Neighboring Indigenous peoples of Bolivia and Peru defy national borders and have agreed to deepen their relationship into a “brotherhood,” the Bolivian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
The two towns that signed the political and cultural agreement are Santiago de Huata in the west of Bolivia and Uru Chulluni in Puno, southern Peru — two communities about 130 miles of each other, only separated by Lake Titicaca.
"The Aymaras have no borders, Indigenous peoples know no borders," said Bolivia's Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca during the binational meeting of Indigenous communities. Choquehuanca is also Aymara and grew up on the banks of the same lake.
He recalled during the signing of the "autonomous international instrument of municipal brotherhood" that the Indigenous cultures have been under threat of eradication for more than 500 years.
"We realize that the path forward is called integration, brotherhood,” he said. “That is why the agreement they sign is a sibling bond between a municipality that is in Bolivian territory and another on the Peruvian side," said the top Bolivian diplomat.
Choquehuanca urged the Indigenous communal authorities of both peoples to promote joint actions to protect Lake Titicaca from pollution and make better use of its waters and resources.