The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, traveled to Venezuela this Thursday afternoon (23) and met with President Nicolás Maduro. On his 4th visit to the country since taking office, Petro discussed with his Venezuelan counterpart the convening of a meeting of Amazonian countries, a proposal that has already been supported by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Created in 1995, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) is formed by Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. It should be reactivated after positive signals from Brasília, Bogotá and Caracas.

The holding of an ACTO summit was mentioned by Lula even before he was sworn in. When the PT member was in Egypt, in November last year, to participate in COP27, he mentioned his intentions to resume dialogue with neighboring countries to combat deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

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Petro and Maduro had also spoken about the importance of the Organization during their participation in last year’s Climate Conference.

“A proposal that we discussed with Colombian President Gustavo Petro, and that I also discussed with President-elect of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is to resume the defense of the Amazon,” Maduro said at the time.

Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela together have more than 70% of the Amazon rainforest. For analysts, the environmental cooperation agenda in the region should dominate the regional integration debates, mainly because for the first time the three countries are governed at the same time by leftist presidents.

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In addition, the new Brazilian government has already taken the first steps to resume relations with Venezuela, which had been severed by former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). In January, Brazil sent a chargé d’affaires to reopen the embassy and restore diplomatic ties with the neighboring country.

meeting of chancellors

Also this Thursday, Brazil and Venezuela took another step towards the normalization of relations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, met with his Venezuelan counterpart, Yván Gil, in a first meeting between foreign ministers of both countries.

The meeting took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where the ministers are participating in the 28th Ibero-American Summit.

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According to Itamaraty, Vieira and Gil “discussed the progress of the process of reopening embassies and consulates in both countries, the resumption of cooperation in various areas, the resolution of problems in cross-border trade and support for Yanomami communities on both sides of the border”.

On Monday (20), the ministers had already spoken by telephone and announced a “meeting of vice-chancellors, in the coming weeks, to define priority issues on the agenda and prepare the way for high-level visits at the bilateral level.”

Editing: Thales Schmidt


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