Interview to Javier Velez, a worker of the Sucumbios Transportation Cooperative
How did you start working in the transportation sector of your province?
I have been working since I was 25 years old, that is, four years ago, and I started thanks to my brother: he has been working in the transportation sector for at least 15 years.
What significance has the transportation trade for Lago Agrio and Sucumbios?
It has been very important for the province. Companies have specialized in heavy transportation and additionally there are taxi cooperatives that are operating very well. I would say this sector has experienced an 80% growth.
How was the transportation service before in Lago Agrio? Was it risky to work in this trade?
My brother used to tell me that he only drove low- or high-bed trailers, and the service was provided for companies that transported drills and rims. 15 years ago, working in this sector was indeed dangerous: there were kidnappings, hit men, insecurity everywhere.
And have you been able to learn new things thanks to working in the transportation sector?
I have learned a lot: I have driven eight tank trucks. Currently, I coordinate from 100 to 120 vehicles per day. Professionally, I have also developed new capabilities, because I have to manage the vehicles logistics, be familiar with features of crude oil is and everything related to it.
What is your opinion about the building and improvement works on the Jorge Aguilera highway for heavy load transportation?
We thought that this highway would never be opened. Before, this road was in bad shape, it was rocky and also dangerous because there were robbers. With the intervention of OCP Ecuador and the Municipality, it is possible to drive along this road safely.
Do you think that it has also contributed to the development of the local economy?
People residing in this area are happy with this building work. Before, on the road to Laguna, the El Cisne neighborhood only consisted of houses. Now, there are stores, bakeries, car paint workshops and tire repair shops. I think that the setting up of new businesses has been very helpful.