Chile Announces Defense Plan Against Bolivian Maritime Dispute

Feb 21, 2018
10:56 AM

Chile-Bolivia border in the Atacama desert by Robin Fernandes (Via Flickr/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz spoke out about Chile’s defense plan against Bolivia’s maritime claim on Tuesday. Both countries will present their oral arguments on March 19 and 28 in The Hague, Netherlands, before the International Court of Justice, or ICJ. This is the final stage of a lawsuit filed by the Bolivian government in 2013.

The maritime dispute is over a century old, dating back to land seizures in 1879 during the War of the Pacific that cut Bolivian territory off from the sea. Recently, Bolivian president Evo Morales has accused Chile of making deceptive and unfulfilled promises under the governments of Sebastián Piñera and Michelle Bachelet on Bolivian access to the sea. Sacha Llorenti, one of the two officials representing Bolivia at the ICJ, states that Bolivia’s access to the sea is an “historical right” and is confident that the ICJ will rule in Bolivia’s favor. However, Muñoz, the Chilean minister, maintains that the dispute was justly resolved in a treaty signed in 1904, 25 years after the end of the war.



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