Latin American climbing officials meet in Argentina
Edgar Usaga, president of the Federación Costarricense de Deportes de Montaña (FECODEM) was chosen president of the La Unión Panamericana de Montañismo y Escalada (UPAME) at a meeting in Argentina which discussed a number of issues including cross-border issues in the Andes mountains and the work of the UIAA.
Other officials elected to the Latin American climbing body included David Muñoz from Chile (Vice-president administration,) Roberto Albornoz from Chile (Vice-president technical,) Gunter Figueroa from Panama (Secretary,) Pedro Calderon from Costa Rica (Treasurer) and Marcellus Deza from Argentia and Catalina Noreña from Colombia (Accounts).The meeting which was held on 25-26 May in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, included representatives of the mountaineering and climbing associations from Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. The UIAA was represented by Acting President Jordi Colomer i Gallego.
Colomer spoke about the work of the UIAA, the structure of its commissions and activities and the ongoing strategic plan (2013-2016) that includes an attempt to reach out to mountaineering and climbing federations that are not yet part of the UIAA.
Cross-border problems in the Andes and the vital need to develop a protocol for handling accidents as well as access to its hills and peaks, sports insurance, reciprocal shelter use and payment systems for alpine rescues in European countries figured prominently in discussions during the meeting.
Other topics included the difficulty faced by many Latin American federations to cover the fees and expenses of their delegates to the meetings of an international federation such as the UIAA which prevents them from applying for memberships.
The Federación Costarricense de Deportes de Montaña (FECODEM) and another group from Colombia have both requested information to apply to become a member of the UIAA.
Proposed solutions to encourage UIAA membership from Latin American mountaineering and climbing associations included a plan that would reduce the annual fees for federations depending on their financial need. Plans were also made to encourage technical training and sports administration exchanges between federations and countries.
Highlighted at the meeting was the work of various federations including the Federación de Andinismo de Chile (FEACH) which is working with the UIAA Access Commission on a proposed conservation area in the Rio De Olivares for the residents of Santiago.