LA PAZ – La Paz, Bolivia’s administrative capital, deployed a security system this week in a district near downtown frequented by foreign tourists and other visitors who may need immediate police assistance.
La Paz Mayor Luis Revilla said during the system’s inauguration on Tuesday that the project was part of the municipal government’s Tourist Development Plan and was intended to provide security for tourists and residents.
The system features help buttons installed at different spots in El Rosario, a district close to downtown La Paz, that provide “direct communication” with a police station, the mayor said.
By pushing the buttons, visitors or residents will be able to obtain “assistance and protection,” Revilla said.
The system was financed with a $45,000 grant from the British Embassy and has been deployed at five spots in the area where intercoms and cameras have been installed.
British Ambassador to Bolivia James Thornton said the pilot system was installed in La Paz’s “tourism heart” for the benefit not only of visitors but of everyone.
The project was implemented jointly due to Britain’s experience with “mass surveillance,” the ambassador said.
Revilla and Thornton also unveiled a mural painted by a local artist and demonstrated the new security system.
El Rosario, located in central La Paz, is an area of old streets dotted by shops and restaurants catering to domestic and foreign tourists.
The district offers visitors stalls and shops selling textiles, silver jewelry, paint and handicrafts, among other typical Bolivian souvenirs, making El Rosario one of the best known areas in the city.