The border towns of Ipiales in Colombia and Tulcan in Ecuador signed a statute on Friday designed to create greater integration between the two communities. The new association’s first project will be a waste management program.
The association received financial support from the Andean Community and the European Union of over $500,000, which will benefit the border zone’s 150,000 inhabitants, CMI reported Friday.
The waste management project, which will deal with the 120,000 tons of waste produced daily by the community, will build a treatment plant to produce humus in Ipiales and a transfer station for organic waste matter in Tulcan.
The waste management project is the first in a series of planned shared infrastructure ventures.
The signing of the statute is a step forward in Colombia-Ecuador relations.
Relations between the two Andean nations deteriorated following the Colombian attack on a FARC camp in Ecuadorean territory in March 2008, with both countries accused the other of failing to police the border region, which was plagued by illegal armed groups with links to drug trafficking. The relation between two countries improved after talks in September last year.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has expressed interest in meeting with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) meeting to be held in Quito next Tuesday.