approved by the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies, comprises seven articles declaring this region cultural and natural heritage and recognizing it as both an indigenous territory and a national park.
The third article of the Law suspends the construction of the second stretch of the road from Villa Tunari to San Ignacio de Moxos, until a previous referendum, based on the Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the International Labour Organization Convention 169, is held.
The regulation's fourth article notes the possibility to carry out a study of alternative solutions regarding the highway, guaranteeing the rights of the indigenous peoples and bans settlements in this area.
Bolivian Senator Adolfo Mendoza of the Movement Towards Socialism (Mas) party, opposed to this measure claiming it does not fulfill the marchers´ demands. (Prensa Latina)