Construction Progress and Problems of the Darien Gap Highway

PSAD-77-154: Published: Aug 15, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1977.

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Completion of the Darien Gap Highway, the final link of the Pan American Highway system located in Panama and Colombia, is currently dependent upon establishing successful control of foot-and-mouth disease in Colombia. After 3 years of cooperation between the United States and Colombia, mostly at U.S. expense, little has been achieved.

Safeguards outlined in a 1973 cooperative agreement have not been implemented, and there were more outbreaks of the disease reported in 1976 than in either 1974 or 1975. There is no assurance that the Colombians are fully committed to the foot-and-mouth disease eradication program.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Secretary of State, should develop an overall plan that sets forth realistic target dates for eradicating and controlling foot-and-mouth disease within the existing program area of Colombia to the extent that the disease would no longer pose a threat for transmission northward via the Pan American Highway System. The plan should also provide for the commitment by Colombia of sufficient resources that will assure its willingness to participate in a control program following the eradication and control of the disease from the program areas in Colombia. Because control of the disease is also important to the Central American countries and Mexico, consideration should be given to involving them in the planning and financing of control and eradication programs in Colombia.

    Agency Affected:


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