The governments of Argentina and Bolivia have made progress in military, space, and communications technology cooperation in recent months.
Among the latest developments, in July, Argentine Minister of Science, Technology,and Innovation Daniel Filmus visited the Bolivian Space Agency’s (ABE)Amachuma Ground Station. In May, Argentine Minister of Defense Jorge Taiana received his Bolivian counterpart Edmundo Novillo Aguilar with whom he signed a military technical cooperation agreement to strengthen relations between the armed forces. Security analysts highlighted the importance of the initiatives for both countries.
“For Bolivia, [the agreements] are important because they make it possible to reclaimsome international presence,” Juan Belikow, professor of International Relations at the University of Buenos Aires, told Diálogo. “For Argentina, [the agreements areimportant to] find markets for its military industry, which could contribute some resources to the defense sector,” he added.
ABE Executive General Director Jhonny Iván Zambrana Cruz received the Argentine delegation at the Amachuma Earth Station. “We had a very good meeting and made progress on a cooperation agenda in the space field, communications, and training of researchers,” Minister Filmus said in a statement. “We will seek to work together to manufacture satellites and receive images.”
ABE is a Bolivian state company responsible for developing and implementing space projects, which include managing the services of the country’s first telecommunications satellite launched in 2013, the Túpac Katari (TKSAT-1). The satellite is controlled from the Amachuma and La Guardia ground stations in Santa Cruz, the Bolivian Information Agencyindicated.
Filmus also visited the El Alto Nuclear Medicine Center and met with Hortensia Jiménez, executive general director of the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency. “The Center was built by INVAP [Applied Research Institute, an Argentine company] under a contract that also stipulated the installation of equipment, commissioning, human resources training, and consultancy for sustainable management in association with the [Argentine] National Atomic Energy Commission,” the Argentine government said in a statement.
In turn, the military technical cooperation agreement signed in May between Argentina and Bolivia was consequentialfor the strengthening of their relations. As a result of the agreement, an Argentine-Bolivian working group will be created, whose objective will be to strengthen bilateral relations and collaboration in defense matters.
“For certain things we have very concrete opportunities to grow to our mutual advantage,” Taiana said in statements to the Argentine news agency Telam. “We’ve talked with Minister Novillo about several of these points that have to do with aircraft repair, with the purchase of materials, among other things.”
For his part, Minister Novillo pointed out that the agreement will strengthen bilateral relations in three areas: security, defense,and development. “Argentina has greatpotential and can contribute if we createspaces for integration between brotherly peoples,” said Novillo following the meeting at the Libertador building, headquarters of the Defense in Buenos Aires. “We must work on complementary processes and joint reciprocity.”
The Bolivian Minister of Defense also recalled the deployment in February 2022 of 70 Bolivian firefighters from the Army, Navy, and Air Force, together with 10 technicians, to put out fires in the Argentine province of Corrientes. “This experience motivated the creation of the Armed Forces Joint Adverse Emergency Response Command, with the objective of reducing the effects of the fires that affect different areas and generate a lot of damage,”Minister Novillo said.
“With Bolivia we are linked by a shared history, geography, a strong bond that connects our peoples. I am convinced that these are times that merit strengthening bilateral ties with generosity and breadth, and that Defense is a good bridge for this,”Minister Taiana concluded.